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Development of Railway Turnout Structural Condition Index


An efficient track maintenance management system depends on a reliable track conditions assessment. The available track condition indices have been developed based on the geometry assessment or visual inspection of the straight tracks and curves structural conditions. The literature review indicates that there is no research on the indices development for the track turnouts and switch conditions, despite their important role in the track performance and safety. It is the critical requirement to develop switch condition index. In response to this requirement, in this study an index for the track turnout and switches structures conditions was developed for the first time. The index was developed based on the results of the filed investigation as well as statistical analyses of engineering experiences and expert judgments using the Delphi method. The applicability and reliability of the new index were evaluated by analyzing the index obtained for 23 turnouts. It was shown that the new index provides a better understanding of the track safety level and cost-effective maintenance and it optimizes repair planning for the turnout and crossing.

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Fig. 1
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Fig. 4



Track geometry index


Track quality index

w5 :

Quality measure of line segments


Indicator of a track quality

R2 :

Track roughness index


Quality index


Track structural index


Deduct value


Mean value


Standard deviation


Condition indices for switch components


Condition indices for frog components


Condition indices for guardrail components

g :

Total summed deduction values

t :

Total summed deduction values


Type of turnout defect


Defect-severity level


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Correspondence to Seyed Mohammad Seyedhosseini.

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Rahmani, A., Seyedhosseini, S.M. Development of Railway Turnout Structural Condition Index. Iran J Sci Technol Trans Civ Eng 45, 219–226 (2021).

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  • Turnouts
  • Condition index
  • Visual inspection
  • Switch