Abstract: One of the major problems that railways have faced since the earliest days is the prevention of service failures in track. As is the case with all modes of high-speed travel, failures of an essential component can have serious consequences. Eddy current based methods are used to tide over limitations associated with ultrasonic and microwave techniques. However, they have the problem of very slow overall speed which reduces the usability of the same. With the advent of powerful digital signal processors, Image Processing techniques have been explored to formulate solutions to the problem of railway crack detection. The problem inherent in all these techniques is that the cost incurred is high. Hence this project proposes a cheap, novel yet simple scheme with sufficient ruggedness suitable to the Indian scenario that uses an infrared module to detect the crack in railway lines, which proves to be cost effective as compared to the existing methods. The important role played by transport in the development of an economy has been studied. In addition, statistics of the number of rail accidents and their corresponding causes have also been studied.

Keywords: Image processing, railway track, crack detection, IR sensor.