Health condition monitoring of insulated joints based on axle box acceleration measurements

Maria Molodova, Maider Oregui Echeverria-Berreyarza, Alfredo Nunez Vicencio, Zili Li, Rolf Dollevoet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a health condition monitoring system for insulated rail joints (IRJs) based on axle box acceleration (ABA) measurements. The ABA signals from all the wheels of the measuring train are processed to extract those characteristics that better represent the quality of the IRJ. Then, different indicators are used for damage assessment, the most relevant being a set of frequency bands in the ABA power spectrum. A detection algorithm is proposed based on the derived frequency characteristics of the ABA signal. We compared the responses of IRJs in good condition with those in poor condition. Track inspections were performed to validate the health condition monitoring methodology in different IRJs of the Dutch railway network. The hit rate of IRJs detection was 84% for two validated tracks. The damage assessment procedure allowed to prioritize the IRJs that require maintenance. This information is useful for the railway inframanagers as it allows to predict where safety compromises will be faced. plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering Structures
Issue numberSeptember
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2016


  • Railway infrastructure monitoring
  • insulated joints
  • axle box acceleration measurements
  • damage detection


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