The WHITE PAPER – “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system details a number of objectives for the European transport system, including:
- A competitive and resource efficient transport system;
- Shifting 30% of road freight to other modes such as rail;
- A complete European high speed rail network by 2050;
Achieving these targets requires increased reliability and availability of infrastructure and rolling stock, whilst maintaining the same level of safety. Current infrastructure inspection regimes use contact Ultrasound (UT) inspection; either through hand held wheel transducers (that apply a rolling contact transducer), or a set of rolling transducers mounted on a purpose built inspection vehicle. In a market where speed and reliability are of importance, these systems do not fulfil the current, let alone future requirements of the rail industry. This is an important area of focus in activities related to life cycle costing. RiFlex will provide a major advancement in the non-destructive inspection of railheads within the European railway infrastructure. This will be achieved through the development of a novel, self-contained, non-contact railhead inspection system that can be integrated with existing inspection trains or potentially appended to passenger vehicles.