From 2013 to 2022, 1671 derailments have been reported by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 8.2% of which were due to journal bearing defects. The University Transportation Center for Railway Safety (UTCRS) designed an onboard monitoring system that tracks vibration waveforms over time to assess bearing health through three analysis levels. However, the speed of the bearing, a fundamental parameter for these analyses, is often acquired from Global Positioning System (GPS) data, which is typically not available at the sensor location. To solve this issue, this paper proposes to employ Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to extract the speed and other essential features from existing vibration data, eliminating the need for additional speed sensors. Specifically, the proposed method tries to extract the speed information from the signatures that are embedded in the Power Spectral Density (PSD) plot, which enables rapid real-time analysis of bearings while the train is in motion. The rapid extraction of data could be sent to a cloud accessible by train dispatchers and railcar owners for assessment of bearings and scheduling of replacements before defects reach a dangerous size. Eventually, the developed algorithm will reduce derailments and unplanned field replacements and afford rail stakeholders more cost-effective preventive maintenance.

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