Third Rail Wear

In addition to measuring the position of the third rail relative to the track, it is possible to determine its state of wear. The DTK Third Rail Wear system allows us to capture both the data from the third rail measurement and also the contour. The contour is compared with the ideal contour and the degree of wear determined from the difference.

Variables Captured (see 'Third Rail')

  • Vertical position of power rail relative to track measurement plane
  • Height profile of power rail ramps
  • Lateral position of power rail relative to track measurement plane
  • Speed
  • Position on the route

plus optionally:

  • Exact GPS or dGPS coordinates (where satellite reception is available)
  • Capture of track geometry.


In addition to the wear of the power rail, the system allows the detection of atypical wear patterns that enable us to determine incorrect power rail positioning or rapid changes in height that the current collector shoe cannot follow sufficiently fast.

A second measurement made in the following year will indicate a tendency in the wear patterns of the power rail; this simplifies planning for the replacement of worn parts.

We can capture the measurement data quickly and contact-free over the entire route. The initial tendency of wear can be seen even on our monitors while the measurements are being taken.


The evaluation software helps to detect significant occurrences such as points at which the vertical and/or lateral positions of the power rail deviate too greatly from the specified dimensions. The positions of ramps and other components can also be easily detected.

Capturing GPS data further enables the deviations to be conveniently displayed in a map view. The data can also be exported to a database or for further processing. Here you can specify freely whether, say, all data should be exported or only data within a given range.

Measurement system images

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