A wheel sensor is a component of the railway signaling and train control system that is used to detect the presence and location of trains. It is usually mounted on the track or adjacent to it and detects the passing of the train’s wheels by sensing the changes in the magnetic field caused by the presence of metal.
Wheel sensors are commonly used in conjunction with track circuits to provide accurate train detection and location information. They are an important part of the railway signaling system and are used to monitor train movements, prevent collisions, and maintain safe and efficient train operations.
There are several types of wheel sensors used in the railway industry, including axle counters, treadle detectors, and eddy current sensors. Axle counters are the most commonly used type of wheel sensor and use a combination of wheel and axle sensors to detect the presence and direction of trains. Treadle detectors, on the other hand, use pressure-sensitive sensors to detect the weight of the train and determine its location. Eddy current sensors are used for high-speed trains and can detect train movement and speed by measuring the electromagnetic field generated by the train’s wheels.
The data collected by wheel sensors can be used to monitor the health and condition of the track and rolling stock. This information can be used for predictive maintenance to detect potential issues before they become critical and cause a disruption to train operations. In addition, wheel sensors can also be used to provide real-time train tracking information to railway operators, enabling them to monitor train movements, identify delays or disruptions, and respond quickly to any incidents.
Overall, wheel sensors play a critical role in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of railway systems. They provide essential data for train control systems, maintenance planning, and real-time train tracking, and are an important part of modern railway technology.