The TEG is working on: The engineering of Asset management for existing track and S&C, Take initiative to develop new and enhanced track solutions and methods, Active influence on European codes and standards, Handle environmental questions, Active work concerning interactions from vehicles , Handle upcoming questions.
The aim of the TEG is comparing existing practice among the participating Infrastructure Managers and identifying the existing correlations between on-site and laboratory results.
The project aims to define harmonised LTR testing methods for both track and laboratory conditions. The assessment and control of lateral track resistance is a safety-related issue that needs to be perfectly understood and mastered.
The project will consist of four parts with the main following objectives:
1) Unloaded Lateral Track Resistance in track
On track measurements will be carried out in several sites of some participants’ networks.
The different methods and their results will be associated with some already existing data provided by the different partners.
Measurement results in various track conditions will be scrutinized and compared together regarding their representativeness, their reproducibility, robustness and efficiency in order to identify and describe a single standardized methodology.
2) Unloaded Lateral Track Resistance in laboratory
Laboratory measurements will be carried out according to three different methodologies which will be compared.
3) Search for correlations
Existing correlations will be searched between laboratory and on-track measurements, to assess the ability of laboratory methods to account for real conditions and to provide the keys to reading the laboratory results in a reliable and representative way.
4) Synthesis and guidelines
In this final phase, a synthesis report will describe the recommended techniques and their interpretation methodologies.
A draft UIC standard will be derived and relevant impacted leaflets will be updated.
UIC LTR Assessment of track lateral resistance
The assessment and control of lateral track resistance is a safety-related issue that needs to be perfectly understood and mastered.
During the earlier UIC research project 'Under Sleeper Pads', the working team faced the problem of the reference method to be used for the LTR measurement. Different Infrastructure Managers were applying different measurement methods and protocols giving sometimes contradictory results and thus making difficult to have a common appreciation of the results.
Moreover, although in-track measurement of Lateral Track Resistance remains the reference measurement, as it is carried out in the real track conditions, the cost of on-site measurement is getting higher and higher as the track operational capacity is becoming a scare resource and the availability of infrastructure for operation a priority that reduces the time dedicated to maintenance and measurements. Therefore, there is a strong need for defining alternative measurements methods in laboratory, in a way that all the relevant parameters impacting the results are taken into account in an appropriate and representative way.
Laboratory testing is particularly relevant for the evaluation and comparison of different track design solutions (sleeper shapes and materials, under sleeper pads, under ballast mats, ballast characteristics and properties, etc.). In these particular cases, it offers the advantage of an optimal reproducibility of the testing conditions which makes the measurement results of more general validity and suitability for better comparison and sharing.
BENEFITS FOR THE RAILWAY SYSTEM
- Higher infrastructure availability when on-site measurement can be transferred to laboratory
- Lower costs (> 60% cost reduction from track to laboratory) and less testing needed
- Harmonised measurement methods for in-track and in-lab measurements
- Easier share of results between different laboratories,
- Possibility of common measurement database
- Higher reliability and representativeness of laboratory measurements
- Better control of track buckling hazard,
- Better and harmonized evaluation of track design options (ballast, sleepers, CWR, USP, UBM)
- Better and harmonized evaluation of maintenance operations