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Rail

Rail vehicles, infrastructure and logistics are rapidly growing sectors for our safety and reliability services, where we provide RAMS and FRACAS solutions. This complements our long standing involvement with both structural mechanics and geotechnical simulation.

Safe and reliable delivery of rail transportation services by our clients to the public requires careful consideration, from choosing the right suppliers and equipment to determining the most efficient routes and schedules.

Our reliability software tool kit, ReliaSoft is employed in a number of ways, including:

  • Improving maintenance programs by optimising actions, spare part pools and crew policies.
  • Determining the reliability and availability of the system, resulting in reduced operating costs and minimized unscheduled downtime.
  • Implementing a FRACAS system to capture field data, assist with problem resolution and drive improvements in future designs.
  • Using advanced statistical methods to support management in financial decision planning.

Overall, ReliaSoft helps combine all information related to reliability into a single platform so that it can all be used during all phases of life, from design to field use.

Together with our technical safety experience, we provide Reliability, Availability, Maintainability & Safety (RAMS) software and consulting solutions in line with BS EN 50126. We are familiar with BS EN 50128 / 50129 for safety related electronic systems for signalling. Recent projects include RAMS analysis and accelerated life testing on an LED based training signalling system and similar assessment work for a train derailer safety system.

 

RAMS analysis for depot (Courtesy: Zonegreen)
RAMS analysis for depot (Courtesy: Zonegreen)

 

Our FEA experience ranges from weight minimisation studies on rolling stock to the assessment of rail connectors and gantries. We also provide Ansys software, training and technical support services to a number of rail clients, including fatigue and composite material capabilities.

 

Framework beam analysis of a railway gantry
Framework beam analysis of a railway gantry

 

We have undertaken 3D fluid dynamics studies to tackle maintenance issues and have the capabilities to investigate HVAC, electronics thermal management and exterior aerodynamic issues.

Prediction of Hot Air Flow across Rails for De-Icing (Courtesy: Network Rail)
Prediction of hot air flow across rails for de-icing (Courtesy: Network Rail)

In recent years, our PLAXIS geotechnical FEA software has been used widely for rail construction and maintenance projects, accurately modelling complex soil behaviour. In particularly, tunnelling design and validation, including adjacent foundations, was undertaken by clients for Crossrail.

Tunnelling geotechnical analysis (Courtesy: Plaxis bv)
Tunnelling geotechnical analysis (Courtesy: Plaxis bv)

 

Non-linear material models have also been used during the study of train component manufacture. One project involved investigating the causes of  product distortion, considering placement and stacking of training wheels during final air cooling of a multi-stage forging and heat treatment process.

 

Forging and heat treatment distortion simulation (Courtesy: ADtranz)
Forging and heat treatment distortion simulation (Courtesy: ADtranz)

Clients

We have worked with a number of rail design, infrastructure and related companies, including:

  • Atkins
  • Balfour Beatty Rail
  • DB Schenker Rail (UK)
  • ESG Rail
  • Network Rail
  • Rail Pro
  • Transport for London
  • Tube Lines
  • Vossloh Kiepe UK
  • Zonegreen
 

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