Monitoring real-time railway loading saves DB Netz from expensive repairs

For our client DB Netz, the infrastructure operator Deutsche Bahn (DB), we installed an application to monitor track loading on a bridge in real-time. A solar-powered Gantner Instruments data acquisition system now continuously monitors the condition of a railway bridge in Germany with an arch span of almost 270 meters.

Testing System

For this project, we were faced with noise sources, a remote outdoor location, and off-grid operation. The Gantner solution chosen for this application was a Q.bloxx XL data acquisition (DAQ) system consisting of several carrier frequency modules for noise-free strain gage and LVDT measurement, a module for universal inputs, and a module for IEPE vibration measurement. With every passing train, the monitoring system collects and transfers data to Visualizing and recording calculated parameters paired with time-synched measurement data allows the service to notify users automatically when critical thresholds are reached.


This case study explains in detail how the Q.series X data acquisition system provides valuable insights into the structure's status to determine failure conditions, such as:

  • The number of axles per crossing train (i.e., 4, 6, 18, 120)

  • Axis load (kN) for each axis

  • Axis imbalance (kN) left and right

  • Identification of train type based on speed, load and amount of axis and their distance

  • Max strain on structures/pillars (microstrain)
  • Max displacement of structures/overhang

For more detailed technical information on the distributed, off-grid structural health monitoring system chosen for this application, download the free case study.