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Intelligent Turnouts


Make Your Turnout Think

The turnout is undeniably the most critical asset in the railway system, as its malfunctions often leads to costly delays and even cancellations. At voestalpine Railway Systems, we understand the importance of efficient railway operations, which is why we have focused on optimizing this crucial part of your track through our cutting-edge technology.

Enhance Railway Efficiency with Intelligent Turnout Systems

Here are four compelling reasons why equipping switches and crossings with sensors and software, making them intelligent, is the way forward:

  1.  Holistic Turnout Management: We consider a turnout as a whole system, not just individual components, enabling comprehensive management and targeted maintenance actions.
  2. Data-Driven Expertise: Our approach combines valuable data with real-world expertise, ensuring informed decisions that enhance the efficiency of your railway infrastructure.
  3. State-of-the-Art Technology: Embrace the latest advancements in technology to unlock the full potential of your railway turnout, leading to better performance and reliability.
  4. Empowered Decision Making: With data-backed insights, you can confidently make decisions that optimize turnout operations and improve overall system performance.

Explore Our Intelligent Turnout System Modules

  • intelligent switch machine

    The intelligent switch machine combines new, modern and robust sensor solutions with specialised adapted algorithms for evaluating the measurements. This supports the operator in monitoring the switch machine, the switch and its components, as well as in diagnosing and forecasting failure.

    The central point is the measurement and display of the movement curve and the calculation of relevant parameters from it. The measurement is carried out with a universally applicable (retrofittable) sensor module. The system was optimized in such a way that it can be battery-operated/energy-autonomous.

    In addition to the movement curves, the level of water in the housing, the oil level of hydraulic components and inspection-relevant variables such as the detector rod clearance can also be measured.

    The aim is to replace or shorten inspections and to extend inspection intervals. This should result in an improvement of the LCC for the operator.

  •  The switch assembly monitoring module enables a safe operation of the switch by monitoring critical (switch) rail positions such as the distance between switch- and stock rail for the closed and open switch rail, as well as estimating the nearest flangeway.

    If those values exceed a critical limit, the safe operation of the switch cannot be ensured anymore. Furthermore, the mechanical parts (switch- and stock rails) are subjected to plastic deformation which can negatively influence the rail position through laps and burrs. Additionally, they are subjected to wear and RCF which can cause rail degradation or even component failure due to breakouts, both increasing the risk for derailment.

    Monitoring of these damage patterns and faults increases the operational safety of the switch and prolongs the lifetime of its components by setting corrective measures, before small defects can grow into break outs leading to component failure and thus to a replacement of the component (improved LCC, availability and safety).

  • The crossing area monitoring module enables diagnosis and prognosis of the wear state and based on that the remaining service life of critical crossing components e.g. the crossing nose (frog), the wing rails and the guard rails. Due to the discontinuity in the crossing area the mechanical parts in this region are subjected to high dynamic impact and creep forces which lead to a continuous degradation of the mechanical parts.

    A target-oriented (tailored) monitoring solution facilitates condition based and prescriptive maintenance strategies by estimating the actual asset/component health state, predicting the remaining service-life and proposing corrective measures with sufficient lead time before the emerging defects lead to component failure and thus to traffic disruptions.

    Furthermore, this module can be used for quality assessment of the passing wheels in order to detect worn or hollow worn wheels which increase dynamic loads and component degradation in the crossing panel.

  • Temperature has a significant influence on the track and its components. Therefore, temperature measurements are a non-negligible part of the monitoring and the maintenance recommendations derived from it.

    The system can use newly installed or existing temperature sensors. These measurements are supplemented with data from weather services. This enables an algorithm to determine the temperature at different points on the rail.

    On the one hand, this information can be used for planning tamping and welding work in the track and, on the other hand, for diagnosing and forecasting failures in the switch.

  • The vibrations induced by passing trains cause degradation and settlement in the ballast layer. Those effects lead to stiffness changes of the superstructure and increased movement of the sleepers.

    With increased sleeper displacements, either caused by lower track stiffness or hanging sleepers (voids), the dynamic contact forces in the turnout increase significantly which further accelerates the degradation of the mechanical parts. By monitoring the sleeper displacement and rotation over time, track (ballast) degradation can be diagnosed and critical states can be predicted to propose the optimum period for track tamping with sufficient lead time.

    In addition, the system can detect the operational parameters of the passing rolling stock material such as axle distances, train types, speed and passing route/direction which can be used for clustering and normalising the obtained data or capacity monitoring.

Your Benefits:

  • Enable targeted and demand-based maintenance actions, reducing costly downtimes and tightening train intervals.
  • Extend the lifetime of turnout components and assets, maximizing your investment.
  • Reduce maintenance costs while increasing the availability and profitability of your railway system.

Unlock Your Railway's Full Potential with Intelligent Turnout Systems

At voestalpine Railway Systems, our Intelligent Turnouts are designed with a modular approach, allowing you to tailor your experience by choosing the information that matters most to you. Here's why our Intelligent Turnout Systems will drive your success:

  • Industry-Leading Expertise: As the world's leading manufacturer of turnouts, voestalpine Railway Systems possesses unparalleled domain knowledge, supporting you throughout the product life cycle.
  • Robust and Reliable: Our turnouts are engineered to be robust, precise, and highly reliable, ensuring the highest availability and state-of-the-art intelligence.
  • Extensive Domain Knowhow: We boast additional expertise in rolling stock and infrastructure monitoring, ensuring a comprehensive approach to maintaining your railway system.
  • Performance Enhancement: By leveraging mature monitoring technology, we help infrastructure operators achieve their goals and elevate their performance.
  • Seamless Connectivity: Your assets are interconnected, enabling them to share vital condition and status information, resulting in higher levels of availability and cost-effectiveness.

For unmatched availability and the lowest lifecycle costs, trust voestalpine Railway Systems to deliver Digital Performance on Track®.

Contact us now to discover how our Intelligent Turnout Systems can revolutionize your railway infrastructure!

How can we help you?

If you have questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!