Importance and applications of robotic and autonomous systems (RAS) in railway maintenance sector: a review

Randika K.W. Withanage*, Colin S. Harrison, Anjali K.M. DeSilva

*Corresponding author for this work

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Maintenance, which is critical for safe, reliable, quality, and cost-effective service, plays a dominant role in the railway industry. Therefore, this paper examines the importance and applications of Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) in railway maintenance. More than 70 research publications, which are either in practice or under investigation describing RAS developments in the railway maintenance, are analysed. It has been found that the majority of RAS developed are for rolling-stock maintenance, followed by railway track maintenance. Further, it has been found that there is growing interest and demand for robotics and autonomous systems in the railway maintenance sector, which is largely due to the increased competition, rapid expansion and ever-increasing expenses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2019



  • robotics; autonomous systems; railway; maintenance

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