SIGNAL+DRAHT | Issue 09/2018

Innovations in the Railway Industry – an axle counter based on optical sensors

September 2018 | Matthias Heyder, Amine Arezki

The signaling industry has been intensively researching the field of optical sensor technologies for about ten years now. The first field trial using fibre Bragg grating sensors for axle counters was performed in 2009 over a six-month period at MTR West Rail in Hong Kong (urban rail) [1]. The reliable counting of the axles of one type of train on one rail profile at speeds of up to 130 km/h has been achieved. Many technical challenges have had to be solved in order to be able to use this technology in commercial SIL 4 products with wheel loads of more than 500 kg and the full speed range of main line signaling on all common rail profiles....

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