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A model to estimate infrastructure damage costs for different train types
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Dwayne Nielsen, Maksym SpiryaginMaksym Spiryagin, Colin ColeColin Cole
Despite rail transport being known as the most energy efficient method of land transport, rail has mostly been losing its market share of general freight transport. Australian railways have an opportunity to improve their performance and meet the challenges of the 21st century by improving the energy efficiency of services, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving distribution networks and providing generally lower transport costs. A particular challenge is older infrastructure and networks with lower utilisation. It is generally understood that the geometry of railway track constructed in the 1800’s, (including inter alia, numerous small radius curves, steeper grades and substandard formation) would require additional maintenance funding and needs more frequent track maintenance possessions to ensure the track is maintained at the required standard. However the level of maintenance would be dependent on the volume and types of train configurations travelling on the network. As each train type applies a different, quantifiable level of track damage for a given track geometry, and as the cost to repair/maintain this track is known, then it is possible to develop a transparent cost model to estimate the incremental infrastructure costs for each train type. Therefore, a wear/damage model is proposed based on data derived from train simulations and track degradation analysis. This model provides railway infrastructure managers with an indication of their expected maintenance budget based on train types (parameters, configurations), operational requirements (volumes, speeds) and the local track geometry (track layout, ballast/formation parameters and rail profile).