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Infrastructure Robustness for Railway Systems

Volume 12, Number 3, May 2016 - Paper 5  - pp. 249-264


1Division of Operation and Maintenance Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 97187, Luleå, Sweden.
2Sweco Rail AB, 97324, Luleå, Sweden

(Received on January 11, 2016; Revised on March 28, 2016)


In the railway industry, most maintenance approaches are based on certain “specified conditions”, e.g., RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) and Risk. But the reality is more complex. Instead of the assumed conditions, “unfavorable conditions” may occur from either natural or operational causes, where robustness can be an effective approach. To adequately consider “unfavorable conditions” and to reduce “uncertainties” in railway maintenance, this study conducts a holistic examination of railway infrastructure robustness. It gives an overview of robustness and discusses some relevant studies. It then develops a new road map for railway infrastructure robustness, including a novel definition and a new framework of robustness management, based on continuous improvement. It explores the opportunities of applying the road map to the infrastructure of railway systems and outlines some practical concerns and remaining challenges for future research. The results provide guidelines for other research into robust infrastructure in railway maintenance.


References: 47

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