Special Issue "Railway Infrastructure Engineering"

A special issue of Infrastructures (ISSN 2412-3811).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Sakdirat Kaewunruen

Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B152TT, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: rail infrastructure; structural engineering, dynamics, reliability and safety; impact engineering
Guest Editor
Dr. Akira Aikawa

Railway Technical Research Institute, Tokyo 185-8540, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: rail infrastructure; track dynamics; ballast; structural heath monitoring; track stability
Guest Editor
Prof. Alex M. Remennikov

School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, University of Wollongong, NSW 2502, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: structural engineering; blast and impact; railway structures; bridge; composite structures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social and economic growth, security, and sustainability, around the globe, are at risk of being compromised due to aging and failing railway infrastructure systems. This partly reflects a recognized skill shortage in railway infrastructure engineering. Emerging risks and their significant consequences, with no sign of early warnings, has been recently evidenced by many extreme events, such as the Nepal Earthquakes, the Madrid train bombing, the Brussels Metro Attack, etc. A great deal of past research has emphasized the applications of technology in solving front-line problems in the railway industry. Although practical knowledge has been developed alongside corporate knowledge, science and technology are still lacking in order to innovate and revolutionize the railway industry from a fundamental principle viewpoint. Many fundamental issues, such as choice of materials, durability, capacity, engineering properties, functionality requirements, and design concepts, remain unchanged. Together with the high turnover rate of technical staff within rail industry worldwide, many incidents have repeated themselves, causing high maintenance costs, service cancellations and delays, and even human lives, due to catastrophic incidents.

This Special Issue will address some of the most essential issues currently affecting the safety, reliability and functionality of global rail infrastructure systems. Rebuilding and enhancing urban rail infrastructure faces problems, beyond the search for engineering solutions. These issues resonate with one of the major grand challenges in engineering aiming to restore and improve urban infrastructure and built environments, where it will, not only be necessary to devise new approaches and methods, but also communicate their value and worthiness to society at large. This Special Issue will accept various novel and original research topics related to railway infrastructure systems, including, but not limited to:

  • Stability and dynamics
  • Safety, risks and uncertainty
  • Infrastructure engineering
  • Structural engineering and materials
  • Transportation geotechniques
  • Rail transportation
  • Mechanics, prognostics and diagnostics
  • Health monitoring, inspection, NDT&E (non-destructive testing and evaluation) and signal processing
  • Big data analytics and railway operations
  • Multi hazards and climate change adaptation
  • Train-track interaction and wheel-rail interface
  • Drainage, surveying, photogrammetry, remote sensing and drone technology
  • Railway and transportation technologies

