Using maintenance optimisation to reduce delay minutes caused by points failure

In 1999 there were approx. 900,000 delay minutes attributed to points failure, representing about 10% of the delays on UK railways with a cost of #18M. Structured maintenance optimisation, using techniques such as reliability-centred maintenance (RCM) including zonal and environmental analysis, techniques long established in the aviation industry, can improve the reliability of points and their motors thus reducing delay minutes. The reliability of specific points is a consequence of location, operational mode, design and maintenance activities. Useful historic information which allows sufficiently focused performance analysis is often not available, and a pragmatic approach is often found to be necessary. It is important that problem areas are fully understood, detailed attention to design, location or operational problems are required for the revised maintenance schedule to improve reliability. Using considerable experience of maintenance optimisation in the aviation industry, the technology and techniques were transferred to power stations, shipping, water treatment plants, rail infrastructure and rolling stock. Based on the analysis of a major rail junction, this paper presents a maintenance optimisation templating process for points. A baseline maintenance package for each type of equipment is developed targeting maintenance where it is most required. This should then be rolled out to other junctions using the templating process which takes into account diverse operation, differing failure modes, usage and consequences of failure to quickly develop a preventive maintenance routine for each set of points. For the covering abstract see ITRD E125214.


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  • Accession Number: 01011773
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-947644-43-1
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2005 3:30PM