Rail is a sustainable mode of transport which is widely used, but there is still demand for increased capacity and trafficservice quality. In his doctoral thesis Stephen Famurewa studied the iron ore line - the railway line in Sweden with the heaviest trains. He has developed an approach to improve its quality and capacity and allow more trains to use the railwaycorridor.
– I have looked at how the problem can be solved by a well-planned maintenance which is supported by decision support models, says Stephen Famurewa.
In his research Stephen presents a method to identify the weakest links on linear asset, just like the old saying, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
– Through a well-structured maintenance analysis and deterioration modelling, the changes in the condition of the different segments and systems of the track section over the years have been studied. Further, we have been able to identify the weak links that have a significant impact on achievable capacity and quality of service. The maintenance need of these critical systems and segments have been studied from a holistic perspective, for effective planning and efficient scheduling based on their criticality, this is called systematic maintenance analysis.
The thesis was made in cooperation with the Swedish Transport Administration and has now resulted in a framework of procedures to find weak links, suggests maintenance actions and schedules to free up time for more trains and enhance quality of service on our railways.