Eddy Zwier MSc
- Technology transfer
- Corporate venturing
TNO has many years of experience in the development and realisation of systems for monitoring the rail infrastructure. We provide measuring instruments in trains and user-friendly software for processing the data obtained. We have also developed measurement systems that network operators can use to inspect the overhead line network in the Netherlands.
Since 1990, Eurailscout has carried out inspections of the overhead line network in the Netherlands using the ATON system developed by TNO. The system 'maps' the overhead lines at high speed and detects local weak spots. We have also developed a system for wear testing on the pantographs of moving trains. Ultrasonic rail-inspection systems are used to measure rail wear. With a more accurate picture of the condition of overhead lines, rails and points, it is easier to assess when repairs will be necessary, thereby reducing service disruptions due to damage, and the inconvenience caused during repair work.
Six intercity trains in the Netherlands are fitted with equipment that applies sandite gel on the rails to combat wheel-slip caused by leaves on the line. The network operator's staff can log in to an online environment developed by TNO that enables them to find information and programme the system. Diagnosis and software updates can be easily carried out from the work location.
When a train's current collector is faulty, it can damage overhead lines. TNO carried out a pilot study for NedTrain in which a laser system was used in pantograph inspections for wear testing on current collectors. The affected trains can therefore be taken out of service before they damage overhead lines and cause delays.