Digital twins for managing railway maintenance and resilience

Sakdirat Kaewunruen, Jessada Sresakoolchai, Yi-hsuan Lin

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Background: To improve railway construction and maintenance, a novel digital twin that helps stakeholders visualize, share data, and monitor the progress and the condition during services is required. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a digitalization tool, which adopts an interoperable concept that benefits the whole life-cycle assessment (LCA) of the project. BIM’s applications create higher performance on cost efficiency and optimal time schedule, helping to reduce any unexpected consumption and waste over the life cycle of the infrastructure.

Methods: The digital twin will be developed using BIM embedded by the lifecycle analysis method. A case study based on Taipei Metro (TM) has been conducted to enhance the performance in operation and maintenance. Life cycles of TM will be assessed and complied with ISO14064. Operation and maintenance activities will be determined from official records provided by TM. Material flows, stocks, and potential risks in the LCA are analyzed using BIM quantification embedded by risk data layer obtained from TM. Greenhouse emission, cost consumption and expenditure will be considered for integration into the BIM.

Results: BIM demonstrated strong potential to enable a digital twin for managing railway maintenance and resilience. Based on the case study, a key challenge for BIM in Taiwan is the lack of insights, essential data, and construction standards, and thus the practical adoption of BIM for railway maintenance and resilience management is still in the design phase.

Conclusions: This study exhibits a practical paradigm of the digital twin for railway maintenance and resilience improvement. It will assist all stakeholders to engage in the design, construction, and maintenance enhancing the reduction in life cycle cost, energy consumption and carbon footprint. New insight based on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit system is highly valuable for railway industry globally by increasing the lifecycle sustainability and improving resilience of railway systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number91
JournalOpen Research Europe
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2021


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