Development of a common set of European high-level track maintenance cost categories

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The track maintenance and renewal cost categories used by infrastructure managers (IMs) have an important role to play in pricing transport infrastructure access, improving the efficiency of IM performance, and helping to focus efforts to reduce track costs. However, very little work has been done so far to identify a common set of European cost categories, capable of supporting progress in these areas. This paper describes an analysis of the IMs' existing cost categories, carried out to identify those accounting for the largest proportion of the annual maintenance budget and to develop a common European set of cost categories to support future pricing and efficiency work. The study found five maintenance activities, which account for over 80 per cent of the overall annual track maintenance expenditure, and on which further research should be focused to achieve cost reductions. These were, in the descending order of importance: switches and crossings, inspection, rail changing, tamping, and re-sleepering. It also identified the following categories as the basis for future recording of maintenance costs by IMs: track, inspection, geometry, grinding, welding, drainage, subgrade, periodic, and rail lubrication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • maintenance
  • Europe
  • cost


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