Challenges in implementing current track standards into the existing ageing infrastructure

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

88 Downloads (Pure)


The rail industry in the United Kingdom is constantly investing in its infrastructure to make a better experience for passengers by providing more frequent and faster journeys. Large parts of this investment are the renewal of infrastructure that needs upgrading and introduction of new rolling stock which requires strategic and operational planning, multi-disciplinary design input and approvals from Network Rail Route Asset Managers (RAM). With the evolving standards set out by Network Rail it is becoming increasingly difficult to design track alignments without derogations to these standards. The aim of this paper is to gauge industry professionals’ opinions on aspects surrounding track design such as their industry experience, their experience on working with software tools, as well as to highlight areas of design difficulty with regards to the Network Rail standards. Furthermore, this paper will explore a case study where the existing and proposed alignments have been analysed and an alternative proposed alignment has been designed in an attempt to eradicate the derogations encountered in the original design. Qualitatively collected data showed that 63% of sites designed by the respondents contain derogations, mainly connected to the restrictions and limitations in the design standards, as well as the changes to the scope during the project life cycle. Following on from this, the results of the case study highlighted the original accepted proposed design contained six derogations which, in the second proposed alignment, were reduced to three more serious derogations which resulted in the design being rejected.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoad and Rail Infrastructure VI: Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Road and Rail Infrastructure
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021
EventCETRA 2020: 6th International Conference on Road and Rail Infrastructure - Pula, Pula, Croatia
Duration: 20 May 202121 May 2021 (Conference website)


ConferenceCETRA 2020
Internet address


  • permanent way
  • track design
  • derogation
  • design standards
  • railways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenges in implementing current track standards into the existing ageing infrastructure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this