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Project Description

Turnouts for Maintenance Planning1

Niloofar Minbashi….


Modelling Degradation Processes of Turnouts for Maintenance Planning

Project Overview:

The purpose of this study is to propose an effective turnout geometry maintenance policy in order to minimize maintenance life cycle costs of turnouts.

Railway turnouts are major source of concern for railway agencies (Markine et al., 2011). They provide flexibility to railway network as they enable trains to change their routes, therefore their maintenance is of vital importance, for example in 2009 maintenance cost of turnouts in Sweden comprised 8% of the total maintenance cost (Trafikverket,. 2011). This is even more in Switzerland where 25% of the railway maintenance and renewal budget is spent on turnouts (Zwanenburg, 2009).

Turnout components are subjected to a certain load and weather conditions, Therefore wear, tear and degradation phenomena may influence their functionality. A component wear, tear or degradation has a limit and reaching to this limit will influence reliability, availability and safety. For this reason these components need continuous maintenance and renewal. Deep insight for modelling degradation and deterioration of turnouts is needed in order to implement maintenance optimization models and this knowledge hasn’t been provided yet thoroughly. Therefore this study aims to analyze geometrical degradation process in turnouts in order to optimize the forecast of turnout maintenance and renewal needs.


  1. Markine, V. L., Steenbergen, M. J. M. M., & Shevtsov, I. Y. (2011). Combatting RCF on switch points by tuning elastic track properties. Wear, 271(1), 158-167
  2. Trafikverket report (2011) Underhålls och reinvesteringsbehov: spår och spårväxlar, Version 1.0, Report no. TRV 2010/65560.
  3. 3.    Zwanenburg, W. J. (2009). Modelling degradation processes of switches & crossings for maintenance & renewal planning on the Swiss railway network. Saarbrücken: Südwestdeutscher Verlag für Hochschulschriften.


Morteza Bagheri


Niloofar Minbashi

Research Associate


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