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Management of Broken Rail Risk for High Speed Passenger Rail

[+] Author Affiliations
Allan M. Zarembski

ZETA-TECH, Cherry Hill, NJ

Paper No. JRC2010-36037, pp. 15-22; 8 pages
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference, Volume 1
  • Urbana, Illinois, USA, April 27–29, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4906-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3867-9
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The issue of broken rail risk has been of major concern to railways worldwide, to include passenger and freight railways. Broken rail derailments on high speed passenger operations are of particular concern, as depicted by the consequences of the 2000 Hatfield derailment in the UK. Research studies have shown that the risk of broken rail derailments is directly related to the rate of rail defect development and the associated relationship between service defects and detected defects. This paper examines the relationship between rail defects and broken rail derailments together with techniques used to reduce the risk of these broken rail derailments. Specifically, the paper focuses on the relationship between all defects, service defects and derailments and examines the effect on improved inspection, either through improved inspection technology or improved inspection scheduling, on reducing rail service defects and associated derailments. The paper also examines the levels of broken rail risk that have been found on freight and passenger systems in North America and Europe and provides guidelines for the range of broken rail risk that has been found effective.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Rails



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