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Life cycle management for railway bridge assets

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Dwayne Nielsen, Dhamodharan RamanDhamodharan Raman, Gopinath ChattopadhyayGopinath Chattopadhyay
Railway bridges are long-life assets that deteriorate with age, use and poor maintenance practices. The rail industry is suffering from ever-increasing maintenance costs which are exacerbated by increased rail traffic and reduced maintenance opportunities. In addition, bridge managers are expected to maintain their assets at specified performance levels while enduring budget cuts and resource constraints. There is an increasing demand for bulk material transport leading to increased axle loads pushing bridge structures to their design loading limit. Making informed decisions for cost-effective condition assessment, maintenance, repairs, upgrades and replacements, often with inadequate and sometimes inaccurate data is a major challenge in the management of railway bridges. Due to these challenges, infrastructure planners require additional time to plan and prepare maintenance budgets, analyse, interpret and make decisions for bridge asset life management. Many of the bridge management systems utilised in Australia are generic and analyse faults at the network level. In many cases, a detailed analysis of individual elements will provide a better understanding of root causes of faults and allow for more informed decision-making on bridge life enhancement. A practical framework for life cycle management of Australian concrete and steel railway bridges was developed in this research. This framework is based on life cycle cost analysis and consists of bridge assessment, maintenance optimisation and implementation. The outcome of this research is a faster, more accurate system that improves the informed decision-making capability for life cycle cost management of railway bridges.

Funding

Category 4 - CRC Research Income

History

Volume

227

Issue

5

Start Page

570

End Page

581

Number of Pages

12

ISSN

0954-4097

Location

UK

Publisher

Sage

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Railway Engineering; Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F : Journal of rail and rapid transit.