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Measures to improve railway track maintenance

2019-11-20 15:35


Measures to improve railway track maintenance


1. Overall inspection

As any of maintenance plan is specified in accordance with the result of regular inspections, regular inspection on railways is the basis for track maintenance. Inspection of railways must be in line with the site situation and any fault of railway track must be spotted and reported at the initial stage to facilitate reasonable and mindful planning. In consideration of the numerous points and long lines on the railway lines, it is key and imperative for the railway maintenance division to designate responsible personnel with high skills to be the team leader, so as to avoid any loophole in the inspection along the whole line. Meanwhile, to prevent fraud practice, the inspection should be divided into sections with specific duty assigned to targeted personnel. Regular inspections should also be integrated with temporary and dedicated ones, i.e. constant inspections should be taken to the bridge and tunnel equipment and girders and bridges that have direct impact on the safe operation of trains. Monthly inspections should be taken for mixed-bridge and other primary bridge and tunnel facilities with importance attached to those points where frequent failures occur. Meticulous records should also be taken in inspections.


2. Strengthen track maintenance


(1) Renovate line mark and crossing signs; (2) Refill railway ballast and conduct regular ballast cleaning, enabling the ballast sufficient drainage capacity and good compactness; (3) Rectify and maintain the reinforcement equipment, drainage ditch, subgrade; (4) Rectify geometry of railway track, including adjustment of sliding proof line and rail gaps, straightening the railway lines, correcting rail cants, track gauge and track directions, etc.; (5) Conduct regular replacement and maintenance to rail joints, sleepers, steel rail; (6) Carry out work such as sleeper and rail fastenings repair, weld up frogs and steel rail, etc. Most of railway maintenance work is on regular basis, including remedial work, regular inspection, periodical track repair, overhaul and replacement of steel track.


3. Constantly improve management and methods for maintenance

Fully renovate section of ballast bed to improve its resilience by strengthening ballast cleaning in the notion of governing at the source; strengthen rail repair and improve status of wheel track contact by strengthening rail maintenance body; strengthen data analysis over railway line inspection and standardize management procedures for facilities with faults; improve quality of on line equipment repair by promoting maintenance design, progressively improving maintenance quality with reinforced standard for quality acceptance and review.

track maintenance

4. Strengthen inspection of facilities in switch areas


Track maintenance in switch areas account for 70% of the total track maintenance work due to the complicated track structure, variety of fittings at the switch areas, as well as uneven force loading upon various parts of the track during the passing of trains and the interference of switch facilities, which hamper the quality of the maintenance work. As a result, switch areas are the key points for inspection in track maintenance work. Although it is a common practice to use diesel toolings in daily maintenance work to mend the chipping of turnout switch rail and frogs caused by rolling of train wheels, diesel toolings are unwieldy with low efficiency and incapable for timely grinding of the chippings in switch areas, which seriously undermine the service life of railway equipment. In maintenance work, we can set up a 3-phase power supply of 380V on one side of the railway line and conduct maintenance work with advanced small size machinery, which can greatly improve track maintenance. A mini tool box can also be established in switch area to facilitate timely repair of small fittings in case of their damage to guarantee the safe operation of vehicles.


5. Reinforce daily maintenance


The purpose of track maintenance is to guarantee the geometry of railway tracks. As the huge impact of passing trains on the steel tracks tend to cause the deformation of rail tracks, it is important to strengthen the regulation of rail track geometry to strengthen track maintenance.


As the railway tracks stretch across different areas, rail gaps may suffer change of various degrees with influence of local temperature, thus connection fittings must be oiled annually to prevent corrosion caused by the environment. Moreover, in order to maintain the rail gap within a fixed range, the tracks need to be refastened in spring and autumn every year to ensure that the linking parts work under standard torque.


Being the key component of railway lines, the subgrade is apt to sedimentation during long term train operations, which seriously influence the railway track structure. Therefore, regular inspection of rail cants, wet masonry framework, slope protection and drainage facilities should be taken to guarantee the stability of subgrade. Sleepers and steel track are another primary part in railway line composition that undertake heavy load during train operation, for which reason sleepers and steel rail with failure must be replaced to minimize the load of maintenance work and guarantee the plainness of rail tracks.