Since 2001 first generation Gotcha Monitoring Systems® were installed in the Netherlands. The experiences with the system were very positive since then Lloyd's Register and SST have been working on further developments. Now, the third generation is as a platform commercially available.
Currently the Gotcha is installed in various countries throughout Europe.
Gotcha will provide real-time information about axle loads, load imbalances, the quality of wheels and train speed. ProRail uses this information in their Quo Vadis system for track access charging, asset protection and maintenance planning. The modular and scalable platform can also be used for monitoring of pantographs, axle boxes and noise emissions.
The track maintenance is contracted by Infraspeed for the next 25 years, Gotcha will be used for asset protection and condition based maintenance. Also the rolling stock of HSA (High-Speed Alliance) will be maintained by NedTrain based on Gotcha data.
- Stable operation (at extreme temperatures)
- Measuring of vehicle weight and axle load
- Measuring of (severe) wheel defects
- Measuring of impacts with impact hammer and track loading vehicle
Following a successful trial installation on the Poznan-Szczecin line in 2006, more than 30 systems are successfully implemented on the Polish network. Lloyd's Register's partner TENS integrated the Gotcha system in their ASDEK system which is in use by the Polish railways throughout the country. Mainly freight trains are passing this wayside measuring locations, combined with a certain amount of passenger trains. Both the WIM and WDD-functionality of the Gotcha system have been certified .
Following successful trials at Sevington and Banbury, full product approval has been achieved for use of the Gotcha Monitoring System throughout the UK rail network. As at April 2009 there are five Gotcha systems in use by Network Rail, including a mobile system.
The Swiss operator & infrastructure manager Rhätische Bahn wants to use Gotcha for condition based maintenance of their rolling stock. In September 2006 the first Gotcha system was installed in the Vereina tunnel (rock subgrade). This has offered Lloyd's Register the possibility to test the Gotcha system in a highly conditioned environment. In Switzerland Lloyd's Register has partnered with Bombardier Services. Bombardier uses the Gotcha data for their fleet management system.
Lloyd's Register and Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) have launched a joint project with a Gotcha Monitoring System®. RFF's key aim from this installation is to have better information about axle loads, load imbalances and the quality of wheels to provide a basis for improved maintenance and asset management. This information will enable RFF to manage the risks imported on the rail by wheel defects. Lloyd's Register has installed this asset protection system on a busy line of the French rail network in Valenciennes. As part of the implementation, two noise monitoring terminals were installed.
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