Reliability analysis of railway rolling stock failure patterns

B M Alkali, G Brown, C Tart, V Orsi

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


    This paper presents an investigation conducted on the reliability of the classes of railway rolling stock safety critical systems. It is evident that the safety critical systems of trains affect the performance and the availability to operate a schedule service. These occurrences can cause large delays which subsequently result in additional maintenance expenditure and financial penalties to the service providers. This paper identifies the probable causes of in-service train failures in Scotland. Train wheel wear patterns damage suspension components, causing poor train operation resulting to costly unplanned maintenance and corrective repairs. Door failures contribute to delays, cancellations and part cancellations. In this paper, an in-depth analysis of historical failure data is conducted to have better idea of the technical requirements such as adequate inspection frequencies, preventive maintenance, appropriate profiling and measurement requirements. The relevance of the use of opportunistic maintenance when they arise, the risk of using an opportunity to do preventive maintenance and inspections on trains is investigated. A delay time model is considered for modelling the reliability of safety critical failure patterns and periodicity using existing history of failure and maintenance data records. The outcome of the investigation identifies operational and opportunities to model hard and soft defects and failures. The model algorithm developed is used for modelling analysis to support long term decisions on optimal cost effective replacement and maintenance strategy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance
    EditorsJ Pombo
    Place of PublicationStirlingshire, UK
    PublisherCivil-Comp Press
    ISBN (Print)9781905088591
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2014

    Publication series

    NameSeries 2
    PublisherCivil-Comp Press
    ISSN (Print)1759-3433


    • reliability
    • rolling stock
    • preventive maintenance
    • delay time


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