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Study of transitional phenomena in rail vehicle dynamics in relation to the reliability and operational state of the continuous welded rail track in terms of rail joints
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Online publication date: 2023-01-27
Publication date: 2023-01-27
Eksploatacja i Niezawodność – Maintenance and Reliability 2023;25(1):7
  • Analysis of methods of assessing the correct operational state of rail joints used in the continuous welded rail track railway lines.
  • Errors in the measurement results interpretation caused by defects in classical methods of assessing the operational state of welded track joints.
  • Tests of vertical vibrations of rail vehicles caused by their passage over welded track joints.
  • Possibility of diagnosing the operational condition of rail joints using any type of rail vehicle.
This paper presents the results of experimental and numerical studies on reliability and monitoring issues of railway infrastructure in terms of safety and operation. The state of knowledge concerning methods of assessing track condition, in particular rail joints used in continuous welded rail track of railway lines is described. Experimental results of rail joints used in track transition zones and the results of numerical studies/tests of the rail vehicle-track model are outlined. It is demonstrated, basing on the analyses of the experimental results, that not only should the rail joints used in continuous welded rail track be diagnosed during their acceptance, but also during their operation. It is proven that the currently used methodology for testing welded rail joints applied during acceptance testing of contact track is not fully correct and leads to misinterpretation of the measurement results. Moreover, the results of numerical simulation tests presented in this paper confirm the possibility of diagnosing the condition of rail joints by any vehicle passing over such a track equipped with a suitable system.