Maintenance of way

Maintenance of way from past days
© Plasser & Theurer

The construction of railway lines requires high investments. However, with long lifecycles (for example, 30 to 50 years for the superstructure), the system can gain an economic advantage over other modes of transport. To achieve this durability, however, it is necessary to build and maintain the railway system at the highest quality level. In the early days, track construction was still associated with high staff costs, but today it is one of the sectors with the highest level of automation in the construction industry. From maintenance to the replacement of the superstructure, a large number of activities today are carried out partly automated and on a track-bound basis.

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You can find suitable specialist literature about the topic here:

The Basic Principles of Mechanised Track Maintenance

The Basic Principles of Mechanised Track Maintenance

This book is dedicated to the many people involved in the day to day planning and performance of track maintenance activities. Providing a practical approach to everyday challenges in mechanised track maintenance, it is not just intended as a theoretical approach to the track system. 
Railways aim at transporting people and freight safely, rapidly, regularly, comfortably and on time from one place to another. This book is directed to track infrastructure departments contributing to the above objective by ensuring the track infrastructure’s reliability, availability, maintainability and safety – denoted by the acronym RAMS. Regular, effective and affordable track maintenance enable RAMS to be achieved.