What was the issue?

Levels of track maintenance are dependent on the volume and types of train configurations operating on a network.

A cost allocation model could be developed based on track damage caused by train forces for different train types that can be applied to any combination of track geometry, train configuration, axle loads, train speed, train volumes and track condition. This would then produce a track maintenance cost model based on expected train forces, providing railway infrastructure managers with an indication of their expected maintenance budget.

Identification of track geometries that are significantly impacted from high train forces could further improve track design processes, and subsequent development could lead to an objective costing model for third party access to rail infrastructure.

What was done?

  • Literature review
  • Survey of infrastructure and rolling stock cost allocation models and data availability
  • Draft methodology to develop a costing model.

Further Research

Further research has followed on from this initial review. The Track Structures vs. Train Dynamic and Load Effects research project will attempt to research and quantify the additional track maintenance efforts required by means of a comparison process between existing DC locomotives, currently in operation on heavy haul routes, and modern AC locomotives with higher levels of traction. This research is due to be completed late 2019.