Geometrical degradation of railway turnouts: A case study from a Swedish heavy haul railroad

Turnouts are critical components of track systems in terms of safety, operation and maintenance. Each year, a considerable part of the maintenance budget is spent on their inspection, maintenance and renewal. Applying a cost-effective maintenance strategy helps to achieve the best performance at the lowest possible cost. In Sweden, the geometry of turnouts is inspected at predefined time intervals using the STRIX / IMV 100 track measurement car. This study uses time series for the measured longitudinal level of turnouts on the Iron Ore Line (Malmbanan) in northern Sweden. Two different approaches are applied to analyse the geometrical degradation of turnouts due to dynamic forces generated by train traffic. In the first approach, the recorded measurements are adjusted at the crossing point and then the relative geometrical degradation of turnouts is evaluated by using two defined parameters, the absolute residual area and the maximum settlement, In the second approach, various geometry parameters are defined to estimate the degradation in each measurement separately. The growth rate of the longitudinal level degradation as a function of million gross tonnes / time is evaluated. The proposed methods are based on characterisation of the individual track measurements. The results facilitate correct decision-making in the maintenance process through understanding the degradation rate and defining the optimal maintenance thresholds for the planning process. In the long run, this can lead to a cost-effective maintenance strategy with optimised inspection and maintenance intervals.


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  • Accession Number: 01535417
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2014 10:47AM