In a deregulated EU rail market monitoring of the vehicle and infrastructure interface is mandatory for enhanced availability of operation reducing costs. Especially when a rolling stock is crossing boundaries between independent infrastructure grids, cond ition monitoring becomes crucial. A monitoring tool on OCLs overhead contact lines - for infrastructure managers is needed for an separate measurement of contact force and surface condition of the vehicle current strip. The rolling stock operator needs a complementary device to measure not only the vertical contact force, but moreover the friction force, in order to analyse the vehicle and OCL interface condition. In SMITS a monitoring system for contact force on the interface current collector #lt;-#gt; c ontact wire has been developed. A sensor technology has been started to explore showing the potential for an extended range of rail monitoring tools. An innovative coherent sensor technology approach shall be investigated and two independent monitoring too ls for vehicle and infrastructure be developed. These shall be validated at new rail tracks specified for TSI interoperable cross boundary transportation: the Ltschberg Basis Tunnel, CH and the HSL Zuid high speed line, NL, both ready for operation in 2007 . Demonstration tests in operation will be performed along the Korridor X infrastructure passing through different countries rail networks. The outcome of the project will enable managers to specify driving conditions for the usage of their infrastructure to avoid excessive wear improving availability. Complementary rolling stock operators can monitor OCL condition giving them an informative argument in case of damage. Condition-dependent user fees as well as threat of penalty will force vehicle and infrast ructure managers to maintain the vehicle and infrastructure interface on a superior level of availability. The operational costs will be reduced and availability of transportation capacity enhanced.
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