Risk-informed sustainable asset management of railway tracks

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Railway track infrastructure asset management is a challenging problem with added values on safety, society and environment. With railways serving as a key sustainable mode of transportation for passengers and freight, the industry is facing an increasing demand to expand its capacity, availability and speed, resulting in faster deterioration of the ageing railway track infrastructure. Given the constrained maintenance budgets and the environmental challenges posed by climate change, railway asset managers have to identify economically and environmentally justifiable track maintenance strategies without compromising on safety. To this end, this paper proposes a risk-informed approach to arrive at sustainable railway track maintenance strategies while considering the associated track maintenance costs and impacts on train operation (environmental emissions and risk of derailments). Monte Carlo simulation is employed to address data uncertainties associated with track quality data, the costs and benefits of track maintenance and train operation. The proposed approach is successfully applied to the heavy-haul railway lines in Sweden and Australia to compare some alternative maintenance strategies and identify the sustainable one.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalInfrastructure Asset Management
Issue number1
Early online date3 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • infrastructure planning maintenance & inspection sustainability


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