A hybrid predictive methodology for head checks in railway infrastructure

Annemieke Angelique Meghoe*, Ali Jamshidi, Richard Loendersloot, Tiedo Tinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper presents a hybrid method to assess the rail health with the focus on a specific type of rail surface defect called head check. The proposed method uses physics-based and data-driven models in order to model defect initiation and
defect evolution on a rail for a given rail traffic tonnage. Ultrasonic (US) and Eddy Current (EC) defect detection measurements are used to provide Infrastructure Managers (IMs) with insight in the current rail condition. The defect initiation results obtained from the first part of the hybrid method which consists of the physics-based model is successfully validated with the EC measurements. Furthermore, the US and EC measurements are utilized to derive a data-driven model for defect evolution. Finally, a set of robust and predictive Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are proposed to quantify the future condition of the rail based on different characteristics of rail health resulting from the defect initiation and defect evolution analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1322
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part F: Journal of rail and rapid transit
Issue number10
Early online date23 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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