New tool predicts desert rail degradation

New tool predicts desert rail degradation
Depreciation accounts for the majority of the total life-cycle costs of rail infrastructure.
Published: 8 March 2017 - 7:08 a.m.
By: John Bambridge

Voestalpine Schienen, a steel based technology company, has presented a lifecycle cost tool to evaluate the costs of procurement and maintenance strategies for rail infrastructure in the desert at the Middle East Rail exhibition.

The harsh environmental conditions of desert landscapes require rail to be made using steel that is resistant to degradation, and so the company invited trade visitors to the company’s stand at the exhibition to interact with its tool to calculate lifecycle costs and CO2 savings of different strategies.

The system allows users to select a variety of parameters including the type of operation, track radius, load, and the rail grinding regime as well as the rate of metal removal to determine the ideal solution in terms of cost over the life of the rail.

Voestalpine Schienen product management specialist Lukas Prettner, said: “Depreciation accounts for the majority of the total lifecycle costs of rail infrastructure, but these costs decreases enormously with longer component service life.

“Ultimately, the longest possible service lives combined with lowest maintenance necessities lead to the maximum customer benefit from a cost point of view. The grinding costs are also a parameter that can be influenced by choosing highly resistant materials that lower the need for maintenance.”

Voestalpine used the opportunity of the show to present various new rail steel grades and integrated rail system software solutions for the first time in the Middle East.

The company is already supplying more than 26,000 tonnes of sophisticated high-quality rails for the Riyadh Metro, the world’s largest active metro project, in Saudi Arabia, together with the corresponding turnout and transmission technology.

France’s Alstom also recently unveiled the first series production trainsets for the Riyadh Metro during a visit by Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) to the production line in Katowice, Poland, after the first unit was dispatched to Saudi Arabia by sea on 10 January, 2017.

Voestalpine Schienen is a pioneer in heavily digitalised and high-speed railway infrastructure, and is currently delivering two major orders of high-tech monitoring systems in Germany and Austria and playing a key role in extending China’s high-speed rail network by 38,000km through to 2025.

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