On 7 May 2018, the kick-off meeting was held by representatives of UIC and VNIIZhT. The 24th Asian Pacific Regional Assembly assigned VNIIZhT as the Project Leader for the APRA project “Modern Technical Rail Maintenance” which was launched during the kick-off meeting. Following the decision of the recent APRA Web Conferences, the principles of the Quality Management Process during the implementation of the project were discussed and agreed by the teams of VNIIZhT and UIC representatives.
From the UIC side the kick-off meeting was attended by Ms Irina Petrunina, UIC Advisor for CIS countries and APRA international organisations, and Mr Vytautas Kinderis, UIC Coordinator for Standardisation and East-West Relations.
From the VNIIZhT side the kick-off meeting was attended by Mr Nikita Gorshkov, Head of Unit for International scientific technical cooperation, Ms Yulija Bogatyreva, Deputy Head of Unit for international Cooperation, Mr Aleksey Borc, Deputy director of scientific centre “Rails, welding, transport’s material sciences, and Mr Evgeny Shur, Chief scientist of Laboratory “Materials and technologies of thermal processing of details of track superstructure and rolling stock”.
Nowadays the development of trends in world railway infrastructure can be characterised by the following factors: new manufacturing techniques of rails; axle load and train weight increase; high speed traffic development; significant differentiation of conditions for rail operation. The last factor has a major impact on infrastructure operations. Primarily on rails as in a number of countries axle loads of heavy trains are about 32-40 t/axle. Running speeds of high-speed rolling stock reach 350 km/h and more. The result is the need to optimise rail categories choice for set operation conditions (according to criteria of technical-and-economic efficiency and safety) and their maintenance. The project aims to develop recommendations for choosing rails category for different conditions and their current maintenance. For the last several years in the Russian Federation the system track and rail facility running has received development in classification improvement and railway line specification, requirements for rail reliability, their guaranteed life, recommendations for various operation conditions. A standardised document has been prepared in instruction form, which is a classification and catalogue of rails defects and sharp defects. It contains not only defects description but requirements for operation conditions in case of defects detecting and replacement procedure. The main effects of this work are cost-efficiency of rail life-cycle in various operating conditions, increase in traffic safety levels, increase in rail reliability and fail safety, extend their life-cycle, prevent derailments and train accidents.
Implementation of this work would be an innovative experience for the Asian Pacific Region to use various rail categories with different characteristics (according to EN 13674-1:2011), subject to operating conditions, that vary by running speed and loading for heavy haul and high speed traffic. The same effect would be had on JSC RZD. There will be a prepared matrix of different rail type application in various conditions under the plan/traffic composition (high speed railway line, speed railway line, railway line with passenger service primary, line with freight service primary, heavy-traffic railway line, low-intensity railway line) / on operational resource of fail safe operations.
Mr Konstantin Shenfeld, VNIIZhT Executive Director, and Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, were informed about the results of the kick-off meeting and the confirmed commitments to be adhered to by both organisations for the sake of technological progress within the international railway community.