Information published on 28 April 2021 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

Harmotrack project meeting held on 20 April

Worldwide project bringing together companies across five continents

  • Infrastructure
  • Research
  • Track & Structures
  • Interoperability
  • Rail System
  • Reporting
  • Train-Track interaction

Within the UIC Interfaces and Interaction between Infrastructure Subsystem and Rolling Stock (TTI) Sector, the UIC Harmotrack (Harmonisation of track quality description and assessment) project is now focused on examining the use of railway dynamic measurements, namely acceleration and forces, in WP2 in order to improve track monitoring and reduce maintenance costs.

The group holds plenary meetings in April and October each year to interact with fellow members and discuss project progress. The third plenary meeting for WP2 was held online on Tuesday 20 April, bringing together 86 international experts from all continents.

More than 110 railway experts from 32 different railway infrastructure companies in 20 countries are currently involved in this international collaboration. Together, they tackle the most challenging topics relating to railway dynamics, track geometry and track maintenance.

The work of WP2 of the Harmotrack project, currently led by Danilo Sorrentino (SNCF Réseau), is divided across the following three sub-working groups (SWGs):

  1. SWG1: Determination of thresholds for acceleration, led by Fatih Ünlü (SWG1-A - SBB CFF FFS) and Ziad Abdelhalim, Percy Chelangat, Florian Latestere and Danilo Sorrentino (SWG1-B - SNCF Réseau)
  2. SWG2: Optimal use of axle box acceleration for the detection of short length defects, led by Stanislaw Banaszak (SBB CFF FFS) and Olivier Vo Van (SNCF)
  3. SWG3: Use of innovative and low-cost devices, led by Franck Dadié (SNCF Réseau)

The objectives of this third plenary meeting were to:

  • present and discuss next steps and project organisation (e.g. non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and data management plan (DMP))
  • present progress on SWG1, SWG2 and SWG3
  • promote new partnerships between current and new members
  • decide on participation of academic institutions
  • learn more about what is being done elsewhere by member companies in relation to the Harmotrack project’s objectives

The Harmotrack project is continuously growing. 8 new railway infrastructure companies have now expressed their interest in the project. Furthermore, with the ratification by current members of participation of academic institutions in the project, six new academic institutions are expected to join the project once they have agreed to the terms of the NDA.

Prospective members who have shown interest in the project

Railway infrastructure companies:

  • Austrian Federal Railways – ÖBB (Austria)
  • Bane NOR (Norway)
  • Camrail (Cameroon)
  • Department of Transportation – DOTr (Republic of Philippines)
  • Ethiopian Railway Corporation – ERC (Ethiopia)
  • Hungarian State Railways (MÁV Magyar Államvasutak Zrt. – MÁV Zrt.) (Hungary)
  • Research Design and Standards Organisation – RDSO (India)
  • Sydney Trains (Australia)

Academic institutions:

  • African Railway Center of Excellence (Ethiopia)
  • Bern University of Applied Sciences (Switzerland)
  • Central Queensland University (Australia)
  • University College Dublin (Ireland)
  • University of Birmingham (United Kingdom)
  • University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
  • University of Pretoria (South Africa)

The first official Harmotrack WP2 deliverable, Benchmark Synthesis on the Uses of Acceleration Measurements by each Member of the Harmotrack Project, will be delivered by May 2021. This 55-page document is the result of coordinated work with all of the experts across the world and aims to clarify how acceleration measurements are used by each company.

The ultimate goal for Harmotrack WP2 is to define standardised methods for the use of acceleration, prescribing thresholds for values. Collaborative technical activities are expected to intensify with the signature of the NDA, bringing the project one step closer to completion.

The next plenary meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 20 October.

For further information about the project and how to become a member, please contact Danilo Sorrentino: danilo.sorrentino@reseau.sncf.fr (Head of Vehicle-Track Interaction Section at SNCF Réseau), or David Mirayo: mirayo@uic.org and Mercedes Gutierrez Ferrandiz: gutierrez@uic.org (UIC Infrastructure & TTI Senior Advisors).