The iTrack project aimed at tackling the problem of rail breaking by offering sensor-based solution for the cities and transport authorities.
At the moment, rail breaking causes considerable expenses due to the large amount of manpower required for the maintenance of rail networks. Furthermore, breakages of tracks create security risks for the passengers, decrease the availability of public transport and decline in profitability.
iTrack solution offers an innovative monitoring concept that answers to the needs of transport operators in multiple levels. By combining connected sensors and machine learning, transport authorities are able to get more accurate information on the condition of the rails and the required maintenance procedures. This enables major cost savings as well as effective recourse optimisation.
Helsinki monitors tram rail network
Helsinki City Transport HKL piloted the track monitoring solution in multiple locations within the Helsinki tram network during the summer and autumn of 2020. The sensors revealed the exact locations, for example, where the corrosion or heat had caused damage to the rail structure. By utilising the comprehensive data analysis, the transport authorities were also able to estimate the optimal timing for the maintenance operations as well as the needed supplies.
“Development of sensor technology helps monitor data in different places and makes easier use of data for maintenance and helps investment decisions. For that reason, Helsinki City Transport is looking for best solutions”, explains Hannu Stam, the Head of Infrastructure at Helsinki City Transport.
The track monitoring system provided safer and smoother public transportation for residents of Helsinki. Also, by utilising the advanced monitoring system, Helsinki City Transport is now better able to plan and monitor the maintenance work of the tram rail network.
The consortium is formed by the Institut de Soudure (ISA), France Rail Industry and Forum Virium Helsinki. The project ran until the end of the year 2020 and had a total budget of 585 900 euros.
The iTrack product was part of an activity that received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). This body of the European Union received support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Photo: Julia Kivelä, Visit Finland