Researcher: Jan Lundberg
The objective was to develop a LCC model taking into account diagnostics data from track recording cars (used in Sweden) and develop a prognostics tool for more efficient maintenance strategies of track switches. The most important maintenance actions on turnouts is tamping in the vertical and lateral direction in order to ensure proper track position. Thus, there is a need of new improved turnout design, which is focusing on to reduce the need of this type of maintenance and at the same time keeping the manufacturing costs reasonable from a life time cycle perspective. Measurement of the settlement of turnouts has been considered, scale models have been developed and verification tests have been performed with these scale models. Also mechanical prototypes have been built for verifying new conceptual ideas. Four approaches take care of a variation of possible root causes regarding the behavior of the turnout, resulting in 14 new turnout concepts and 7 new concepts for mechanical adjustment position in this perspective and also a systematical method to achieve these concepts has been developed. Some of the new concepts are based on wishes of modularized thinking. In addition, life cycle cost (LCC) calculations has been performed on the concepts and a final concept solution is suggested. The most promising concept is based on a stiff modularized system consisting of steel sleepers and a steel latticework. This concept will hopefully reduce LCC and the needed maintenance and also it will be much easier to plan this maintenance which will increase the punctuality.