Improving railway maintenance decision-making: lessons learned from the UIC MILA project
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” - Peter Drucker, founder of modern management
The UIC Methodology for Infrastructure Lifetime Assessment (MILA) project aims to develop a harmonised methodology to assess the railway infrastructure life cycle. Modelling of track component degradation should enable a better understanding of the factors that contribute to deterioration. It can also provide an essential tool for maintenance engineers to accurately predict maintenance and replacement needs and costs and optimise maintenance and replacement policies.
In addition, in-depth knowledge of deterioration processes affecting track components or subsystems may improve the work of infrastructure managers’ (IM) asset management departments, as well as validation of technical/economic forecasts and life cycle cost (LCC) studies.
This document summarises the lessons learned during the MILA project and key ideas for implementation of future projects. Some of the lessons learned are based on existing theoretical models, while others became apparent during collaboration amongst the MILA members.
First, it is clear that - even in the same conditions - different IMs will not necessarily choose the same track components. Their maintenance work and intervals will also differ. Economic, historical and practical considerations usually prevail over technical considerations.
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