AbstractReal-time train monitoring is becoming a major challenge for infrastructure managers (IMs). Infrastructure failures caused by the poor condition of trains significantly increase maintenance costs and cause numerous traffic disruptions. Currently, a conventional approach based on the total tonnage supported by the track over 1 year commonly is used to plan maintenance work. Tonnage measurement and wheel-condition analysis stations, offered by many companies, enable IMs to know the status and load of trains in real time and to alert railway companies in the event of a defective train. These systems provide IMs with the tools they need to move from passive to proactive maintenance. The main disadvantage of these systems is their high acquisition cost, which limit their use to main tracks. Monitoring the French network requires the acquisition of about 100 stations installed on the main and secondary tracks, representing an investment about €15  million. Because of this high cost, we sought to develop other, less expensive solutions to equip the secondary tracks for which the use of these systems is not economically justified, notably by transforming the rail bridges into dynamic scales. The acquisition cost of this system has been estimated at €20,000 to which must be added the installation costs (about €5,000). Thus the generalization of this device on the French network requires an investment of €3  million, a saving of about €10 million compared with traditional systems.

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