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Unlocking smart turnouts through the digitalisation of rail

13 November 2021 | 

Dr. Robert Bernerstätter, Data Scientist for R&D and Engineering in Diagnostics & Monitoring Technologies for Infrastructure at voestalpine Signaling Austria GmbH, writes of the potential that lies in smart turnouts, to increase availability and, through the use of AI, predict maintenance needs and in turn, reduce costs.

Digitalisation is an essential building block for ensuring and increasing the availability and efficiency of railway infrastructure.

Dr. Robert Bernerstätter

The turnout, as an interface between track and signaling technology, has long been a focal element of data acquisition and monitoring. It is therefore predestined to be further developed into a smart device with the corresponding components. This not only increases availability, but also reduces lifecycle costs (LCC) in the long-term.


Why is there a need for smart components in railway and what characterizes a smart turnout?

Dr. Robert Bernerstätter graduated from Montanuniversität Leoben in Industrial Logistics – Logistics Engineering. He worked there as a research associate for five years and finished his doctorate in the field of data science and industrial management. He joined voestalpine in his current position in 2020.