Monitoring of rail corrugation growth on sharp curves for track maintenance prioritisation

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the utilization of dynamic wheel/rail interaction to monitor rail corrugation growth already detected on sharp curved tracks, in order to prioritise track maintenance. In general, a railway network generally spans over a large distance so the structural health monitoring of such a rail infrastructure system is one of the grand challenges in rail industry practice. Especially in an underground or subway system, the facilities, resources and time period permitted for critical infrastructure inspection and maintenance is considerably limited. As a result, the utilisation and application of any inspection train vehicle has been more demanding than ever. A rail corrugation defect is the periodic, undulated or wave-like vertical alignment of rail surface. Corrugations are typically caused by uneven wears due to the variations of wheel-rail contact stresses. The wavelength and severity of rail corrugations is dependent to track structure, track geometry, traction system, rail vehicle behaviours, and wheel-rail interaction. The rail corrugations are the source of rapid track degradation, poor ride comfort, and nuisance noise. Often such rail irregularities are initially observed and detected by train drivers and engine ride inspectors. To enable predictive maintenance, a set of rail surface data of a very sharp curve was chosen for demonstration of rail corrugation monitoring by integrating numerical train/track simulations, axle box acceleration data obtained from the calibrated track inspection vehicle “AK Car”, and spectral data analytics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11078
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Acoustics and Vibrations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • railway
  • inspection train
  • inertia system
  • axle box acceleration
  • monitoring
  • rail corrugation
  • rail irregularity


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