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Railway infrastructure maintenance - a survey of planning problems and conducted research
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Communications and Transport Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1643-6365
2015 (English)In: Transportation Research Procedia / [ed] Bruno F. Santos, Gonçalo H.A. Correia and Maarten Kroesen, Elsevier, 2015, Vol. 10, 574-583 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Railway infrastructure maintenance consumes very large budgets, is complicated to organize and has numerous challenging planning problems. Specifically, the coordination with train traffic operation is of crucial importance. Despite this, little work has been conducted in the operations research area regarding infrastructure maintenance as compared to train traffic operations.

The aim of this paper is to give a comprehensive overview of the railway infrastructure maintenance field, the planning problems it contains and the research that has been conducted so far. We present (i) a catalogue of planning problems, based on a series of interviews with experts and planners representing all major stake holders in Sweden and (ii) an extensive literature overview covering more than 60 research references published until 2014 regarding the use of mathematical methods and optimization for solving such planning problems. From this we extract some statistics and a mapping which identify the major lines of work as well as future research possibilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 10, 574-583 p.
, Transportation Research Procedia, ISSN 2352-1465 ; 10
Keyword [en]
Maintenance planning, Operations research, Railway infrastructure
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121597DOI: 10.1016/j.trpro.2015.09.011ISI: 000380503900059OAI: diva2:857144
18th Euro Working Group on Transportation, EWGT 2015, Delft, The Netherlands, 14-16 July 2015
Efficient planning of railway infrastructure maintenance
Available from: 2015-09-28 Created: 2015-09-28 Last updated: 2016-09-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Towards concurrent planning of railway maintenance and train services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards concurrent planning of railway maintenance and train services
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Efficiency in the public and freight transportation systems is of crucial importance for a society. Railways can offer high capacity and relatively low environmental impact, but require that several technical systems are tuned and operate well. Specifically there is a very tight interdependency between infrastructure and trains, which distinguishes railways from other transportation modes. Thus maintenance of all the subsystems is needed.

Railways do also have some specific and complicating properties that influence maintenance and operations: Most activities need exclusive access to the infrastructure and - due to the geographic layout, safety requirements and partitioning of the subsystems - large portions of the network will be affected by each activity. Furthermore, several organisational units and resources are involved, ranging from governments and regulatory bodies, over operators and contractors to suppliers, technical experts and work forces. Thus railway maintenance is complicated to organize and consumes large budgets.

This thesis treats the planning and scheduling problems that concern railway infrastructure maintenance and the coordination with train traffic. Mathematical methods and optimization are studied and used, with the aim of advancing the knowledge about models for solving such problems.

The thesis contains three papers and presents: (1) A survey regarding railway maintenance activities, the major planning problems and the conducted research so far; (2) A model for quantitative comparison and assessment of competing capacity requests from train operations and maintenance; (3) An optimization model for integrated scheduling of both maintenance windows and train services.

The work can be helpful for practitioners as well as researchers who want to take further steps in this interesting and challenging area. Based on the results that have been obtained, future research directions are presented that may lead towards practical use of concurrent planning of railway maintenance and train services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 50 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1746
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128780 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-128780 (DOI)LIU-TEK-LIC-2016 (Local ID)978-91-7685-774-8 (Print) (ISBN)LIU-TEK-LIC-2016 (Archive number)LIU-TEK-LIC-2016 (OAI)
2016-06-09, SP34, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Efficient planning of railway infrastructure maintenance
Swedish Transport Administration, TRV 2013/55886
Available from: 2016-09-05 Created: 2016-05-30 Last updated: 2016-09-05Bibliographically approved

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