This paper describes the design, measurement methodology, and experimental validation of an electronic system for monitoring the electrical discontinuity in rails of double-track railway lines in order to detect the rail breakage. The electronic system is based on an emitter node and on the two receiver nodes. The three nodes, together with the four rails to be analyzed, constitute the electrical circuits, whose currents are measured in both the emission and reception nodes. These nodes can communicate through a data network between them, as well as with a remote center that controls and synchronizes the electronic systems along the railway line. The electronic subsystem associated with the emitter node transmits an encoded signal to the rails, modulated by an 800-Hz carrier. A set of eight currents are measured, one per rail at each end of the section defined between the emitter and the receiver, with a maximum length of 7 km. The evaluation of electrical discontinuities in each section is carried out by means of the relative imbalances that can appear between the eight measured currents, according to possible breakages. The method of measurement is characterized by a high immunity to noise. The results presented here are based on a railway line prototype, which implements the electrical propagation models and coupling between the four rails in the double track. This model allows the proposed electronic system and measurement methodology to be successfully verified.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.