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Seasonal Effect on the Optimization of Rail Defect Inspection Frequency

[+] Author Affiliations
Xiang Liu, C. Tyler Dick, Alexander Lovett, Mohd Rapik Saat, Christopher P. L. Barkan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Paper No. RTDF2013-4711, pp. V001T01A008; 5 pages
  • ASME 2013 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
  • ASME 2013 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
  • Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA, October 15–17, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5611-6
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Broken rails are the most common cause of severe freight-train derailments on American railroads. Reducing the occurrence of broken-rail-caused derailments is an important safety objective for the railroad industry. The current practice is to periodically inspect rails using non-destructive technologies such as ultrasonic inspection. Determining the optimal rail defect inspection frequency is a critical decision in railway infrastructure management. There is a seasonal variation in the occurrence of broken rails that result in train derailments. This paper quantifies the effect of this seasonal variation on the risk-based optimization of rail inspection frequency. This research can be incorporated into a larger framework of broken rail risk management to improve railroad transportation safety.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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