Managing the track asset through wheel maintenance

Cost effective management of expensive rail track assets depends on reliable data about current and projected traffic on the track. One source of data is the wheel impact detector (WID) which monitors the forces transmitted into track from passing trains. Because WIDs are usually located on heavily trafficked lines, the huge volumes of data generated can be a rich source of information not only about high-impact track forces, but also about changing patterns of traffic characteristics and the influence of wheel maintenance practices on track deterioration. The paper describes the outcomes of an analysis of seven years of WID data from three major heavy haul track owners. The data shows how different operators’ practices greatly affected the peak impact forces produced. One of the sites carried 35 tonne axle load (TAL) wagons but the peak impact forces were much less than those at a different track owner’s site where only 25 TAL wagons operated. At another site, axle loads increased by 35% over time, but changed practice meant that peak impact forces were actually reduced. The paper describes the implications of these outcomes for the track owner in terms of track maintenance and setting access charges. The paper also describes how this type of analysis enables forecasting of likely track forces into the future as traffic volumes, speeds and axle loads change.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 7p. ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: Rail - the core of integrated transport: CORE 2012: conference on railway engineering, 7-10 September 2012, Perth, Western Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532136
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2014 11:57AM