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Rail News Home MOW

January 2022

Rail News: MOW

Technology update: Track defect management

The Ultrasonic Rail Flaw System is designed to help railroads meet regulatory requirements, prevent derailments and keep trains running safely and efficiently.
Photo – ENSCO Rail


Compiled by Pat Foran, Editor

ENSCO Rail: Ultrasonic Rail Flaw System

ENSCO Rail recently introduced the Ultrasonic Rail Flaw System (URFS), which will “fill a critical need for improved detection of rail flaws,” company officials said in an email. URFS is designed to help railroads meet regulatory requirements, prevent derailments, and keep trains running safely and efficiently.

The system features “all the standard probe orientations,” can be installed in hi-rail and rail-bound vehicles, and can be operated in both stop-and-verify and continuous-testing modes, ENSCO Rail officials said.

URFS also can be integrated with the company’s other automated track inspection technologies, including its patented joint bar and rail surface imaging systems, and rail profile and zero-speed track geometry measurement systems. URFS is “backed by the largest team of engineering staff in North America for track inspection technology,” ENSCO Rail officials said.

URFS is available — for sale directly to railroads and as a service — in North America and worldwide.

Loram Technologies: Machine vision, X-ray inspection with Aurora®

Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, Aurora® scans track to reveal the exact condition of every tie and the associated components.
Loram Technologies Inc.

Loram Technologies Inc. continues to add enhancements to its Aurora® system, which comprises machine vision and X-ray inspection technology. The data X-ray “has proven to yield information beyond immediate condition assessment and is now providing longer-term value in the form of trending and tie life studies,” company officials said. And understanding tie life enables customers “to move from reactionary capital programs to just-in-time programs, maximizing asset utilization and maintaining safety levels,” they added.

Recent enhancements to Aurora include optional hi-resolution cameras and artificial intelligence image processing — which boost capabilities and offer a supplement to traditional machine vision characteristics — and advanced GPS hardware and triangulation techniques.

“These advancements will allow for unique tie identification and eliminate the industry’s desire to tag ties with RFID, barcodes or other surface markers,” Loram Technologies officials said.

MaxAccel: AssetPro Track Trouble Ticket™ + AssetPro Track™

MaxAccel’s AssetPro Track Trouble Ticket™ is designed to create visibility for open 49 CFR Part 213 track defects and aid in managing them to closure.

An easy-to-use, web-based system, AssetPro Trouble Ticket provides a platform to log defects, monitor progress on repairs and electronically record information such as documents and images, MaxAccel officials said. A dashboard provides a summary view with color-coded icons indicating the aging and status of each defect. Email or text alerts keep engineering team members informed of defects needing attention, as well as repair status updates.

MaxAccel also is developing an AssetPro Track™ system designed to provide a full range of track inspection, territory management and remediation capabilities to enable customers to be compliant with Part 213 track inspection requirements, company officials said. System workflows will complement daily track inspection routines, making the transition to an electronic recordkeeping system as easy as possible for track inspectors, they said.

The web-based system will be accessed either through a computer or via the AssetPro Track Mobile app designed for field use. The app will be available for iOS or Android devices. MaxAccel officials are targeting a spring 2022 release.

Railroad Software: TrackAsset

Railroad Software’s TrackAsset platform is a map-based solution that currently manages defects for thousands of miles of track, signals, crossings, bridges and other right-of-way assets. Railroads and transit agencies can manage inspections and defects in a single, browser-based system, helping them stay in compliance and increase productivity, company officials said.

Railroad Software
TrackAsset platform is a map-based solution designed to be a mobile first system for inspectors to use in the field.
Railroad Software

TrackAsset is designed to be a mobile first system for inspectors to use in the field. Inspectors can document inspections, record defects using the proper defect codes, and create work orders based on inspection results. GPS information, photos and additional text-based information are logged on work orders for supervisors to properly plan repair work, and for repair gangs to more easily find and repair the defect, Railroad Software officials said.

Inspection forms can be configured to include both regulatory and non-regulatory items. Defects and inspection results are immediately available to be used by administrators, supervisors and other engineering department personnel. The application provides a comprehensive history of past inspections, defects and work orders to help users plan future capital improvements.

RailWorks: Insight

A web-based track and signal inspection and reporting tool, Insight is scalable and customizable.
RailWorks Corp.

RailWorks Corp. continues to update its Insight digital inspection and management solution.

A web-based track and signal inspection and reporting tool, Insight is scalable and customizable. From a single site to hundreds of properties, Insight enables rail managers to view all their maintenance and inspection information in one place, which “allows for informed decision making about track & signal maintenance,” company officials said.

Benefits and capabilities include:

  • instant repair budget estimates;
  • corrective actions;
  • GPS-mapped locations;
  • Federal Railroad Administration defect codes;
  • asset inventory;
  • customized reports;
  • priority ranking; and
  • inspection schedules.

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