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Adapting railways to provide resilience and sustainability

Adapting railways to provide resilience and sustainability
Adapting railways to provide resilience and sustainability
The reality of anthropogenic climate change is increasingly apparent, with significant implications for railway and other infrastructure networks. As a transport mode with a relatively small environmental impact, rail has a potentially valuable role to play in climate change mitigation. However, this potential can only be realised if railways are adapted to withstand the effects of the increasingly extreme weather associated with climate change predictions.

This requirement is widely acknowledged by government and the railway industry, and the required responses to the specific potential effects of climate change are well-known and understood. However, a review of the literature indicates a need for a decision support system to prioritise the interventions required for adaptation in the face of considerable uncertainty about both the frequency and scale of future extreme weather events, and the nature and levels of future passenger and freight traffic on the railways.

This paper proposes a seven-step framework for the classification of the railway network, the assessment of the economic value of traffic using the network (and thus the economic costs of weather-related disruption), the identification of appropriate remedial measures and their costs, and thus the prioritisation of these measures by means of cost-benefit analysis.
railway systems, sustainability, infrastructure planning
1478-4629
225-234
Armstrong, John
5fafa91e-39c1-4d1d-a331-564558aaa638
Preston, Jonathan
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b
Hood, Ian
01c8fc0b-3f36-47d8-8cc1-072b0b2623da
Armstrong, John
5fafa91e-39c1-4d1d-a331-564558aaa638
Preston, Jonathan
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b
Hood, Ian
01c8fc0b-3f36-47d8-8cc1-072b0b2623da

Armstrong, John, Preston, Jonathan and Hood, Ian (2017) Adapting railways to provide resilience and sustainability. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability, 170 (4), 225-234. (doi:10.1680/jensu.15.00017).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The reality of anthropogenic climate change is increasingly apparent, with significant implications for railway and other infrastructure networks. As a transport mode with a relatively small environmental impact, rail has a potentially valuable role to play in climate change mitigation. However, this potential can only be realised if railways are adapted to withstand the effects of the increasingly extreme weather associated with climate change predictions.

This requirement is widely acknowledged by government and the railway industry, and the required responses to the specific potential effects of climate change are well-known and understood. However, a review of the literature indicates a need for a decision support system to prioritise the interventions required for adaptation in the face of considerable uncertainty about both the frequency and scale of future extreme weather events, and the nature and levels of future passenger and freight traffic on the railways.

This paper proposes a seven-step framework for the classification of the railway network, the assessment of the economic value of traffic using the network (and thus the economic costs of weather-related disruption), the identification of appropriate remedial measures and their costs, and thus the prioritisation of these measures by means of cost-benefit analysis.

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Accepted/In Press date: 30 December 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 July 2017
Published date: August 2017
Keywords: railway systems, sustainability, infrastructure planning
Organisations: Transportation Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385671
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385671
ISSN: 1478-4629
PURE UUID: a6e6b571-fa97-4545-813a-254224029400
ORCID for Jonathan Preston: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6866-049X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Jan 2016 09:35
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:45

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