Magnetic Railway Onboard Sensor: Next-generation Localization and Odometry

With the help of the Magnetic Railway Onboard Sensor (MAROS), we enable precise, continuous, and CENELEC-compliant localization up to SIL4 as well as odometry unaffected by slipping and sliding.

The challenge: Safe, track-selective localization up to SIL4

Train localization and detection systems such as balises and axle counters usually work quite well. On the downside, they deliver information only at certain points and are expensive to install. Moreover, these components have to be rolled out across great distances, so maintenance is time-consuming and requires the track to be shut down. This is one of the reasons why we set out to develop an onboard solution for track-selective train localization.

Copyright: Enotrac AG

Magnetic Railway Onboard Sensor

Attached to the vehicle’s undercarriage, this sensor measures the rail’s unique magnetic fingerprint while the vehicle is in motion to reliably determine the train’s speed and exact position. Copyright Image: Enotrac AG

The solution: Localization and odometry via the rail’s magnetic fingerprint

ITK Engineering teamed up with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to develop a purely onboard, precise localization solution for rail traffic.

Magnetic Railway Onboard Sensor: Functionalities

An onboard sensor system is attached to the underside of the train and measures the ferromagnetic properties along the rail.

Magnetic Railway Onboard Sensor: Applications

Zitatgeber Dr. Tobias Hofbauer
Copyright: Bosch Zünder / Martin Stollberg

The collaboration with KIT is going very well. We also achieved all our goals during trial runs. I am confident that the Magnetic Railway Onboard Sensor is an optimal solution for precise and safe localization in the rail sector.

Dr. Tobias Hofbaur, Program Manager Business Unit Rail
Copyright Image: Bosch Zünder / Martin Stollberg

The added value: High precision and availability

With this sensor, we offer the benefits of precision and availability for localization, for example, for ETCS Level 3, Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC). This onboard solution does not require any additional infrastructure, so there is no need to invest in outboard hardware or shut down tracks for maintenance. The Magnetic Railway Onboard Sensor (MAROS) can be used on all metal tracks worldwide and is impervious to weather and GNSS signal limitations. The sensor is currently in the proof-of-concept phase. Initial trial runs have been conducted and more extensive assessment campaigns are in the works. This localization solution should be ready for market launch by early 2025.



Track-selective localization safe up to SIL4

Cost efficiency in investment and maintenance


Independent of weather and GNSS signal

You also might be interested in this