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Design and Fabrication of an Internet of Things Enhanced Digital Track Gauge
Track geometry measurement is an imperative task for a reliable, available, maintainable, and safe railway operation. While track geometry measurement equipment exists, this paper aims to design and fabricate an internet of things enhanced digital track gauge (IoT-DTG) for measuring railway track gauge and superelevation accurately and productively, improving track condition monitoring and maintenance strategy. Design considerations, hardware and software components, as well as internet connection to IoT cloud platform, are described. Experimental results from 30 measurements on railway tracks at a train depot show insignificant differences, in track gauge and superelevation values, between the conventional track geometry measurement approach, which uses analog gauge and angle meters, and the IoT-DTG. However, the IoT-DTG has led to a significant 50% reduction in manpower needed for track measurement, a substantial 60% rise in work efficiency, and a greater cost saving. The efficiency of IoT-DTG is also commendable by 90% of track maintenance technicians through an online feedback survey.