The Institution of Permanent Way Engineers (India) has called for papers for the forthcoming International Technical Seminar of I.P.W.E. (India) with the Topic Global Trends in Track Technologies and Fast Paced Construction, held 20th July, 2017, Venue: Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi-110003.   Presentations by foreign Experts, Consultants, the Trade, Industry and other stake holders have been welcomed.

The following Technical Railway Paper is a contribution for the discussion.

The global trend in Rail Track Technology is governed and ruled by Overall Life-Cycle Costs Considerations. The demand is to bring Initial High Track Quality on the Rail Roads. World Class Designs, Specification and Standards for High Track Quality are already well known amongst Indian Track Engineering Experts.

Track Quality starts with well bearing Substructure Constituents and with Drainage. A Track is as good as what is underneath and how Water can be taken out and kept away from the Track Bed.

High Track Quality is achieved through the deployment of Heavy-Duty On-Track Machinery. In the last decade many Innovations in Heavy-Duty Track Machineries have been achieved, as revealed at the last International Exhibition iaf, held at Münster, Germany, May 30th to June 01st 2017. Together with Mr. J.S. Mundrey the author had the privilege to attend this top class event.

Many Railways make nowadays use of the benefits of Elastic Under-Sleeper Pads laced on the sole of Concrete Sleepers. The “fit-and-forget” Pandrol Fast-Clip System is superseding worldwide the Pandrol-Type Elastic Rail Fastenings.

Long milled and factory Flash-Butt welded long Rail Panels of High Steel Quality  are prerequisites for higher Speed and make Ultrasonic Testing on Rail Tracks superfluous. In-service failures of Rail Welds can be reduced by robotic Flash-But Welding of long Rail Panels at site. Well supervised proper handling, loading, transport and unloading are essential.

Fiber reinforced Foamed Polyurethane (FFU) has become on several Railways an innovative substitute for timber, where the elastic properties, easy processing and lower weight of Wooden Sleepers are still needed as on bridges, on stiffness-transitions and for tailor made Switches and Crossings.

Turnouts/Switches are the main cost-drivers. The Manufacturer Shwihag and Vossloh are the front-runners in innovative Turnout/Switch Technology resulting in lower maintenance costs.

Friction Management on curvatures include Rail-Profiling achieved by Target Rail Grinding and running Rail Corner Lubrication and/or Top-of-Rail Lubrication.

The Life-Span of Rails is increased by preventive Rail Grinding. With high tractive force Traction through three phase asynchronous AC traction-motors (IGTB Technology) Rail Head-Check Problems are on increase. In order to prevent the growth of rail-surface defects to become cracks in the rails, the global trend is to grind as a counter-measurement the rails in intervals (Preventive Grinding) with Heavy-Duty On-Track Machinery.

Modern Railways prepare a Status Report of the Conditions of their full network with regard to their assets behavior in order to provide correlations with output quantities and the required financial recourses for reinvestment of assets and infrastructure and in maintenance. Such an audit informs how healthy and excellent the system is and behaves.

Modern Railways shift from reactive to proactive Track Maintenance Strategies under Overall Life-Cycle Costs Considerations making use of Train based in-Service Monitoring for Target Planning of Maintenance.

Condition Monitoring, predictive Maintenance Strategies, Target Planning of Maintenance and proactive Maintenance are changing the way in which increasingly busy modern Railways are managed around the globe. With more Sensors fitted to both rolling stocks and infrastructure assets, the key challenge is turning the data into insights, that will support improved reliability and availability.


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