Optimal prognostic maintenance policy for railway track systems using rolling contact fatigue data

Fateme Dinmohammad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Railway tracks are one of the most important assets in rail transport that are subject to very high stresses and have to be made of very high-quality steel alloy. The dominant form of track degradation is Rolling Contact Fatigue (RCF) which occurs mainly due to cyclic loading. If RCF is not controlled by maintenance operations, it will result in intensive correction works, service disruption, and even train derailment. In order to reduce such negative consequences and improve the quality of transport services, the railway organizations are moving towards using prognostic analytics approaches for the optimisation of maintenance and repair actions. In this paper, we investigate a cost-optimal prognostic maintenance policy for a railway track system by incorporating RCF data. The mechanism of RCF is analyzed by means of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and the fatigue propagation behavior is described by the Paris-Erdogan power law function. The length of the cracks over time is also modelled by a stochastic gamma process and its parameters are estimated using the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) method. An optimization model is proposed to determine fixed time interval and/or Million Gross Tons (MGT) achieving the best possible balance between non-destructive tests and emergency maintenance. The proposed model is applied to support the maintenance decision-making for a conventional rail track system 60E1 in steel grade R350HT. The results show that the use of the proposed prognostic maintenance allows a significant reduction of the costs compared to the strategy when maintenance is conducted on an as-needed basis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafety and Reliability - Safe Societies in a Changing World
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of ESREL 2018, June 17-21, 2018, Trondheim, Norway
EditorsStein Haugen, Anne Barros, Coen van Gulijk, Trond Kongsvik, Jan Erik Vinnem
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781351174664
ISBN (Print)9780815386827
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event28th International European Safety and Reliability Conference 2018 - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 17 Jun 201821 Jun 2018


Conference28th International European Safety and Reliability Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleESREL 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal prognostic maintenance policy for railway track systems using rolling contact fatigue data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this