Technical Reports

Track Renewal System and Wood Tie Reuse Analysis

  • 01
  • Oct
  • 1980
AUTHOR: G. Richard Cataldi, David N. Elkaim
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD-80/63
KEYWORDS: Track Renewal Systems, Track Renewal Machines, Track Maintenance, Economics of Track Maintenance, Wood Tie Reuse
ABSTRACT: This report presents the results of an analytical study of the technical and economic feasibility of applying the track renewal method of railroad track maintenance in the United States. Track renewal, or out-of-face renewal, has long been the prevailing form of track maintenance used in Europe and has recently spread to Asia, Australia, and North America. Current North American activity is very limited, but the carriers and other elements of the railroad community are becoming increasingly interested in the potential advantages of track renewal as an alternative to selective maintenance. The core of the report consists of a detailed framework for conducting a comparative economic analysis of the track renewal method versus the traditional selective maintenance method . A sample economic analysis is presented wherein the framework is used to compare the estimated long-term and first-year costs when they are applied to fourteen specific track maintenance scenarios,. each of which represents a particular set of assumptions and conditions. The report concludes with the identification of several areas for additional study, principally with respect to the further development and refinement of the framework as a research tool. It also states that the framework should be tested by one or more railroads; the results should be used to strengthen the framework and should also be shared with the railroad community.

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