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Reducing maintenance costs for ballasted track: evidence from Britain

Reducing maintenance costs for ballasted track: evidence from Britain
Reducing maintenance costs for ballasted track: evidence from Britain
Over the last twenty years, the railways in Britain have seen rapid growth, with patronage doubling and the level of train service increasing by 50%. However,these successes have also led to challenges. In particular real unit costs are estimated to have increased by 50%, with particularly marked increases in infrastructure renewal and enhancement costs. Against this background, the University of Southampton have been leading the Track 21 and Track to the Future projects, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

These projects are assessing how to make ballasted track systems more durable given higher traffic levels, and how to reduce the costs of maintenance and renewal. Track 21 considered a number of engineering interventions of which this paper focusses on one, Under Sleeper Pads (USPs). The cost implications of this intervention are assessed for the South West Main Line using an industry-specific model, VTISM (Vehicle Track Interaction Strategic Model), adapted in two ways. First, the results of laboratory experiments from specialist test rigs are incorporated into the model. Secondly, the wider effects of increased reliability, improved ride quality and reduced vibration are also considered within a cost benefit analysis framework. It is found that USPs can lead to substantial financial savings and, depending on assumptions concerning noise impacts, are likely to have substantial wider social benefits.
CBA, Maintenance costs, Under Sleeper Pads
Ortega Hortelano, Alejandro
a950aa2d-c35a-47d3-8219-12446fc7eaf3
Blainey, Simon
ee6198e5-1f89-4f9b-be8e-52cc10e8b3bb
Preston, John
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b
Ortega Hortelano, Alejandro
a950aa2d-c35a-47d3-8219-12446fc7eaf3
Blainey, Simon
ee6198e5-1f89-4f9b-be8e-52cc10e8b3bb
Preston, John
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b

Ortega Hortelano, Alejandro, Blainey, Simon and Preston, John (2016) Reducing maintenance costs for ballasted track: evidence from Britain. Comprail Conference: 15th International Conference on Railway Engineering Design and Operation, Spain. 19 - 21 Jul 2016. (doi:10.2495/TDI-V1-N3-318-328).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Over the last twenty years, the railways in Britain have seen rapid growth, with patronage doubling and the level of train service increasing by 50%. However,these successes have also led to challenges. In particular real unit costs are estimated to have increased by 50%, with particularly marked increases in infrastructure renewal and enhancement costs. Against this background, the University of Southampton have been leading the Track 21 and Track to the Future projects, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

These projects are assessing how to make ballasted track systems more durable given higher traffic levels, and how to reduce the costs of maintenance and renewal. Track 21 considered a number of engineering interventions of which this paper focusses on one, Under Sleeper Pads (USPs). The cost implications of this intervention are assessed for the South West Main Line using an industry-specific model, VTISM (Vehicle Track Interaction Strategic Model), adapted in two ways. First, the results of laboratory experiments from specialist test rigs are incorporated into the model. Secondly, the wider effects of increased reliability, improved ride quality and reduced vibration are also considered within a cost benefit analysis framework. It is found that USPs can lead to substantial financial savings and, depending on assumptions concerning noise impacts, are likely to have substantial wider social benefits.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 July 2016
Venue - Dates: Comprail Conference: 15th International Conference on Railway Engineering Design and Operation, Spain, 2016-07-19 - 2016-07-21
Keywords: CBA, Maintenance costs, Under Sleeper Pads
Organisations: Civil Maritime & Env. Eng & Sci Unit, Transportation Group, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391238
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391238
PURE UUID: 083cc89a-7af9-4097-a41e-3e058bb79c60
ORCID for Alejandro Ortega Hortelano: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5224-5363
ORCID for Simon Blainey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4249-8110
ORCID for John Preston: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6866-049X

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Date deposited: 07 Apr 2016 12:35
Last modified: 19 Nov 2019 01:45

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