Condition Monitoring


Wheel Impact Load Detector, Rail Stress, Weigh-in-Motion, Train Overload Imbalance, Hunting Truck Detectors

Performance Monitoring In The 21st Century

There are two primary goals of performance monitoring as it relates to the modern railway; safety and cost improvement. Passenger and freight railways are currently monitoring the health and safety of infrastructure and rolling stock which allows them to run a more profitable and safer operation.

Salient Systems, Inc. is helping railways on six continents to make these ideas a reality by:

  • Monitoring wheel impacts with WILD (Wheel Impact Load Detector) systems.

  • Monitoring longitudinal rail stress with RailStress modules.

  • Monitoring train and vehicle weights with WIM (Weigh-In-Motion) and TOID (Train Overload Imbalance Detectors).

  • Monitoring high speed stability with the HTD (Hunting Truck Detector).

  • Integrating all of these systems with other “smart sensors” to give decision-makers the complete picture of their railway system.

Salient is turning data into information!

The Salient WILD was the first detector in North America to have an AAR interchange rule written around it. This speaks volumes to the value and confidence the railways have in these systems! There are now more than 200 Salient WILD systems installed on six continents around the globe.  

The industry is greatly improving operations in areas where performance monitoring systems have been adopted. Railways on five continents have benefited by monitoring their rail neutral temperature in key locations. The IntelliTrack® Navigator system is also helping to facilitate rail repair to “safe” operating conditions. Limiting situations like track buckle derailments and speed restrictions!

Railways are also moving forward with performance monitoring in a very smart way. They are creating “super-sites” or “mega-sites” which allow multiple detectors to take advantage of parallel assets such as enclosures, power and communications lines. This allows for a more cost effective way of advancing these technological efficiencies. There are also “rules engines” being created to make predictive maintenance decisions on multiple issues such as wheel impacts and their correlation with faulty bearings.  

As new detectors are introduced the railroads are working with vendors to integrate this new information into daily operations. We are refining the process of performance monitoring and predictive maintenance and are doing a great job of creating a safer and more efficient railway system. We are proud to be part of this movement not only in North American but in South America, Australia, Europe and Asia as well.

Salient Systems Inc. continues to improve and evolve technology to meet the increasing demands of passenger and freight railways around the globe.

RailStress Monitor

The wireless RailStress Monitor is the first completely self-contained battery-powered measurement device for determining rail stress and temperature. This system provides the user with rail break alerts and real-time warnings of potential buckle conditions. It can also help establish proper rail neutral temperature at the time of maintenance or repair.

After 25 years of research, L.B. Foster has developed the next generation RailStress Monitor RSM™. When coupled with our new rich Internet application, IntelliTrack® Navigator, users can now manage large numbers of devices in the field.

This is a breakthrough technology that serves as a data analysis and prediction tool, as well as a real-time alarm monitoring system.

Wheel Impact Load Detector

The L.B. Foster Wheel Impact Load Detector is the most widely used system in the world today, with nearly 300 installed to date, to detect and alarm on excessive wheel impacts for the targeted removal of defective wheels. An essential component of any performance-based wheel management program, the WILD continually monitors rail vehicle wheel health to ensure safe and productive train operations.

WILD systems evaluate millions of wheels per day throughout the international rail industry with proven accuracy and reliability.

The WILD is a hardened electronic data collection device that measures vertical wheel forces via rail-mounted strain gages. The WILD measures impact forces caused by damaged wheels. High impact forces damage vehicles, cargo, and infrastructure.

Hunting Truck Detector

L.B. Foster has developed a new, state-of-the-art Hunting Truck Detector (HTD) by building from the solid foundation that the WILD detector has provided the industry for more than 20 years. 

Customers are implementing the Hunting Truck Detector to prevent lading damage, as well as damage to vehicles and infrastructure.

Hunting trucks underneath rail cars can violently oscillate from one rail to the other as they traverse along tangent track. This motion can induce excessive lateral forces that significantly contribute to the accelerated wear of rail and vehicle in a relatively short time. This particular type of degraded vehicle performances is a leading cause of damage to delicate lading, customer complaints about ride quality, and increased fuel consumption.

Hunting trucks result in severe damage to truck components, which can cause derailments.


L.B. Foster has developed a state-of-the-art Weigh In Motion (WIM) system building on the solid foundation that the WILD detector has provided the industry for more than 20 years. The WIM system provides accurate vehicle weight. It alerts on overload, side-to-side imbalance, and end-to-end imbalance conditions.

Available as an add-on to the Wheel Impact Load Detector or as a stand-alone wayside installation, the Weigh In Motion system is a must-have for any railway.

Portable Tribometer

In the field, Salient's hand-pushed Tribometer is the industry-leading product to spot-check the coefficient of friction at the rail interface. 

The Tribometer:

  • Can validate the friction condition and lubrication methods at specific track locations quickly and easily.

  • Is customizable to any track gage.

  • Conveniently measures the coefficient of friction at any point along rail from the top of the running surface to the lower edge of the gage face.

This device is available for purchase or as a complete service with operator.

IntelliTrack® Technology

Faulty track and equipment cost the global rail industry billions of dollars to repair. Billions more are spent on personal injury, hazardous material clean up, litigation and lost productivity. As the tempo of worldwide operations increase, so does the need for value-added, smart systems to manage reliability and safety through early warning of emerging problems. Recognized as a global leader, Salient Systems, Inc. is the premiere innovator in real-time failure mode detection for the rail industry.

Management by prevention is the key. Real-time monitoring of infrastructure, maintenance and rolling stock is mandatory for a 21st century railroad.

IntelliTrack is a suite of products that are “value-add” solutions which bring cutting-edge technologies and the power of information to the rail industry. IntelliTrack solutions provide a quantum leap in track and equipment reliability, performance and safety.

IntelliTrack® Navigator

IntelliTrack Navigator offers an intuitive, web-accessible user interface using modern browser technology.

  • Provides proactive alerts of critical alarm conditions.

  • Dynamically updates module alarm status.

  • Can easily locate the alarmed modules on the integrated, zoom-capable map.

IntelliTrack Navigator is hosted in a Tier 4 data center by L.B. Foster. Its cloud computing technology provides easy scalability without the need to buy new hardware or software. A complete user guide is available as an online help tool.

Data from user-selected modules can be displayed as a dynamic chart. The chart allows the user to specify the time range and the types of data that should be included. While viewing the chart, the user can easily turn off and on the visibility of one or more data types and can also zoom in on a particular time period.

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