Rail corrugation is a problem extensively felt by railway companies. This phenomenon appears in the  railhead by the form of ondulations.
There are two types:
  •  Short wavelength rail corrugation (3-10 cm)
  •  Long wavelength rail corrugation (10-100 cm)
  •  Dynamical mechanical interaction of the vehicle-track system as wear and various forces.
The corrugation brings a high and annoying levels of noise and vibration.
  • Noise makes travel uncomfortable for passengers.
  • Vibration reduces the rail and wheel lifetime.
  • If not early detected, and treated (grinding), the problems aggravate,  and becomes more and more expensive treat the problem.
RailScan – Developed Tools
To detected and quantify rail corrugation a software tool was developed: RailScan. Data to process:
  •  Axle-box  or vehicle Accelerometer data

RailScan corrugation signal analysis includes:
  • Classical Spectral Analysis
  • One Third Octave Filter power representations 
  • Time-scale representation with user selected wavelets Wavelet-Packet implementation that results in power spectrum in the corrugation
  • Wavelengths
  •  Rail corrugation localization in the rail and its signal recovering in selected wavelet nodes
Why Wavelets?
  • Wavelet analysis generally outperforms the classical spectral methods for non-stationary signals such as the rail corrugation data, namely in data affected by noise.
  • In recent times Wavelet analysis has been successfully applied to similar signals, and seems to be the adequate tool for these signals. However there is a great deal of research work in order to validate these methods.