Christopher Stonelake

BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Project Title: Network Rail Landslip Monitoring System

Project Description

The purpose of the project is to reduce fatalities on UK train networks due to landslips or foreign mass on tracks.

The importance of live track monitoring upon the discovery of a geological or structural weakness situated around a section of train track is paramount, not only to have the ability of monitoring but to have rapidly deployable monitoring stations along within on site visually and auditable warning signals.

Currently at the industry’s disposal are finite amount of systems which offer, targeted specific application monitoring, rapid deployment and installation and direct local warnings which can give invaluable warning time to encroaching trains and freight.

The initial goal was to prove the design concept that a standalone grid/off grid monitoring system utilising a wide assortment of field sensor applications can effectively monitor, detect and signal local as well as electronic warnings which will affect the speed or stop/start of train track traffic.

From study of existing monitoring systems, it is clear that the ability to interact or combine onto a common platform is missing, what my prototype shows is that there is an ability to combine industry available monitoring sensors and combine into a common system.
One distinct advantage of this documents proposed system is the direct on track light and audible warning devices, this gives local and encroaching trains immediate warning signals to correct speed or come to an immediate stop, this capability is not really seen within other local monitoring stations.

Another key suggestion but would require further research, is the utilisation of signal generators using train tracks as signal conductors to on-coming trains which would automatically alter the trains speed or bring to a controlled stop, the signal generator would be activated via the track monitoring system.

My study thus far has concluded the feasibility of multi-sensory monitoring system with the immediate light and sound track warning along with electronic notification systems. The system can also be pre-manufactured (off the shelf) which will be an advantageous factor in the timely manner these system’s need to be implemented and working from the initial discovery in a weak or high risk geological area. My work to date has laid the foundation to proceed onto the trial next stage which would be real world track monitoring and deployment.

To progress my career and improve on a continued development and learning path.

For me it was vital to be local for the course day visits and from recommendation of friends and colleagues, UWTSD was always highly recommended.

Having come to the end of my time at UWTSD, I will be focusing on more specialist electrical engineering courses such HV protection systems for the rest of 2021.

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