Railway infrastructure maintenance

Examples of application
Voie ferrée

(c) Mihails Jershovs

Geospatial Dashboards provide an immediate geospatial view of critical data and also provide a complete solution for planning, management and control of infrastructure maintenance. Using key performance indicators (KPI), it becomes possible to more easily make strategic decisions.
Different KPI tied to the planning of infrastructure maintenance may be defined as below for railway maintenance. However, these same indicators can also be defined to measure the railway infrastructure maintenance as pavement, a network of canals, docks, etc.
Type of indicators KPIs:
    • Number of Defects: Counting of the number of defects on the infrastructure. In a railway context, these defects can be presented by type: sub-gauge, over-spacing, rail wear, clogging. In fact, the Track Evaluation Car of the Canadian National Railway (CNR) can measure approximately 25 different defects with its sensors during a passage on the track. The integration of these records in a geographic information system (GIS) allows to to locate these defects and to insure their count.
    • Defects Length: The defects length deducted from their location. This is used to establish the damage ratio compared to the length of the track.
    • Number of Maintenance: Count of maintenance interventions by type. In a railway context: replacement of rail, joins, connector, correction of the layout, the alignment, the leveling or compacting the ballast.
    • Length of the work: Length of the work derived from the location of the maintenance work. Used for establishing the ratio of repair compared to the total length of the track.
    • Gravity Code: A gravity code can be defined to describe the state of the defect (e.g. from fair to urgent)
    • Priority code: A priority code can qualify what are the areas that will undergo a maintenance priority (e.g. from monitoring to very urgent).
Such a system developed for the Montreal Port Authority allows to quickly get a general picture of the required information (e.g. by sector of the port) and the detailed picture (by dock, by channel, by track segment and by track subsegment). The space and time analysis of these indicators on the state of the installations is not easy because it is generally the combination of several indicators, in the same location or over a long period of time, that provide significant data to justify an intervention. Eventually, the addition of indicators related to the solicitation of the track will complete the picture by providing balanced information on the likely causes of wear in certain sectors.
For more information on the application of rail maintenance for the Montreal Port Authority installations, see the conference presented on April 12, 2011 at the Congress of the Quebec’s Association for transport and roads
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