SMARTRAIL (Smart Maintenance Analysis and Remediation of Rail Infrastructure) was a European Union 7th framework funded project under the Transport-2011 Call which ran from 2011 to 2014. The project vision was to provide a framework for rail infrastructure operators to ensure safe, reliable and efficient operation of ageing European railway networks. This was achieved through the development of efficient monitoring and remediation strategies to incorporate in a life cycle assessment of existing rail networks.
ROD-IS, played a key role in the project, leading the work stream aimed at developing models which greatly improve the ability of track owners to predict the future condition of the infrastructure. ROD-IS developed a probability based assessment framework which encompassed not only railway bridges, but all aspects of railway infrastructure including tracks subject to settlement and slope stability. By incorporating stochastic procedures in structural assessment, the uncertainty associated with physical properties can be accurately modelled. In addition, by considering the failure probability of a range of structures, infrastructure owners are better equipped to prioritize those repairs which are shown to be necessary. The framework was complimented with a sample assessment of the Nieporet railway bridge in Poland, which enabled sensor, inspection and NDT data (Structural Health Monitoring information) to be incorporated into the models.
As part of the project, sustainable technologies were developed for effective rehabilitation and strengthening of “older” existing railway infrastructure. These were verified using on-site application and modelling. Software tools were also developed to allow infrastructure owners to design cost-effective and environmentally friendly rehabilitation solutions for railway infrastructure.
The potential financial benefits to bridge owners are apparent from the results, which suggested that costly bridge repair/rehabilitation can be avoided.
Further information can be found at http://smartrail.fehrl.org/