MTR Corporation will install a real-time track monitoring system across the entire Hong Kong mass transit network within the next two years to further enhance railway track monitoring, maintenance measures, and train service reliability.
The company will install the same monitoring system which is currently used on the East Rail Line.
The project follows the investigation on the light rail derailment incident occurred in August which concluded that localised gauge widening arising from a side-worn switch blade on the concerned section resulted in unfavourable wheel/rail interaction conditions which led to the derailment.
The installation of the monitoring system will start in two light rail vehicles as recommended by the investigation team which was set up after the derailment incident. The first LRV is targeted to put into operation by end March, followed by the second LRV in the second quarter of this year.
By installing the related equipment on the trains, the real-time track monitoring system continuously monitors the condition of the track throughout traffic hours including track gauge and vibration so that the maintenance team can monitor any changes in the main track parameter trends by using a data analytic tool. This will enable them to arrange any necessary maintenance follow-up in a more effective and timely manner.
“Introducing the real-time dynamic track performance monitoring system and implementing the enhancement measures recommended by the investigation panel will further strengthen our monitoring of railway tracks. We can then follow up with preventive measures and conduct any necessary repairs quickly when an irregularity is detected. By doing so, we can make our overall train service smoother and more reliable,” Tony Lee, Operations Director of MTR Corporation said.
In addition to installing the real-time track dynamic performance monitoring system on two LRVs, the Corporation has also followed up and implemented a number of enhancement measures recommended by the experts to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents in the future. These include increasing the frequency of rail lubrication at wheel/rail interfaces at turnouts, revamping turnout maintenance procedures, including the timeframe for rail defect follow-up action, gauge monitoring and maintenance, the use of a new tool to assess turnout rail-wearing conditions and establishing a high-level steering group to monitor the progress of enhancement works.