The Gotcha® System
Gotcha is a proprietary product of Lloyd’s Register and is measurement system for Weighing In Motion (WIM) and Wheel Defect Detection (WDD) of trains. STI-Global is a distributor and the exclusive installer of Gotcha® Systems in Spain. STI-Global, in conjunction with Llyods, markets and installs Gotcha® systems in other parts of the world.
Gotcha® Track-Based Monitoring System
The modern intelligent railway relies on sophisticated monitoring systems to allow informed decision making on asset management actions - especially in maintenance and renewals activities. Effective measurement systems coupled with robust post analysis and decision support gives a real advantage.
The Gotcha system's wheel defect detection module detects every wheel of each passing train by means of track mounted optical sensors. The measured data is processed by an advanced calculation programme and combined with the identification tag of a locomotive or a coach to determine precisely which wheels are damaged - and to what degree. With this information, maintenance systems can be changed from corrective to condition-based.
The Gotcha system's in-motion weighing module determines the weight of a passing train and permits automated infrastructure charging based on actual train tonnage and mileage. Optional plug-ins to the Gotcha system, such as pantograph monitoring, axle bearing monitoring and sound measurements are currently under development.
What are the benefits?
- Well maintained wheels last longer. In many cases, wheels can last 25 to 40% longer resulting in increased cost savings. In addition, perfectly round wheels are essential for the preservation of bogies since wheels that are flattened to any degree give rise to rattling wheel sets and thus rapid wear, leading to considerably higher maintenance and replacement costs.
- Up-to-date information provided by Gotcha enables maintenance of rolling stock according to its condition. This vastly improves the operational reliability of the stock.
- Weather conditions in the autumn can contribute to delays when rain and leaves on the track combined with 'square' wheels cause slipperiness. Using Gotcha derived data, problem wheels can be recognised in time, attention can be prioritised and the utilisation of wheel lathes can be managed.
- Based on Gotcha data, the utilisation of track and switches can be monitored. This information can be used for usage-based maintenance thereby saving maintenance costs and improving the reliability of track and switches.
- The Gotcha system is installed across the Netherlands railway network and also in use with eight other administrations across Europe. These include a network trial in Sweden and operational stations in Poland and Switzerland.
- The Gotcha system has also been selected as the preferred system to provide data throughout the UK for Network Rail's Intelligent Infrastructure architecture scheme.
- Gotcha stations have also been placed along slab track sections of the newly-built high speed line, HSL-Zuid, between Amsterdam and Paris. Track maintenance is contracted for the next 25 years and Gotcha will be used for asset protection and help to maintain rolling stock.
For further technical information and sales enquires please contact an STI-Global office near you or email the Company