Healthy tracks mean healthy operations
1 August 2013 • Author(s): Michele Mario Elia, CEO, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI)
Railway diagnostics – in other words a set of activities used to detect the ‘health conditions’ of rail infrastructure – is today an irreplaceable tool to optimise the maintenance of railway networks. It is a crucial area for railway network providers because it guarantees operating safety, prevents failures and directs both human and technological maintenance resources where necessary in an efficient way.
For a few decades now, all major worldwide railway companies have been operating mobile diagnostics tools – from small main – tenance trolleys to trains – which monitor the line in typical operating conditions and are equipped with the latest technological systems to detect, process and analyse data on the infrastructure.
By incrementing the development of diagnostics, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) – a company of Gruppo FS Italiane, the Italian network manager – has optimised costs and minimised resource waste by programming maintenance actions. As a matter of fact, the field of ‘on-condition’ maintenance has been enlarged, reducing cyclic maintenance to the minimum.