A railway WIM system will record wheel, axle, and bogey loads, the gross weight of each rail car and the total train weight. Furthermore, the load imbalance of each car (front/back and left/right) can be calculated and wheel damage (e.g. flat spots) can be detected. The system also counts the number of axles of each car, the total number of cars and axles of the train, and determines the total length, driving direction, and speed of the train. Rail-WIM systems may be used for one or a combination of applications:
- Track maintenance; a design, by recording the total track loading more efficient planning can be made for the maintenance of the different parts of the railway track. The same data can be used as input for an optimised design of new railway tracks and bridges;
- Train maintenance; in combination with a train identification system the WIM can record the dynamic wheel loads of each train car. An early detection of high dynamics (e.g. because of flat spots) allows quick intervention for maintenance avoiding additional wear and tear of the train and track. At the same time, it allows the reduction in unnecessary maintenance of well performing wheels and train cars;
- Track access pricing; again, in combination with a train identification system the WIM can be used to monitor train access to a railway track. This information can also be used as a basis for track access pricing related to the number and weight of the trains, the distance travelled on the rail network and the calculated damage caused to the track.