A MODEL OF THE PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF RAIL IN MAIN LINE TRACK

The widespread adoption of heavy cars has dramatically reduced the span and predictability of rail service life. It has become increasingly apparent that, in the absence of reliable empirical evidence, rail life estimates must be based upon an array of traffic and track variables, and must be both route- and service-specific. In view of the complex interactions of wear mechanisms acting on the rail, computer simulation holds the greatest potential for rail life estimation. This paper reports the development of such a model for engineering decision and costing applications. The model converts a traffic mix over a specific track section into a signature of contact and internal stresses in the rail, then uses theoretical/empirical wear models to estimate the rate at which the rail metal will be abraded and will deform plastically, and the rate at which transverse defects will initiate and propagate. On the basis of these rates and specified condemnable limits, a rail life is projected. The service life penalty resulting from the conveyance of an element of traffic over a given track segment is converted to a charge reflecting the "consumption" of the rail asset. Consequently the model can be used to estimate incremental costs for many applications. Similarly, as the model accounts for the effects of a large number of variables, economic benefits attributable to track design or equipment changes can be assigned. Details of the wear models used in the programme are presented. Examples include comparisons of predicted versus actual rail life realisations on two Canadian heavy haul rail lines sample costing and engineering applications.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 1-8

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00303716
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Session 415 Pap B.6 Conf Paper
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 11 1980 12:00AM