Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Project title

Enhancing and automating non-destructive testing techniques for railway wheel-sets (COF-RAS-04)

  • Project number:

  • Topic:

    Vehicle Track Interaction
  • Status:


Project Summary

This project explored the use of cutting-edge sensor technologies to support wheelset inspection, with the aim of delivering a sensor system to detect smaller, hidden and potentially crucial defects in a faster amount of time.

Project Abstract

Project Briefs are hosted on
The continued health of wheel-sets of rail vehicles is of exceptional importance for the safe operation of trains on our railways. Not only does the railway in the UK (and worldwide) support travel of people, it is also a critical infrastructure component of the economy. Any defect to trains or rails may result in a potentially high-impact event.  Therefore, frequent inspections of the trains and carriages are carried out. Every 15-18,000 miles, this includes the scanning of all wheel sets, axles, doors, and other components of every train in a depot. During these inspections it is crucial that early detection of potential faults due to the continuous wear and tear, their repair or replacement, and the subsequent quality checks of the work carried out can be done to the highest possible technological standards.

This project sought to examine the feasibility of supporting the engineers that carry out time-consuming and detailed manual inspections through the use of modern technology and automated inspection and testing processes. This could also potentially enhance the detection and reduction of risks to prevent potentially serious accidents and their potential impact on life, the environment and the economy.

The investigations looked at options to combine cutting-edge technologies to deliver a sensor system that will allow the detection of smaller, hidden and potentially crucial defects in a faster amount of time. This could support turning carriages around through depots faster while maintaining the high quality required for today’s train travel.

Read Project Brief

Project Reports

Project Reports are hosted on SPARK

This project has no reports available

This document is hosted on SPARK


You are now being redirected to SPARK, RSSB's knowledge sharing hub, to access the requested information.

Your RSSB user name and password can be used to access SPARK.