Friday 30 June 2023

UIC publishes IRS 70712-1: “Broken Rail Detection (BRD) systems – Guidelines and recommendations for use”

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Despite the significant technological advances made in trains and railway track infrastructure over the last decades, rail and joint bar breakages occur frequently around the world, increasing the risk of train derailments. Broken rails can be detected by signalling track circuits, but there are two factors that have led to an investigation into alternative technologies for Broken Rail Detection systems:

  • Not all lines are equipped with signalling track circuits, and where lines are equipped with signalling track circuits, the detection of rail breaks is not always possible, for example during periods of high temperature when the electrical circuit is not broken.
  • New technologies for train control (including global positioning technologies, radio or satellite-based communications, and other communication-based systems for train location detection and control) may lead to the removal of wayside track vacancy proving systems, such as track circuits.

This IRS deals with the methods that infrastructure managers and companies are studying in order to prevent rail breaks.

The work was developed by the Broken Rail Detection Working Group Project.

Link to the IRS: Broken Rail Detection (BRD) Systems - Guidelines and Recommendations for Use (réf. 70712-1/E/1-PDFs) (

For further information, please contact Marcos Conceição at

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