Rail surface damage management through monitoring and modelling

Pelin Boyacioglu, Adam Bevan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rolling contact fatigue (RCF) cracking and wear significantly impact rail surfaces. The interaction between them is crucial; wear dominance can remove initiated cracks, while low wear rates may escalate crack propagation, elevating rail failure risks. Grinding, a preventive maintenance technique, removes remaining cracks, applied in fixed-interval or condition-based regimes. Operational constraints, favouring cyclic regimes, may potentially reduce rail life and increase costs. Thus, an optimal asset management strategy involves grinding based on current RCF condition and its predicted growth rate, considering its interaction with wear. London Underground employs diverse rail inspection methods, including advanced MRX-RSCM technology, to measure crack depth. Research used its measurements, developing a novel Combined Shakedown Map and Tγ approach. This predicts RCF growth under wear interaction, indicating the material to be removed by grinding. Its results are displayed for high and low rails of curved track sites, compared with monitoring measurements, enabling observation of changes in damage susceptibility and related grinding requirements over different rails.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Rail Transportation
Early online date9 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Apr 2024

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