INTRO: Austrian Federal Railways expects to make significant savings from the introduction of an economic evaluation model based on life-cycle costing to support decision making on track design and maintenance strategies

BYLINE: Dipl-Ing Dr Peter W Veit *

Graz Technical University

SAVINGS on track maintenance and renewal of around 5m euros a year should be achieved from 2003, when Austrian Federal Railways implements a new maintenance strategy based on life-cycle costing. This saving will come from the core network of 3500 track-km, and further economies should be realised when the concepts are extended to secondary and branch lines.

ÖBB is the first railway to adopt a new model for evaluating the true cost of different track strategies. It is also being used by the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development to support investment in track renewals on the Russian Railways.

The basic evaluation model was developed at Graz Technical University, and work is continuing to identify and optimise track strategies for the whole ÖBB network. The first step has been to identify and evaluate typical track on the core network. This will be followed by economic strategies for the remainder of the network. As a third stage, the model will be developed to look at turnouts and crossings.

The core network that has been evaluated contains a variety of track layouts, based on several factors: