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SNCF Réseau evaluates Senceive sensors to modernise track monitoring

actualité Publié le 11/12/2020 mis à jour le 11/12/2020

SNCF Réseau and Senceive, the world leader in wireless structural and geotechnical monitoring solutions, signed a joint R&D contract in August 2020 to evaluate the technology on French railways. If it proves suitable for the challenges of rail infrastructure inspection, the technology could digitize part of the network's monitoring activities.

A collaborative approach in support of innovation

SNCF Réseau’s experiment with Senceive technology is part of the company’s “Réseau haute performance” (High Performance Network) programme to modernise rail infrastructure.

The British technology company has developed wireless sensor technology to measure structural and geotechnical parameters such as the stability of unloaded tracks. The aim of the partnership is to explore an innovative digital solution that could, subject to performance, contribute to the development of predictive maintenance for the track sector.

Towards predictive track maintenance

The experiment mainly focuses on Senceive's triaxial tilt sensors, a technology that SNCF Réseau could deploy to measure and control the condition of unloaded tracks (as distinct to dynamic measurement during the passage of a train) on the National Rail Network. The work will focus on rail structures in order to detect changes in condition.

Thanks to their rapid and continuous measurements (sampling every second if necessary), Senceive sensors could make track monitoring more reliable before, during and after related work. They could be particularly useful when a risk of ground movement or structural disturbance has been identified. In the long-term, this solution could thus facilitate the work of the asset owner in programming more efficient track maintenance interventions.

Capteur Senceive


Experimentation in real conditions

Formalising the agreement between SNCF and Senceive comes after a year of field trials. Maintenance teams from Infrapoles and Infralogs first deployed the sensors on railway tracks in September 2019 (see infographic). Evaluation of the results will make it possible to: assess the reliability and precision of the measurements; define the application standards for wireless sensors and validate installation protocols and their process of use.

The most recent experiment carried out between June and November on the Touloubre Viaduct (Bouches du Rhône) with the LGV SEE Infrapôle finalises this first phase of collaboration.

Chronologie de l'expérimentation de Touloubre


The results of the trials, expected in December, will determine the next steps. If the conclusions are positive, the validation and authorisation phases will follow, after which SNCF Réseau could consider national deployment.
With this new type of digital device, SNCF Réseau wishes to provide maintenance teams with:

  • Uninterrupted and precise communication of condition data without interference from external sources such as obstructions and without reliability issues due to damaged wires or temperature changes.
  • Easy installation on rail infrastructure: remote configuration, design dedicated to the rail and civil engineering industry.
  • A level of durability estimated at 15 years for the battery with one measurement per half hour, with very little maintenance/calibration required on the track.


Calendrier des expérimentations Senceive en anglais


About Senceive

With 15 years experience and more than 50 people in 35 countries working in civil engineering, rail and mining, Senceive leads the world in the design, manufacturing and continuous improvement of wireless condition monitoring technology. Learn more about Senceive

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