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Inspection Data Management

Description:

The advances in inspection technology are generating vast amounts of data which are not being harnessed to full potential to assess railroad infrastructure financial and operational performance. Further, these additional data sets require sophisticated processes to analyze and extract valuable, actionable information for improved management decision making. The Industry will benefit from the advancement of approaches to a standardized information framework development to ensure that management data for track assets can be recorded and decision support systems are integrated for optimized management decision making. The data sets must be inclusive of asset condition measurements, field assessments, incident information, as well as work and cost history at the primary functional asset level.

Objective:

To develop the following tools for the industry:

  1. Information framework within which the operational and financial performance information of various track assets can be collected.
  2. Requirements for the information needed for Standardized Track Asset Register. The register will provide the framework for the static and dynamic information that should be recorded to assess the financial and operational performance of the track assets. The financial and operational performance information shall support line of site for CAPEx and OPEx investment decisions.
  3. The specification for Risk-Based Railroad Maintenance Decision Support Systems that support: a. Integration of data from different track inspection. b. Track and field data collection and integration using hand-held devices, automated inspection and visualization, and wayside based communications technologies c. Inspection System Integration and Work Order/Track Maintenance Reconciliation
Benefits:

The basis for the optimal management of the financial and operational performance of assets lies in the integrity of the underlying informational framework from which performance is assessed. Having a standardized approach and framework for the information that considers best practices for financial and operational decision making allows the industry to credibly and reliably assess their performance in these key areas providing line of site decision making balancing asset performance, cost, risk and service needs thereby elevating the overall stewardship of these strategic assets.

Related Research:

FTA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Contract awarded to Encada in 2014. The report that was created from this contract is titled, “Developing a Standard Integrated Framework for Transit Asset Management” by Willem Ebersohn PhD and Valerie Marcolongo. The SBIR topic was: 13.1-FT2 Improved Decision Support Tools for State of Good Repair.

Tasks:

Specific research efforts should be directed towards:

a. The development of Information framework within which the operational and financial performance information of various track assets can be collected.

b. The development of requirements for the information needed for Standardized Track Asset Register. The register will provide the framework for the static and dynamic information that should be recorded to assess the financial and operational performance of the track assets. The financial and operational performance information shall support line of site for CAPEx and OPEx investment decisions.

c. The specification for Risk-Based Railroad Maintenance Decision Support Systems that support:

i. Integration of data from different track inspection sources

ii. Track and field data collection and integration using hand-held devices, automated vehicle, and wayside based communications technologies

iii. Inspection System Integration and Work Order/Track Maintenance Reconciliation

Implementation:

Encada will engage an industry partner, NYMTA or PAAC to complete this work.

Relevance:

According to the FRA, the number of track related train derailments for Class 1 railroads has increased nationwide by approximately 18% over the past 2 years and approximately 25% over the past three years. The trend in these incidents is increasing. The need to better understand the underlying issues causing these incidents and the resource needs to properly address them is urgent. And although agencies are collecting more data today than in the past, there is a challenge to navigate through this data to harvest key information and assess requirements for addressing them. Having an informational framework and risk-based decision support system in place that allows for credible, reliable and transparent decision making is essential to support the goals for optimally managing these strategic track assets.

Sponsoring Committee:AR050, Railroad Infrastructure Design and Maintenance
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Valerie Marcolongo, Encada Dr. Willem Ebersohn, Encada
Date Posted:01/08/2021
Date Modified:05/20/2021
Index Terms:Inspection, Data management, Data files, Asset management, Decision support systems,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Subjects    
Railroads
Administration and Management
Data and Information Technology
Research

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