Incremental and Sensonic join Network Rail on track vibration monitoring trial17 November 2021

Network Rail, Incremental and Sensonic have agreed to work in collaboration to develop a new cutting-edge rail monitoring solution, supported by Innovate UK.

FORSE (Fibre Optic Railway Sensing Equipment) is a result of joint know-how: on the one hand there is Incremental’s existing and proven real-time train identification, movement and tracking solution AEGIS. The other part of this new system is based on data from Sensonic, which is deriving a broad range of information by creating and interpreting a digital twin of all vibrations along a railway track.

Network Rail has agreed to run a 12-month trial between Allington Junction and Skegness on the East Midland Poacher Line. This will focus on detecting the early signs of defective rail joints, which are currently only detectable through manual inspection. While degradation of joints can be detected via Sensonic’s solution, Incremental’s AEGIS provides data to track and identify all trains on the network. As an outcome, valuable information is instantly attainable to Network Rail via a bespoke dashboard that can be accessed remotely by all relevant stakeholders.

“The deployment of FORSE will dramatically reduce the need for speculative track inspections, increasing productivity by freeing maintenance staff to solve problems, rather than look for them, while improving lineside safety by removing boots from ballast. At Sensonic we have seen the power of our SonicTwin and continue to learn how the insights from the vibration digital twin can be used for upskilling staff and increasing the efficiency of the current track maintenance ecosystem,” said Deep Desai, CCO at Sensonic.

Daniel Lee-Bursnall, co-founder and chief executive officer of Incremental, added: “Every year around £2 billion and more than one-million-man hours are spent walking the track to detect, locate and rectify faults. Fusing the train tracking and location data from AEGIS with data from Sensonic enables FORSE to monitor the condition of fixed points and track individual trains dynamically and accurately as they move around the network, acting as virtual track inspectors.”

Operations Engineer

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