Perpetuum will install wireless self-powered sensors on the power cars, train-to-ground communication equipment, data management, track and ride algorithms, and condition alarms. The system will collect track and ride quality information in order to identify early damage. The XPT fleet, which comprises 19 power cars and 60 intermediate trailer coaches, currently covers around 3.5 million km per annum on long-distance services radiating from Sydney to Brisbane, Dubbo, and Melbourne.
NSW Trainlink decided to introduce remote condition monitoring issues as a result of rough riding in its regional network and following an internal investigation looking at the use of onboard accelerometers. NSW Trainlink launched an international tender which included a performance-based specification stipulating that the vibration sensors must operate for at least five years without needing power supply system maintenance, analyse data trends to identify degradation in the wheels and rails, and comply with all international railway standards, including EN 12299:2009 for ride quality measurement.
The NSW government has allocated $A 50m ($US 38m) to replace NSW Trainlink’s medium and long-distance diesel fleet, starting with the XPT trains. The Perpetuum system will help to monitor track condition and set key wheel-rail measurement benchmarks in preparation for the introduction of the new trains which is planned for 2019.