Trackbed implications for renewal and maintenance strategies on heavy haul routes

Trackbed failure is a major contributory factor of track quality deterioration and subsequent maintenance or renewal. However experience would suggest that Track Maintenance and Renewals (TMR) are designed and implemented to satisfy operational and funding limitations rather than engineering need. This approach sometimes results in whole life costs not being optimised. Ideally in order to optimise TMR intervention, it’s interdependence with trackbed, drainage condition and historic track quality deterioration needs to be understood. In this way, decision making can be more geared towards whole life costs. Total Route Evaluation (TRE) is a network level approach used to understand trackbed failure mechanisms, continued deterioration and its link with track quality deterioration. The approach allows optimisation of current intervention strategies on a network level or design of detailed renewal options at maintenance liability sites. The key to this process is the understanding of residual ballast life, prevalent failure mechanisms and the success of the range of TMR interventions at the various stages in an assets life/condition. TRE are bespoke to the infrastructure being studied but will typically comprise desk study, High Speed Ground Probing Radar, intrusive trackbed investigation, materials testing and analysis. This analysis provides key indices for use in optimising maintenance and renewal decision making. Several case study TRE are discussed in this paper with particular focus on research performed into residual ballast life and the effects of trackbed condition on ballast cleaning operations. These case studies demonstrate the importance of understanding trackbed layer construction and in-service ballast gradation/condition to allow targeting of ballast cleaning operations in critical track locations.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 18p.
  • Monograph Title: AusRAIL PLUS 2010, the rail plan: where? 23-24 November 2010, Perth, WA, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01516957
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 4 2014 8:00PM