Riding the rails to an efficient freight system

From 2016 a specially-equipped standard railcar will be rocking and rolling along the tracks of East Java. It will have carefully positioned sensors to detect its movement during normal operation, including its displacement and vibration.

The railcar instrumentation has been designed by Monash University’s Institute of Rail Technology to provide data on the condition of the track. This will allow engineers to accurately estimate safe loads and running speeds.

It’s part of a project to facilitate safe and efficient movement of freight across the rail network, and particularly to improve the movement of goods into the new container port terminal at Teluk Lamong (Lamong Bay), Surabaya.

“There are many trucks and buses jamming up roads at the moment,” says project co-leader Dr Hera Widyastuti, of the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology.

“If we don’t start getting this under control then it will bring about many issues. Improving the railway systems would reduce congestion and have economic impacts way into the future—we could transport goods much more smoothly, and reduce pollution and accidents.”

The project was initiated by the Australia-Indonesia Centre’s Infrastructure Cluster with the support of the Government of East Java, PT Kereta Api Indonesia, Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate, the Lamong Bay Terminal container port, the Australian Rail Track Corporation, Public Transport Victoria, and Monash University.

Credit for banner image: Institute of Railway Technology.