Development of heavy transports in cold climate (T2K2)
During the 1990s development of heavier trains on the ore line and later, heavier freight trains on other tracks, T2K2 worked actively to develop the knowledge, skills and experience in heavy rail transports. This was unique in Europe and the work has led to many improvements in the Swedish rail system since the formal start of the upgrading of the ore line to 30 tons axle load.
A European research project initiated by Construction Technique was a so called integrated project which was submitted in April 2004. The project started on first of December 2004 and ran for four years and had 32 participants from 12 countries. The program had a turnover of 100 million, of which about 65 million came from the EU. The goal was to increase the allowable bearing capacity and train speed on the railway bridges in Europe by developing better methods for classification calculations, measurement of the condition and operation and the repair and reinforcement.
Simulation of how the maintenance costs depends on the traffic
DeCoTrack (Degradation Cost of Track) was a simulation model of track degradation, which examined how changes in traffic affects maintenance costs. Initially the aim was to support impact studies regarding increased axle load, but the model's design and the results proved very useful for the assessment of different vehicles marginal effect on the maintenance cost. The project carried out in-depth studies of how the vehicle will be classified using data collected from track-mounted stations. The information demonstrated a strong connection to the vehicle's maintenance-related status and could be used for planning of rolling stock maintenance by the vehicle owner and / or operator.
The establishment of the research station
A requirement for many of JVTC´s ongoing research projects, is the availability of data from the railway line. In 2006, JVTC established closely with the satellite company Damill AB, a monitoring station in Sävast on the Iron Ore Line. The decision on placement in Sävast was based on a large variance in traffic volume and the proximity to Lulea University of Technology. The measuring station has instruments to measure forces from vehicles on the track and the data is stored in the system. The measurements start automatically when a train passes the sensors on the track. The sensors separate vertical and horizontal forces. An accelerometer is used to measure the vibration of the rails when the train passes. Measurement data was transferred to a webplattform, SAMPLA, where further processing of data was performed and useful information could be found. The first funding of the research station was made by Banverket, The Kempe Foundation and LKAB. Later a Wheel Profile Measuring equipment was installed in Sunderbyn that was used in several research projects.
Expansion through European projects
During 2011-2015, JVTC participated in several major European projects in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) i.e. AUTOMAIN, SUSTRAIL, TREND, BGLC, MAINLINE, SAFT Inspect and OPTIRAIL etc. During this time the number of PhD candidates and researchers increased at JVTC.
eMaintenanceLAB and the ePilot
The eMaintenanceLAB was established during 2012 at LTU and all data storage, processing and analysis are now performed at the lab. Gradually more data sources are connected to the eMaintenance LAB. By the end of 2013, ePilot launched a development and implementation project aimed at improving rail maintenance where many research results are tested in reality. In connection with this, the establishment of Testbädd Railway began, where JVTC, together with the Swedish Transport Administration, is working on the possibilities of demostrating solutions on Malmbanan and Haparandabanan.