Estimating railway rail service life: A rail-grid-based approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - rail, organisation - management, planning - methods, infrastructure - track, infrastructure - maintainance


Railway rail, Service life, Markov model, Estimation, Heterogeneity


Precise estimation of railway rail service life is of great significance for the efficient use of maintenance and replacement resources and the effective prevention of broken rails. Here, an innovative model for railway rail service life estimation is proposed. A railway line is divided into adjacent segments of the same specific length. Each segment is termed a “rail grid.” Employing the theory of Markov stochastic processes and hazard models, the service life of each rail grid is estimated and the degradation law of each rail grid is customized. The proposed model is verified using five-year rail inspection data for the Longhai Railway. Our evaluation demonstrates that the estimated rail service life is very close to the real rail service life and meets railway management requirements.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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