Effective infrastructure for operational efficiency: a paradigm for the 21st century

The national rail network suffers from inadequacies in condition, alignment and capacity on major existing routes, while at the same time being unable to justify extension or re-alignment of routes to tap new freight sources. The position is exacerbated by the slow but inevitable shift of production focuses from traditional locations in major cities to greenfield sites well away from established rail facilities. The author would argue that this is an inevitable consequence of the relative inefficiency of existing routes coupled with lack of innovation in provision of new or improved track to meet the needs of freight generators at an affordable cost. A major factor has been an institutional insularity, with infrastructure being designed to engineering rather than commercial criteria, for operators unwilling to forgo over-endowment in exchange for efficiency. The essentials are for infrastructure at an affordable cost, designed to allow running of trains at an affordable cost, and capable of keeping up with competitive productivity gains. Indeed a tall order! Cases are presented demonstrating how, with the help of train simulation, engineering and operational aspects can be coordinated to achieve the necessary affordable and effective outcome. Specific aspects covered are: grade profile refinement on new and re-aligned lines to reduce construction costs without adverse effects on operations; use of speed ramping to reduce train times and fuel consumption; the impact of consistent track speeds on transit times; increasing track capacity with performance turnouts; referencing local infrastructure development to the global picture; extending the reach of the network at an affordable cost. The author illustrates how modified approaches to infrastructure and operations can point rail toward being a transport service provider with a vital future in the 21$1 century.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 8p ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: Railway technology for the 21st century: CORE 2000: conference on railway engineering, May 21-23 2000, Glenelg, South Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532021
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2014 11:51AM