Methods to Monitor and Evaluate the Deterioration of Track and its Components in a Railway in-Service: A Systemic Review

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  • University of Sao Paulo


When planning a new track or improving a track that is currently in-service, it is important to predict the probable rate of track deterioration as a function of the variables related to the train and its periodicity. This literature review reveals that there are currently no track deterioration methods available analyze the condition of a railway track. A prediction of deterioration requires accurate quantification of each track component and track geometry behavior and a better knowledge of interactions between components and geometry. This extended survey found more than 100 methods (or studies) related to track deterioration, including other literature reviews, but very few of these methods work when several track deterioration issues occur. This paper aims to build upon these, adopting a methodology for a systematic critical literature review that identifies, evaluates, and classifies these primary studies to predict the track deterioration according to criteria of assessment. Finally, it establishes the gaps and the challenges that will need to be overcome in future research.


Original languageEnglish
Article number118
JournalFrontiers in Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2020


  • permanent way, railway track, systematic literature review, track components, track degradation, track deterioration, track geometry, track monitoring