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Published: 13 June 2016

Luleå University of Technology is one of the few universities in the world that currently offers education and research in operation and maintenance technology. The Lulea Railway Research Center (JVTC) is a strategic center of excellence for the railway sector, which conducts research and development with a focus on streamlining operation and maintenance of the entire railway system. JVTC has with its applied research delivered results even before the research is completed to benefit the business and public sector.
JVTCs ability, research and knowledge has also been requested internationally from Finland, Norway, Iran, India, Britain, France, UIC and Australia with respect to:

  •  Innovation and methods in condition-based maintenance.
  • Effects of heavy haul (25 and 30 tonne axle load) and cold climate.
  • Methods for calculating the life cycle costs for the entire transport system based on RAMS - criteria that stands for performance and reliability, maintainability and safety.
  • Vehicle Classification and maintenance levels as the basis for new traffic fees.
  • Methods of information transfer within and between railway maintenance parties (eMaintenance).
  • Winter Investigations, the root causes of disruption of rail facilities, due to the cold climate.
  • Upgrading transport flow (weight, height, speed) of railways, technical, financial and maintenance purposes.

The research generated by JVTC in the field of condition-based maintenance enables measurement of different operating conditions and its effects on the rate of degradation of vehicle and track (infrastructure). The results can already be used for maintenance planning or to monitor and assess the traffic changes during an operation and maintenance contract. The methods can also be used to rapidly introduce new innovations and products, and provide the basis for increased capacity through changes in maintenance and distribution of maintenance / operating costs between carriers and infrastructure.
Scientific contributions from JVTC include projects like Heavy Transport in Cold Climate, Sustainable Bridges, Degradation Cost of Track (DeCo Track), lubrication of rail, Link & Effect, the Research Station and ReRail. Results from TURSAM work has led to clear and measurable improvements in the Ore Line.
LTU and JVTC´s educate specialists with deep maintenance skills. These specialists enter the job market after completing their studies at the university and are often employed by the Swedish Transport Administration and other stakeholders in the industry, but also specialists who remain at LTU but offer their expertise on a project basis.