Broken Rail Detection

Project information

  • Broken Rail Detection
  • Acronym: BRD
  • Project director: Christian Chavanel
  • Project manager: Marcos Conceição
  • Status: completed project (IRS 70712 published)
  • Project code: 2016/RSF/502

Project description

Today on the lines equipped with axle counters or manual block sections, ETCS Level 2 and in the future, on the lines equipped on Level 3, ETCS (L3), on the sections without, physical track circuits, broken rail detection need to be reconsidered.

To compensate for the absence of broken rail detection by the classical signalling systems, which is necessary to preserve the same safety level, to increase significantly the track maintenance needs (a higher grinding frequency, more rail replacements and shorter rail replacement period, less track possession times for maintenance...).

The project aims to define and demonstrate a new concept of low cost solution, able to be added to the existing lines how solve the permanent broken rail detection.

Project objectives

The project aims at reviewing the state of the art of the technologies relevant to the detection of broken rail and selecting and designing of cost-effective solutions.

Project structure

  • WP 1 – Stata of Art
  • WP 2 – Justification for rail break detection
  • WP 3 – Application domains and requirements
  • WP 4 and 5 – Evaluation criteria and assessment of solutions
  • WP 6 - Demonstrator Based on DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) / Prototypes

Project members

FH St. Pölten

UIC contact

For further information, please contact:


  • D1 - State of Art Report on suitable technologies for rail break
  • D2 – Report for justification for rail break detection
  • D3 – Application domains and requirements
  • D4 – Evaluation criteria
  • D5 - Assessment of solutions
  • D6 – Prototype DAS and Prototype DPRR
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Friday 1 January 2016