Michaël Steenbergen - Articles and news items
Current design philosophies of railway tracks are based on the conception of a railway system as a statically loaded system. This is directly translated into two classical principles: load spreading and stiffness reduction in downward direction. A ‘layered’ track design results in order to transfer the enormous wheel-rail contact stresses to the subsoil. However, the result is that track design is tuned on the short-term system response. In order to optimise the long-term behaviour of the system, the railway track must be conceived and designed as a dynamically loaded system, with due attention to the energy ‘streams’ through the system. Degradation processes are governed by energy conversion mechanisms, which are time-dependent. Therefore, the cyclic dynamic response of the system must be considered. This perspective will lead to decreased degradation rates, less maintenance, a better track quality permanence and lower Life Cycle Costs.
Delft University of Technology has developed new technical regulation standards for the geometrical deviations of metallurgic rail welds in The Netherlands, in cooperation with the Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail.