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Advances in Communications-Based Train Control Systems by F. Richard Yu

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43
Chapter 3
Safe Rail Transport via
Nondestructive Testing
Inspection of Rails and
Communications-Based
Train Control Systems
Vassilios Kappatos, Tat-Hean Gan,
andDimitrisStamatelos
Contents
3.1 Introduction .............................................................................................. 44
3.2 Overview of CBTC’s Capacity ...................................................................45
3.3 Rail and Fastening Parts Infrastructure ..................................................... 46
3.3.1 Superstructure Subsection.............................................................. 46
3.3.2 Rail Overview ................................................................................ 46
3.3.2.1 Defects in Rails ................................................................47
3.3.3 Fastening Parts Overview ...............................................................49
3.3.4 Critical Place on Rail Network .......................................................49
3.4 Rail and Fastening Parts Inspection ...........................................................50
3.4.1 Manual and Automated Visual Rail Inspection ..............................51
3.4.2 Liquid Penetrant Rail Inspection ....................................................52
3.4.3 Ultrasonic Rail Inspection ..............................................................52
3.4.3.1 Conventional Ultrasonic Rail Inspection ..........................53
44 Advances in Communications-Based Train Control Systems
3.1 Introduction
Trains constitute one of the most popular and ecient means of passenger and
freight transport all over the world. e rapid and continuous increase in train
trac, train speed, and tonnage carried on the rail network has posed the challenge
of ensuring that rail travel remains a safe, attractive, and on-time mode of transport
for people and goods to public authorities and railway companies.
Failures and unavailability of railway infrastructures
*
and rail operations can
have catastrophic consequences. One of the most common precursors to cata-
strophic accidents on the railway is signal passed at danger
(SPAD) [1]. A high
number of SPAD incidents happen each year, even though the majority of them are
highly unlikely to result in a serious accident, due to the high probability of instant
braking and/or the low speeds observed. However, a safety violation in Chatsworth,
California, in September 2008, resulted in a collision between a freight train and
a commuter train [2], causing the death of 26 people and more than 135 people
injured. Another accident occurred in Macadona, Texas, in June 2004, when a train
passed a stop signal without authority to do so, which resulted in three deaths and
30 people injured [3].
Apart from the SPAD accidents, many accidents were caused by the cata-
strophic failure of rail components, such as in Hateld, Hertfordshire, in October
2000, that led to the loss of 4 lives and 70 people injured [4] and in Minot, North
Dakota, in January 2002, when a freight train derailed, spilling gas and hazardous
materials, killing at least one person, and injuring around a hundred more. e
National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the
*
e term “railway infrastructure” covers all assets used for train operations, except rolling stocks.
A denition of railway infrastructure is given by the European Community Regulation 2598/1970
and comprises routes, tracks, and eld installations necessary for the safe circulation of trains.
A SPAD occurs when a train passes a stop signal without authority to do so.
3.4.3.2 Laser Ultrasonic Rail Inspection ....................................... 53
3.4.3.3 Phased Array Ultrasonic Rail Inspection ..........................54
3.4.3.4 Rail Inspection Using Long-Range Ultrasonics
(Guided Waves) ................................................................54
3.4.4 Magnetic Flux Leakage Rail Inspection .......................................... 55
3.4.5 Eddy Current Rail Inspection .........................................................56
3.4.6 Alternating Current Field Measurement
Rail Inspection ...............................................................................57
3.4.7 Rail Inspection Using Electromagnetic Transducers .......................57
3.5 Comparison of NDT Techniques ............................................................... 57
References ...........................................................................................................62

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