Conference Publications


A New Method to Evaluate Track Conditions over Time

Authors (PARTNER)

N. Bosso, A. Gugliotta and N. Zampieri (POLITO)

Name and/or number of magazine/newspaper/journal…

Proceedings of the First International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance, J. Pombo, (Editor), Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom, paper 47, 2012.

ISSN: 1759-3433



Track damage and its evolution depend on the vehicle track interaction and different vehicles have a different impact on the track. Track maintenance, in order to be effective, should be planned considering the impact of the vehicles running on that track. Modern maintenance procedures include an inspection process that allows definition of position and typology of the defects and the timely activation of appropriate corrective actions. A possibility to improve the monitoring process can be the use of a statistical approach [1] in order to optimize the inspection schedule on specific sections of the track depending on the frequency of defects detected in the past in that section of track [2]. This method can be important because different sections of track are subject to different track defects with different damage rates. A statistical approach is efficient only if the activity along the considered sections is homogeneous with respect to time. Furthermore a statistical approach requires the storage of large amounts of data and their computation.

This paper proposes a different approach in order to improve monitoring scheduling for track inspection which allows the consideration of activity variation on that track. The idea is to create numerical models of the different vehicles that usually run on that track, those models, designed using multibody codes are used to analyze the different impact of the vehicles on the different sections of the track [3]. Since each vehicle typology has usually a specific mission profile on that track, it can be assumed that the vehicles always brake and accelerate in the same point of the track. Subject to this assumption it is possible to define for each vehicle type an "impact profile" for each section of the track. Of course the most critical issue is to define the relationship between the "impact profile", which represents the unitary damage contribution for the considered vehicle typology, and the damage level required to plan an inspection. This relationship can be refined only after direct experience with the track, but once the relationship is defined, the system can be used automatically.


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