Dr. Sakdirat Kaewunruen
Dr. Akira Aikawa
Prof. Alex M. Remennikov
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Infrastructures is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Network Flow Model Approach to Determining Optimal Intervention Programs for Railway Infrastructure Networks
Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030031
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 19 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
The determination of the optimal interventions to execute on rail infrastructure networks is a challenging task, due to the many types of objects (e.g., bridges, tracks, and switches), how the objects work together to provide service, and the possible reductions in costs and
[...] Read more.
The determination of the optimal interventions to execute on rail infrastructure networks is a challenging task, due to the many types of objects (e.g., bridges, tracks, and switches), how the objects work together to provide service, and the possible reductions in costs and service disruptions as obtained by grouping interventions. Although railway infrastructure managers are using computer systems to help them determine intervention programs, there are none that result in the highest net benefits while taking into consideration all of these aspects. This paper presents a network flow model approach that allows for determining the optimal intervention programs for railway infrastructure networks while taking into considerations different types of objects, how the objects work together to provide service, and object and object-traffic dependencies. The network flow models are formulated as mixed integer linear programs, where the optimal intervention program is found by using the simplex and branch and bound algorithms. The modelling approach is illustrated by using it to determine the optimal intervention program for a 2200 m multi-track railway line consisting of 11 track sections, 23 switches, and 39 bridges. It is shown that the proposed constrained network flow model can be used to determine the optimal intervention program within a reasonable amount of time, when compared to more traditional models and search algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway Infrastructure Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Adaptation Becoming Business as Usual: A Framework for Climate-Change-Ready Transport Infrastructure
Infrastructures 2018, 3(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3020010
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Extreme weather damages and disrupts transport infrastructure in a multitude of ways. Heavy rainfall and ensuing landslides or flooding may lead to road or rail closures; extreme heat can damage road surfaces, or cause tracks, signalling or electronic equipment to overheat, or thermal
[...] Read more.
Extreme weather damages and disrupts transport infrastructure in a multitude of ways. Heavy rainfall and ensuing landslides or flooding may lead to road or rail closures; extreme heat can damage road surfaces, or cause tracks, signalling or electronic equipment to overheat, or thermal discomfort for passengers. As extreme weather is expected to occur more frequently in the future, transport infrastructure owners and operators must increase their preparedness in order to reduce weather-related service disruption and the associated financial costs. This article presents a two-sided framework for use by any organisation to develop climate-change-ready transport infrastructure, regardless of their current level of knowledge or preparedness for climate change. The framework is composed of an adaptation strategy and an implementation plan, and has the overarching ambition to embed climate change adaptation within organisational procedures so it becomes a normal function of business. It advocates adaptation pathways, i.e., sequential adaptive actions that do not compromise future actions. The circular, iterative structure ensures new knowledge, or socio-economic changes may be incorporated, and that previous adaptations are evaluated. Moreover, the framework aligns with existing asset management procedures (e.g., ISO standards) or governmental or organisational approaches to climate change adaptation. By adopting this framework, organisations can self-identify their own level of adaptation readiness and seek to enhance it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway Infrastructure Engineering)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Wireless Sensor Networks: Toward Smarter Railway Stations
Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030024
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3841 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Railway industry plays a critical role in transportation and transit systems attributed to the ever-growing demand for catering to both freight and passengers. However, owing to many challenges faced by railway stations such as harsh environments, traffic flow, safety and security risks, new
[...] Read more.
Railway industry plays a critical role in transportation and transit systems attributed to the ever-growing demand for catering to both freight and passengers. However, owing to many challenges faced by railway stations such as harsh environments, traffic flow, safety and security risks, new and adaptive systems employing new technology are recommended. In this review, several wireless sensor networks (WSNs) applications are proposed for use in railway station systems, including advanced WSNs, which will enhance security, safety, and decision-making processes to achieve more cost-effective management in railway stations, as well as the development of integrated systems. The size, efficiency, and cost of WSNs are influential factors that attract the railway industry to adopt these devices. This paper presents a review of WSNs that have been designed for uses in monitoring and securing railway stations. This article will first briefly focus on the presence of different WSN applications in diverse applications. In addition, it is important to note that exploitation of the state-of-the-art tools and techniques such as WSNs to gain an enormous amount of data from a railway station is a new and novel concept requiring the development of artificial intelligence methods, such machine learning, which will be vital for the future of the railway industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway Infrastructure Engineering)
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Open AccessReview State-of-the-Art Review of Railway Track Resilience Monitoring
Infrastructures 2018, 3(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3010003
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, railway systems have played a significant role in transportation systems due to the demand increase in conveying both cargo and passengers. Due to the harsh environments and severe loading conditions, caused by the traffic growth, heavier axles and vehicles and
[...] Read more.
In recent years, railway systems have played a significant role in transportation systems due to the demand increase in conveying both cargo and passengers. Due to the harsh environments and severe loading conditions, caused by the traffic growth, heavier axles and vehicles and increase in speed, railway tracks are at risk of degradation and failure. Condition monitoring has been widely used to support the health assessment of civil engineering structures and infrastructures. In this context, it was adopted as a powerful tool for an objective assessment of the railway track behaviour by enabling real-time data collection, inspection and detection of structural degradation. According to relevant literature, a number of sensors can be used to monitor track behaviour during the train passing under harsh environments. This paper presents a review of sensors used for structural monitoring of railway track infrastructure, as well as their application to sense the performance of different track components during extreme events. The insight into track monitoring for railways serving traffic with extreme features will not only improve the track inspection and damage detection but also enable a predictive track maintenance regime in order to assist the decision-making process towards more cost-effective management in the railway industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway Infrastructure Engineering)
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Open AccessReview Composites for Timber-Replacement Bearers in Railway Switches and Crossings
Infrastructures 2017, 2(4), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures2040013
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 9 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1920 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent developments in composite materials have resulted in their pilot adoption in railway industry, such as ‘fibre-reinforced foamed urethane (FFU)’, ‘geopolymer concrete’, ‘recycled polymer’, and ‘CarbonLoc composite’. Railway track support systems are critical for safe and reliable operations of railway tracks. There are
[...] Read more.
Recent developments in composite materials have resulted in their pilot adoption in railway industry, such as ‘fibre-reinforced foamed urethane (FFU)’, ‘geopolymer concrete’, ‘recycled polymer’, and ‘CarbonLoc composite’. Railway track support systems are critical for safe and reliable operations of railway tracks. There are two types of support structures, which can be designed to be either a slab or a cluster of discrete bearers or sleepers. The choice of turnout support system depends on asset management strategy of the rail operators or maintainers. The aim of this paper is to present the criteria, fundamental and multi-disciplinary issues for the design and practical selection of composite materials in railway turnout systems. As a case study, a full-scale trial to investigate in-situ behaviours of a turnout grillage system using an alternative material, ‘fibre-reinforced foamed urethane (FFU)’ bearers, is presented. Influences of the composite bearers on track geometry (recorded by track inspection vehicle ‘AK Car’ and based on survey data), track settlement, track dynamics, and acoustic characteristics are highlighted in this paper. Comparative studies of composite materials for railway track applications are reviewed and presented in order to improve material design process. This state-of-the-art review paper will also focus on practicality and environmental risks of composite components in railway built environments. It embraces the requirement considerations of new materials for use as safety-critical track elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway Infrastructure Engineering)
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