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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 796171, 12 pages
Research Article

Developing an Enhanced Short-Range Railroad Track Condition Prediction Model for Optimal Maintenance Scheduling

1MOE Key Laboratory for Urban Transportation Complex Systems Theory and Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University, No. 3 Shang Yuan Cun, Haidian District, Beijing 100044, China
2Railroad Maintenance-of-Way Department of Nanchang, 125 Er Shi Qi South Road, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330002, China

Received 5 April 2015; Revised 8 September 2015; Accepted 9 September 2015

Academic Editor: Yuanchang Xie

Copyright © 2015 Peng Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As railroad infrastructure becomes older and older and rail transportation is developing towards higher speed and heavier axle, the risk to safe rail transport and the expenses for railroad maintenance are increasing. The railroad infrastructure deterioration (prediction) model is vital to reducing the risk and the expenses. A short-range track condition prediction method was developed in our previous research on railroad track deterioration analysis. It is intended to provide track maintenance managers with two or three months of track condition in advance to schedule track maintenance activities more smartly. Recent comparison analyses on track geometrical exceptions calculated from track condition measured with track geometry cars and those predicted by the method showed that the method fails to provide reliable condition for some analysis sections. This paper presented the enhancement to the method. One year of track geometry data for the Jiulong-Beijing railroad from track geometry cars was used to conduct error analyses and comparison analyses. Analysis results imply that the enhanced model is robust to make reliable predictions. Our in-process work on applying those predicted conditions for optimal track maintenance scheduling is discussed in brief as well.