This SP will deal with maintenance optimisation, linked to track monitoring (inspection). Targeted, cost-optimised maintenance can only be achieved if as well as maintenance strategies being in place to suit given set of needs, there are technical means of establishing as accurately as possible the extend of track maintenance needed. Following question will be answered: what is the economical optimum for maintenance: when, where, how much and how to maintain. Maintenance research will include:

  • study of optimal procurement of materials (use of right materials and adopted QA program);
  • study of optimal control of damaging impacts: e.g. detection of wheelflats (link with rolling stock) and rail failures;
  • study of optimal monitoring of rail wear and of fatigue condition of track, including new innovative methods, sensors and systems;
  • study of optimal track maintenance, including rail maintenance techniques such as grinding, recharging in curves, lubrication and rail replacement.

The objectives of SP2 are to obtain:

  • innovative track renewal methods, which are at least 30% faster then the classical methods, especially for embedded tram tracks;
  • optimised refurbishment methods for rails in curves and for special trackwork, extending their normal life with at least a factor two;
  • a review of the existing maintenance strategies, those used by the end-users and those described in the "APTA" track maintenance standards in order to reduce the maintenance costs by at least 20%, combined with an improved track quality and improved RAMS performance: establishment of a harmonised European track maintenance standard;
  • extend of track maintenance needed: its quantified effect on LCC, comfort and safety;
  • optimal maintenance strategies for existing tracks, including procurement of components, control of damaging impacts, monitoring and maintenance techniques (preventive and predictive maintenance schemes).

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