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1D Digital twin for more efficient maintenance of switches and crossings


Switches are expensive to purchase, install and maintain. Variations in operating conditions, environment and physical design make the long-term degradation of switches and the link between different degradation mechanisms individually specific. Therefore, the condition of each switch must be assessed on the basis of design, traffic load and maintenance history, among others. Today, there are different ways of assessing the condition of switches, such as on-track inspection and monitoring of switch heating and track defects.

There are also methods for estimating the marginal cost of timely maintenance and reinvestment. However, there is no way to integrate these into a common software to assess the best maintenance or reinvestment action to minimise the life cycle cost of each turnout.


The aim of this project is therefore to develop such a tool in the form of a digital twin that integrates the material and economic aspects of a railway switch. The expected benefit to society is lower costs for switches, while the project can serve as a demonstrator of what can be achieved by combining smart instrumented infrastructure with modelling and simulation of its condition and economics.

The aim is for the results of the project to be operationally useful, thereby contributing to more efficient and productive railway maintenance in the future.