Advancement in Railroad Engineering- Attend Live or Attend by Live Webinar





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Various Cost Effective Maintenance Practices for Conventional Track Structure
The track on a railway or railroad, also known as the permanent way, is the structure consisting of the
rails, fasteners, sleepers and ballast, plus the underlying subgrade. This presentation deals with the
present status of railroad systems throughout the world. It mentions the basic facts about the permanent
way and its components. The track need regular maintenance to remain in good order, especially when
high-speed trains are involved. Inadequate maintenance may lead to a “slow order” being imposed to
avoid accidents. Currently, maintenance is facilitated by a variety of specialized machines. The various
cost effective methods for proper maintenance of permanent way will be discussed in this presentation.
This presentation will deal with the conventional railroad systems only. It covers the key points
highlighting cost effective maintenance strategies of permanent way components. Track has been
termed the permanent way. One of the cost-effective maintenance practices for conventional track
structure is the use of modern methods of track maintenance. There are few modern methods of track
maintenance like mechanized maintenance or mechanical tamping, measured shovel packing and
directed track maintenance. The various factors that influence track maintenance cost are: track
material costs-life cycle cost, use of new technology, track labor cost, track maintenance activities,
work windows (work blocks), track inspection and maintenance policies, operating characteristics,
budgeting and accounting practices, availability of capital and operating funds, record keeping
procedures and miscellaneous (e.g. geographical, cultural etc.) factors. The effect of the use of new
technology as well as the use of concept of life cycle cost of track components are extremely
significant. There are various conventional track structure maintenance activities, which control the
track structure maintenance cost. General track maintenance approach is of two types. They are
preventive track maintenance and curative/crisis track maintenance. There are various track
maintenance strategies related to mechanization of track maintenance. The author has proposed a
low-cost maintenance strategy of existing turnouts. This strategy is based on the author’s 2011
AREMA conference paper on Higher Diverging Speed Turnout Design in the Same Footprint. Railroad
companies are advised to start with basic manual/mechanized maintenance practices and then go for
more sophisticated cost effective maintenance practices to achieve better operational efficiency, less
maintenance cost and aim for no accidents. The various cost effective maintenance practices can save
dollars in providing credible service at cheap prices to railroad companies’ customers.

Date: Wed: November 14, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Ceu’s 3


Avinash Prasad, PE, LS, F.ASCE, FF, EMTPrassad

Mr. Avinash Prasad is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor with more than 25 years of civil engineering and project management experience. As a registered professional engineer and land surveyor (NJ, NY, CT, MA, RI), he specializes in bridge asset management and structural evaluation of bridges, particularly suspension bridges. He is currently researching bridge asset management for his doctoral dissertation at New York University.  He has received dual MS degrees in Civil Engineering and Engineering Management from NJIT and a BS degree in Civil Engineering from India. He has more than 1000 hours of continuing professional education as instructor/participating professional. He is a NJ state certified emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical responder (EMR), and firefighter (FF). He is also a certified CPR, AED administer. He is a fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers and an active member of several professional organizations such as: AREMA, PMI, AISC, NYSAPLS, IPWE, IRT and IIBE. The ASCE, Railway Age and Railway Track & Structure conference.

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