Fine tuning between the vehicle and the infrastructure is the basis for permanently safe and economic rail operation. Even small changes of one or several system components have an effect on the entire rail system. Attempts to optimize single components usually fail because of the one-sidedness of the measures and because
of the complexity of the system.
A good example is the question: What should be harder, stronger,
more wear-resistant? The wheel or the rail?
Besides the strainability of the material questions about the
- occurring stress,
- contact geometry,
- long-term availability of rail profiles and the quality of the materials as well as the
- maintenance philosophy and procedure for rail and wheel are to be answered.
Finally, each optimization has to be a good balance between the wheel and the rail, which also ensures good running behaviour and the best ride quality.
Therefore, system optimization is a multidisciplinary task, within the scope of which integrated analyses and thus conclusive solution concepts are prepared in consideration of information from all specialist fields and in accord with the individual operational situation.
Of course, it is still possible to realise iterating optimization procedures in accordance with the principle of trial and error. However, due the many possible
failures and the long test periods it is very likely that such procedures will not work out.
Sound and documented results of calculations, simulations and – above all – the experience of all the various kinds of experts definitely offer better results in a fraction of the time.
Thus, due to the complexity of the railway system optimization
projects require competent consultancy and assistance from all
kinds of experts as a function of the need.