Upcoming Events

ICRI Webinar: Presentations on Track Circuits and Rail grades. Date: June 11, 2024. Time: 6:30 PDT, 9:30 EDT, 2:30 BST, 3:30 CEST (1.5 hours)

Presentation 1: Addressing Rail Isolation: Challenges and Possible Solution 

Presenters: William Skipper (University of Sheffield, UK) and Dr. Sadegh Nadimi (Newcastle University, UK)


Track circuits are used to detect the presence of trains and control signalling systems. Contamination can cause poor electrical contact between the train wheels and the rails, leading to the track circuit not detecting the train’s presence. This project tested and analysed newly developed sand products designed to enhance track circuit performance.

To determine their suitability with current operations and standards, five enhanced sand products and two typical products currently used in Great Britain (GB) were tested in the laboratory. Two of the newly developed products were then further evaluated against GB rail sand via field testing and were found to produce less track circuit interference. By implementing enhanced sand products optimized to increase electrical continuity between wheel and rail, the risk of wheel/rail isolation is reduced, improving train operational safety. Further work, including in-service testing, is currently underway.

In addition, an electro-mechanical contact model has been developed to investigate the electrical response within a particulate system under mechanical loading. The proposed electro-mechanical contact model was implemented in a commercial Discrete Element Method software and was then verified and validated against published analytical solutions and experimental data. The contact model was applied to simulate a high-pressure torsion test to investigate the influence of three different materials on the electrical conduction properties of the system after particle fragmentation. The intensity distributions of electric potential, current, and resistance of the granular system were analysed at both particle and system scales. An electroactivity index was proposed for evaluating the contribution of each fragment sieve cut to the bulk electrical conduction behaviour. Finally, the mixing of conductive and non-conductive materials has been simulated and analysed experimentally and numerically.

Presentation 2: Establishing the Principles of Compositional Design for Long Life Rail Steels

Presenter: Daniel Woodhead (University of Huddersfield Institute of Railway Research, UK)


The rail industry is constantly searching for improvements to existing track infrastructure, due to a trend of increasing demand on rail networks to support higher axle loads, increased speeds, and a higher amount of railway traffic.  These improvements seek to lower the railway systems whole-life costs, by increasing the life expectancy of the current infrastructure and improving maintenance routines. This research aims to increase the understanding of which metallurgical properties are beneficial at resisting wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) in rail steels. A greater understanding of the reaction of different steel microstructures to RCF initiation and growth, as well as wear will also be explored to aid future optimisation of the microstructural design of rail steels for longevity and lower life cycle costs.

Meeting Link will be provided through the ICRI E-Mail list.

Railways 2024. Prague, Czech Republic, September 1-5

The Sixth International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance


STECH 2024 – The 10th International Symposium on Speed-up and Sustainable Technology for Railway and Maglev Systems

Second Call for Papers Deadline: March 18th

More information please visit: https://www.civil-comp.info/2024/rl/

ICRI Conference 2024 in Vienna/Austria, September 18 – September 20.

Registration is now open! Please refer to our ICRI Workshop section for more information.

13th International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems (CM2025) in Tokyo/Japan, September 22 – September 26.

First conference Information and conference webpage online: http://www.cm2025.jscmr.org/

Call for papers expected to open on October 1st, 2024.