Non-destructive assessment and health monitoring of railway infrastructures

Serkan Artagan, Salih, Bianchini Ciampoli, Luca, D'Amico, Fabrizio, Calvi, Alessandro and Tosti, Fabio ORCID: (2019) Non-destructive assessment and health monitoring of railway infrastructures. Surveys in Geophysics, 41. pp. 447-483. ISSN 0169-3298

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A continuous increase of the demand for high-speed traffic, freight tonnage as well as of the train operating frequency is worsening the decay conditions of many railway infrastructures. This occurrence affects economy-related business as well as it contributes to raise maintenance cost. It is known that a failure of a railway track may result in tremendous economic losses, law liabilities, service interruptions and, eventually, fatalities. Parallel to this, requirements to maintain acceptable operational standards are very demanding. In addition to the above, a main issue nowadays in railway engineering is a general lack of funds to allow safety and comfort of the operations as well as a proper maintenance of the infrastructures. This is mostly the result of a traditional approach that, on average, tends to invest on high-priority cost, such as safety-related cost, compromising lower-priority cost (e.g., quality and comfort of the operations). A solution to correct this trend can be to move from a reactive to a proactive action planning approach in order to limit more effectively the likelihood of progressive track decay. Within this context, this paper reports a review on the use of traditional and non-destructive testing (NDT) methods for assessment and health monitoring of railway infrastructures. State-of-the-art research on a stand-alone use of NDT methods or a combination of them for specific maintenance tasks in railways is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1007/s10712-019-09544-w
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Surveys in Geophysics. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Keywords: railway infrastructures, non-destructive assessment, health monitoring, maintenance, ground penetrating radar (GPR)
Subjects: Construction and engineering > Civil and environmental engineering
Construction and engineering > Electrical and electronic engineering
Construction and engineering > Civil and structural engineering
Construction and engineering
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Fabio Tosti
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 12:36
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:00


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