Short pitch corrugation is commonly seen in all kinds of tracks. There is not yet a conclusive explanation in the literature for its initiation and growth mechanisms. In this paper, we use an axle box acceleration (ABA) measurement system to detect corrugation. ABA can be easily implemented in operational trains, providing direct and reliable health monitoring of the track. We have extended a detection algorithm for rail surface local short wavelength defects to also detect short pitch corrugation, which is a continuous defect over the track. A 3D transient FE wheel-track model is employed to find theoretical signature tunes of the wheel-track system response when passing over a short pitch corrugation. Numerical simulations agree with ABA measurement obtained in the Dutch rail network. Based on the signature tune identified, an automatic detection algorithm is developed. Preliminary results with the algorithm are discussed. Field observations show a good potential of the detection algorithm to be used by inframanagers, to detect and monitor corrugation.

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