"If preventive maintenance of railway switches is carried out in a well-planned manner and before the breakdowns are a fact, these delay hours can be reduced by at least 50 percent according to Infranord's calculations. This corresponds to a social saving of at least 68 million SEK per year", says Jan Lundberg, professor in Operations and Maintenance Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.
With the collection of large amounts of data, "big data", trends and patterns in the analysis can give more stable forecasts of the condition of the railway switches and thus better predictive maintenance, which in return reduces maintenance costs, gives increased reliability and better utilization of transport infrastructure in Sweden.
"When 5G is introduced, good synergies with the project results will be realized. An important example of operational disruptions that the project will solve is when trains come from deviating tracks and enter the gear when it is in the wrong position (run-up). This results in the wheels stepping over the gear tongues, which results in damage to the train, the gearshift and total downtime. The repair costs for this problem alone are about 10 million kroner SEK per year and the related operational disruptions are very large", concludes Jan Lundberg.
The project, financed by Formas, will last for two years and will be implemented in collaboration with Bombardier, the Swedish Transport Administration and Infranord.