Decision-making based on the infrastructure life cycle of railway assets is currently one of infrastructure managers’ main goals. Many experts believe that appropriate modelling of track component degradation may facilitate better understanding of deterioration-inducing factors in order to optimise maintenance and replacement policies. Unfortunately, different infrastructure managers choose different track components for consideration in their models. The UIC MILA project (harmonised methodology to assess the infrastructure life cycle) has studied the various IMs’ models and has published a technical report entitled “Improving railway maintenance decision-making. Lessons learned from the UIC MILA project”. The report, available in English, can be downloaded free of charge from the UIC ETF Shop at https://www.shop-etf.com
The technical report is the main outcome from the MILA project, in which UIC Track Expert Group (TEG) members worked in close collaboration with experts from various railways. The report refers to rail, sleeper and fastening system degradation models, analyses essential data for obtaining results and provides a number of conclusions regarding track deterioration assessment. It also considers environmental, social and economic conditions and illustrates the MILA results obtained from the project members.
The UIC MILA project has increased the potential for IMs and IT departments to work together. Digital transformation of the railway industry presents an excellent opportunity for improving records and the overall life cycle cost of railway infrastructure.
The final MILA meeting was held recently as a video conference. The closing ceremony was attended by TEG chairman Bernhard Knoll, who stressed the importance of continued work on new tools to facilitate predictive maintenance for IMs. The technical leader of the project, Francisco Cabrera, gave a final presentation of the technical document and thanked all of the members for their collaboration during the project.
The TEG is a permanent working group within the UIC Railway System Department (RSD), focusing on topics such as track layout, track superstructure design, maintenance strategies/processes, track components and general developments in track-related technology.