The project is co-ordinated by UIC with support from ARTTIC in France. The role of TWI in the project has been instrumental during the assessment of current inspection practices used in the European rail infrastructure and the task of providing guidance to increase the uptake of useful and cost-effective approaches by the rail sector. One study example applying to existing infrastructure and carried out by project partner University of Lulea, is of two bridges in Sweden. Testing and analysis has included the pre-stressing of a concrete trough bridge to increase its shear capacity and a test-to-failure of a steel truss bridge to gauge its capacity.
With a number of needs arising from emerging freight and passenger demands, the results of these and similar tests will enable more effective planning of maintenance by the railway infrastructure managers, who will in turn have access to new and improved renewal, strengthening or refurbishment solutions. MAINLINE will provide the rail industry with an evaluation tool capable of accurately comparing cost efficiency on a whole-life basis, bringing together in a quantified manner the economic and environmental consideration required to inform management decision makers.
A meeting to mark the end of the project's second year took place in September 2013 at TWI in Cambridge with the next meeting, to include a regional workshop, scheduled for Budapest in May 2014.
MAINLINE is a three-year European R&D project for the railway sector funded under the Seventh Framework Programme, with a total budget of ?4,500,000. The project began in October 2011, bringing together the complementary expertise and results from previous projects funded by the European Union (e.g. INNOTRACK and Sustainable Bridges). MAINLINE's consortium comprises 19 partners from 11 different countries, including major players in railway infrastructure management from both Western and Eastern European countries (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Sweden, Turkey and Hungary). MAINLINE is also utilising and building on partners' expertise in other infrastructure networks, such as energy, and relevant industry sectors.
MAINLINE will host three event in 2014, for more information see our events page.
For more information about this project please contact us or visit the MAINLINE website.