Network Rail has a fleet of 7 dedicated track geometry recording trains, known as the Track Geometry Infrastructure Monitoring Fleet, (aka Yellow Trains (YT)). These trains traverse the rail network and scan the infrastructure to monitor the condition of the infrastructure and report on its status. The YT fleet is equipped with a range of measurement technologies that can be configured in different ways, depending on the type of infrastructure being recorded. The YT fleet operate from Derby and are dispatched on scanning activities based on plans that are committed to up to 3 years in advance. Each shift includes specific sections of the track that must be recorded. Sections of track are recorded as defined by the Track Geometry train recording plan, a reference file called Journey Files or Route Setting Tapes are used to identify and record specific sections.
Based on short term needs, the scanning activities can be changed up to a week ahead based on operational needs.
The YT fleet have technicians on board that monitor the track geometry data being collected in real time. Critical faults are classified as “fix within 36hrs” or in severe cases the line can be blocked to traffic. YT On Train technicians report faults that are classified as high priority directly to the Signal and Control Centre and to Track Maintenance Engineers
Both CPC and Network Rail are looking for the UK innovation community to support the reduction of data processing time, with the aim to provide a better service with less disruption to rail users.
If you’re interested in taking part in the project, you can find full details of the challenge and respond here.
The window for expressions of interest closes 16th March 2020