State of the art for European track maintenance and renewal logistics

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Adopting best practice in the field of track maintenance and renewal logistics is crucial to achieving low costs for Europe's railway; but, European practices vary considerably between infrastructure managers (IMs). This paper describes research carried out to try and establish the current state of the art for logistics, as a first step to identifying European best practice. Data on existing logistics practices were gathered using two questionnaires: one web-based and featuring questions, which were quantitative in nature, and the other covering qualitative questions, which were dealt with in face-to-face interviews. Data provided by the questionnaires suggest that the current state of the art involves centralized purchasing of components by IMs and use of call-off contracts for procurement. Maintenance work is predominantly carried out by in-house staff, but renewals tend to be let to contractors. Work is mainly carried out during 'white periods' in the timetable, when no trains are running; blockades are rarely used. Finally, recycling of components is seen as important from the point-of-view of sustainability, but IMs are finding it hard to make the business case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-326
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • maintenance
  • track
  • Europe
  • renewal
  • logistics


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