The safety and reliability of railway transport requires new solutions for monitoring and quick identification of faults in the railway infrastructure. Electric heating devices (EORs) are the crucial element of turnouts. EORs ensure heating during low temperature periods when ice or snow can lock the turnout device. Thermal imaging is a response to the need for an EOR inspection tool. After processing, a thermogram is a great support for the manual inspection of an EOR, or the thermogram can be the input for a machine learning algorithm. In this article, the authors review the literature in terms of thermographic analysis and its applications for detecting railroad damage, analysing images through machine learning, and improving railway traffic safety. The EOR device, its components, and technical parameters are discussed, as well as inspection and maintenance requirements. On this base, the authors present the concept of using thermographic imaging to detect EOR failures and malfunctions using a practical example, as well as the concept of using machine learning mechanisms to automatically analyse thermograms. The authors show that the proposed method of analysis can be an effective tool for examining EOR status and that it can be included in the official EOR inspection calendar.
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