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Delft University of Technology - Articles and news items

Extending the lifetime of rail infrastructure by proper energy management

Issue 1 2010, Past issues / 28 January 2010 /

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.

A vital instrument in asset management

Issue 3 2005, Past issues / 23 August 2005 /

In the last two years the roll-out of the innovative weigh-in-motion (WIM) system Quo Vadis has taken place on the Dutch rail network. This system, developed by ProRail, Baas R&D and NedTrain Consulting, has been installed in 38 locations, allowing the measurement of 80% of traffic movements and 96% of ton kilometres. Identification of trains is functioning well, using systems that are also used for traffic control purposes.