Performance of fixed diamonds in complex railway S&C

Supervisors – Dr Louis Le Pen, Professor William Powrie

Infrastructure Group

I recently completed my MEng degree in Civil Engineering from Coventry University. My final year project was “The effects of Mangrove forests on attenuation of extreme wave run up height, surface run up”. This took a lobotomy approach in analysing the mitigating effects of a dense rigid body, a mangrove replica under different wave conditions.

I am currently researching the Performance of fixed diamonds in complex railway switches and crosses (S&C). My interest in this project and railways stems from my period of internship with the London underground Limited. 

My aim is to research and understand S&C and how best they could be improved in both design and maintenance to enhance performance and longevity.

Project Funders: Network Rail, School of Engineering studentship

Project details: 

Switches and crossings (S&C) constitute about 1% of the UK railway network by route distance yet account for some 20% of track maintenance and renewal costs. This is partly because by their nature they are complex structures that attract high and otherwise onerous loads. There is however a growing appreciation that they are not generally optimised in a systems sense, and that more could be done by way of improved design and maintenance methods to improve their performance and longevity. Recent research has focused on understanding the real behaviour of switches and how it is influenced by their component parts. This project will extend that work to the fixed diamond element of crossings. It will involve field monitoring of fixed diamonds at 1-3 problematic or other locations on the UK network, to obtain baseline behaviour of actual performance. These data will be used to develop models of crossing behaviour for use in geotechnical and / or vehicle-track interaction (VTI) models

Curtis Asare

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