Babette Dirks
vehicle dynamics specialist at Trafikverket

Presentation title:
Universal Cost Model – An approach for the evaluation of running gear on infrastructure and vehicle costs

Since early days of railway technology, a key objective has been to develop track friendly vehicles. However, with the separation of track and vehicle ownership, this development was disrupted. The financial impacts of innovative designs of a vehicle may be insufficient to be covered by considering the vehicle alone, since the savings in vehicle maintenance costs may well not exceed the higher capital cost for the vehicle. However, when the total costs of the railway system can be analysed, including the infrastructure, the economic benefits of these innovative technologies becomes more transparent.

Therefore, the running gear part of the European project Roll2Rail WP4 has been set up to develop and establish a Universal Cost Model (UCM). The UCM will incentivise innovation by helping to create a greater awareness of how running gear- performance impacts different cost drivers within the entire railway system. Additionally, the UCM will be useful to help optimise aspects relevant to infrastructure, such as track maintenance. The use of the UCM can facilitate Life cycle Cost (LCC) reduction for the entire railway system by optimising the track friendliness of vehicles and infrastructure maintenance strategies.

The UCM uses a number of separate models to asses cost drivers like track damage, wheel damage, energy, noise, unavailability and potential hazards. The results are then taken to allow a through-life cost calculation including the initial investment, financing, operation, maintenance and replacement.

Speaker biography
Dr. Babette Dirks (41). Studied mechanical engineering at Delft University of Technology – Master in rail vehicle engineering in 2003. From 2003 to 2008, vehicle dynamics engineer at AEA Technology Rail in the Netherlands. From 2008 to 2015, Ph.D studies in Vehicle and Maritime Engineering at the Royal institute of Technology in Sweden. From 2015 to 2017 vehicle dynamics specialist at Bombardier Transportation in Sweden. Currently working at Trafikverket in Sweden.

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