Greener and more comfortable trains making rail transport a more attractive option for passengers in comparison to other means of transportation. The ever growing need for the society to employ more environmentally friendly transportation policies is expected to further underline the economic and societal role of rail transport in achieving sustainable mobility across Europe in the years to follow. Today, the European rail network is continuously getting busier with trains travelling at higher speeds and carrying more passengers and heavier axle loads than ever before. The combination of these factors has put considerable pressure on the existing infrastructure, leading to increased demands in inspection and maintenance of rail assets. Several infrastructure related accidents in the rail industry occur due to rail failure. The continuous increase in train traffic, axle loads and operating speeds means that the catastrophic failure of a rail section may result in severe derailments, such as the one that took place in Hatfield, UK, in 2000, causing loss of life, injuries, severe disruption in the operation of the network, unnecessary costs, and loss of confidence in rail transport by the public. I-RAIL seeks to practically eliminate rail failures by successfully delivering a non-contact high-speed rail condition monitoring system based on Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer technology. The application of the high-speed system will be complemented through the implementation of novel semi-automated testing equipment based on ultrasonic phased array technology which will be deployed for the in-situ verification and evaluation of the defects detected during high-speed inspection. The consortium will also develop Intelligent Decision Support Tools to enable the system to provide an immediate and automated recommendation for the optimum maintenance planning.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs
13561 Agioi Anargyroi
CV4 7EZ Coventry