Load insights to optimise switch maintenance and beyond

Product Release, 29.06.2022

Rail switches and crossings globally account for 20% of delay minutes, 15% of rail operating expenditures and 10% of capital expenditures. To tackle these challenges with enhanced switch maintenance, KONUX has been continually innovating for continuous monitoring and forecasting of switch health. By complementing this capability with traffic usage insights, KONUX aims to push toward the vision of enabling holistic and delay-free switches at optimal costs.

Understanding the impact of load on switch degradation

Today, inspection and maintenance are planned based on projected load. In some cases, projected load deviates from actual load by as much as 40%. Increasing freight traffic and maintenance-related rerouting fuel this discrepancy, and the situation is expected to worsen. Such a regime causes switches to be over- or under-maintained, resulting in budget, workforce, and machinery shortages where they are needed.

“We have no better way than having people sit near the track and count the trains…” – A KONUX customer

With switch load and traffic insights, KONUX aims to help infrastructure managers efficiently plan inspection and maintenance where and when necessary. The critical parameters extracted from continuous monitoring such as tonnage, speed, train type, and overall train count allow you to analyse the daily usage of individual switches and prioritise the ones under higher pressure than others. This approach can complement the current inspection regime by enabling granular assessment within the existing categories.

By better understanding the link between switch load and degradation, the railway can move away from the fixed interval-based regime and manage the assets dynamically according to their actual needs. This approach can help optimise regional budgets by reducing over-/under-inspected switches and areas and, in the long run, transform today’s rule books toward the usage-based inspection regime.

Load and traffic insights to enable optimisation beyond maintenance

KONUX’s mission is to make railway the mobility choice of tomorrow by increasing capacity, reliability and cost-efficiency. Understanding the impact of load on switch degradation can enable optimisation not only at a switch level but also at a network level, allowing for network-wide usage monitoring and better traffic scheduling. Freeing up valuable track time for more traffic and allocating budgets optimally where needed will empower infrastructure managers to achieve ‘expanded capacity’ against the imminent challenges.

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