Life cycle cost analysis for the top-of-rail friction-modifier application: A case study from the Swedish iron ore line

The application of top-of-rail friction modifiers (TOR-FMs) is claimed by their manufacturers as a well-established technique for minimising the damages in the wheel–rail interface. There are various methods for applying friction modifiers at the wheel–rail interface, among which stationary wayside systems are recommended by TOR-FM manufacturers when a distance of a few kilometres is to be covered. An on-board system is recommended when an area of many kilometres has to be covered and focus is more on particular trains. Trafikverket in Sweden is considering the implementation of the TOR-FM technology on the iron ore line. Directly implementing such technology can be inappropriate and expensive, because the life cycle cost of a TOR-FM system has never been assessed for the conditions of the iron ore line. In the present study, the life cycle cost is calculated for wayside and on-board application systems, by taking inputs from the research performed on iron ore line. The present research has taken the iron ore line as a case study, but the results will be applicable to other infrastructure with similar conditions. The results have shown that the wayside equipment is economically unfeasible for the iron ore line. In this case, the life cycle cost increases by 4% when the friction modifier is applied on all curves with a radius smaller than 550 m and by 19% when the friction modifier is applied on all curves with a radius smaller than 850 m. The on-board system used in this study is shown to be economically feasible, as it has a significantly lower operation and maintenance cost than the wayside equipment. The reduction in the maintenance (grinding and rail replacement) cost when the cost of the friction modifier application is added is 27% when the friction modifier is applied on curves with a radius smaller than 550 m and 23% when the friction modifier is applied on curves with a radius smaller than 850 m.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01766189
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 5 2021 3:08PM