Polish infrastructure manager and universities to develop monitoring system
Polish rail infrastructure manager PKP PLK, together with Polish universities, will develop an extensive monitoring system, which will gather information such as noise level and vibrations linked to specific vehicles.
A modern, innovative monitoring system for the Polish railways will be developed by scientists from the Gdańsk University of Technology and the Wrocław University of Technology. PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. and the Polish National Centre for Research and Development have signed an agreement with a consortium of the two universities to this end.
The project encompasses developing a system for precise monitoring of the impact of rail traffic on the environment, taking into account information on traffic, technical and environmental data, according to PKP PLK. A prototype of the monitoring hardware device, together with management and data analysis software, should be ready in autumn 2025. The costs amount to almost 1 million euros (PLN 4.5 million).
Monitoring and analysing
The main goal of the system is to obtain information on the level of noise emitted by passing trains and the level of vibration generated. Parameters such as rail and wheel roughness and noise at different heights will be measured. Precision sensors and measuring apparatus will be installed in special gates that can be placed along railway lines.
An essential part will be a database and an analysis module to process the collected data. Generated noise or vibrations will be able to be linked to a specific type of train or even a specific train set. For this, traffic data will be collected, including the volume of traffic on individual tracks, the type of rail vehicles passing, the time and speed of passage, as well as the number of carriages, the length and weight of the train and the type of locomotive. The sensors will record technical parameters such as the number of vehicle axles and the generated axle load or the type of brakes and even brake pads used. In addition, meteorological data will be collected.
The project is part of a joint cooperation of PKP PLK and the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR). The announced their 2nd competition in December 2021 for research and development projects under the Joint Undertaking Research and Development in Railway Infrastructure (BRIK). This supports innovation developments in the following areas: railway traffic safety, energy efficiency, ecology and improvements in the process of infrastructure diagnostics. PLK S.A. and NCBiR each allocated half a million euros for this second round.
The first round of BRIK, launched in 2018, enabled the implementation of 10 projects. Among these are the development and implementation of a rail temperature measurement system, the development of a lighting management system, anti-theft solutions for the catenary network and enabling the use of photovoltaic panels on noise barriers.