Railway track location estimation using onboard inertial sensors

Alfredo Peinado Gonzalo, Mani Entezami, Clive Roberts, Paul Weston, Edward Stewart, Mick Hayward, Sin Sin Hsu

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In railways, using a track- and ride-quality monitoring system on in-service train has become desirable for coordination and security. Identification of the track- or train-related rough rides via train crew can be estimated to the nearest kilometre. However, if the train is equipped with a monitoring system a better location and track quality evaluation can be provided. These systems commonly use information such as GNSS and/or an odometer to provide location information. This work proposes a practical method for track alignment estimation using real data from an in-cab inertial measurement system and using also a novel method based on crosslevel variations. The speed estimation is done through speed-related harmonics detected on inertial sensors, which depend on speed and track characteristics; and distance correction is provided by comparing crosslevel derived from inertial sensors and a reference track geometry. The effectiveness and accuracy of the method is demonstrated with data collected between London and Ashford.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Early online date31 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Railway
  • crosslevel
  • inertial sensors
  • speed estimation
  • track monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanical Engineering


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