Research and teaching associate at the Institute of Railway Engineering and Transport Economy at Graz University of Technology
SmartTamp – Automatic tamping prediction based on measuring data
Tamping is the most important maintenance action for ballasted tracks, which is executed e.g. in Austria every 2 to 6 years. Tamping rectifies the vertical and horizontal track position and reconstructs an appropriate bedding for the sleepers.
As tamping has significant influence on track´s performance as well as on the budgetary situation of infrastructure managers, it is of great importance to consider both, technical and economical aspects.
The basis for maintenance decisions regarding tamping are technical analyses of track quality behaviour of the Austrian railway network over time. These analyses are mainly regarded to the standard deviation of the longitudinal level of the track. For predicting the future track behaviour, a linear model is chosen. After validating this model, the mutual dependencies of the model parameters are investigated.
For planning the optimal maintenance action, it is essential to clarify whether track problems occur over longer track sections or in the form of single failures. Afterwards, economical and operational aspects are considered for combining cross sections to optimal section lengths for tamping.
Additionally, it is investigated for older tracks, weather tamping should be executed, or if a track renewal is more reasonable.
The final goal is to combine all the knowledge in “SmartTamp”. This tool provides the possibility to optimise maintenance-planning regarding the specific needs of the users and to plan tamping tasks networkwide.
Johannes shared more information on his presentation in this interview.
Johannes Neuhold is working as a research and teaching associate at the Institute of Railway Engineering and Transport Economy at Graz University of Technology since 2014. His fields of expertise are analysing measuring data, maintenance planning, asset management and life-cycle-management. He attends the doctoral program for civil engineering sciences with research focus on optimising maintenance planning for tracks.