7. Optimal Track Irregularity Maintenance Scheduling

      There is a need for the development of an effective work planning method for track maintenance work. Although methods are already developed for data processing and track irregularity inspection measurement using a high-speed track-measuring vehicle, development of maintenance planning method for efficient maintenance using ever-changing time-series data has been a challenge. A method for scheduling track irregularity maintenance was therefore developed.
      This technique is intended for the creation of a track irregularity maintenance planning of approximately one year. Based on historical track irregularity data, track sections in worse condition are selected to create a allocation plan of multiple tie tampers to each maintenance depot, so that the track irregularities are minimized or the amount of maintenance work is minimized. Maintenance execution plans are also created to designate the divisions to be maintained. The conventional system of those responsible for creating such plans from experience is intensive in terms of time and labor. However, this new technique makes it possible to create maintenance plans easily using a PC. Particularly, as the plans are composed taking into account actual constraints of maintenance work, the obtained plans are quite practical and feasible. Since the effect of maintenance work on track conditions can be predicted at the planning stage, decisions on the implementation of such work can be made after reviewing the validity of the plan.
      Preliminary calculations obtained by applying this technique to actual railway network data showed that surface irregularity exceeding the criteria could be roughly halved, even with the conventional amount of maintenance work (Fig. 1). Implementation of plans made using this technique at the actual maintenance site showed improvements in accordance with calculations, demonstrating the validity of the system.

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