A track ballast maintenance and inspection model for a rail network

The ride quality for passengers is governed by the geometry of railway track, and should it deteriorate to an extreme state, it can become a safety concern with potential derailment. A number of different factors determine the geometry, among which is the condition of the ballast. In order to control the condition of the ballast, several options exist, including manual intervention, tamping and stoneblowing. Ballast condition is monitored implicitly by measuring the geometry of the railway lines using a specially equipped measurement train. The deterioration process of the railway geometry can be understood by analyzing the data collected by this train. Mathematical models can then be constructed, using this understanding, which take account of the possible maintenance and renewal options to predict the track state. Decisions to be made on the best or optimal strategy for maintenance and renewal of the ballast are enabled by this model. A model of the track maintenance process for a railway network is described in this article. The model is formulated using a Petri net, owing to their flexibility, and combines the deterioration, maintenance and inspection processes for a railway network containing a number of regions. There are a limited number of maintenance machines in the network and the maintenance in each region is organised independently. The model allows for opportunistic maintenance to be analyzed, as it also takes into account the fact that the maintenance of track sections with severe levels of ballast deterioration must take priority over all other maintenance in the network.

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  • Accession Number: 01493625
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 18 2013 1:54PM