series: Tinbergen Institute Research Series, No. 456
Operations Research Models for Scheduling Railway Infrastructure Maintenance
(Besliskundige modellen voor onderhoudsplanning van de spoorweginfrastructuur)
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In the last decades, maintenance of technical systems has become increasingly impor- tant in many industries. Such systems are transport systems (rail, bus, airplane), civil engineering systems (roads, buildings, bridges), health care (hospitals), communication systems, manufacturing plants, etc. Failures of these systems may cause expensive pro- duction losses and can have a negative e®ect on the environment and safety. For example, a train accident, crash of an airplane, collapse of a building, computer breakdown in an hospital, may cause large societal costs. Substantial environmental damage may result from a failure in the chemical industry and an unanticipated breakdown of a production system may cause large economic losses. By corrective maintenance, including repairs and replacements of the failed compo- nents, the failed system can be restored to an operational state. However, by preventive maintenance actions, including condition monitoring, inspections, small repairs, these failures can be prevented or their consequences can be reduced, but unfortunately the failures can never be totally eliminated. As Kobbacy and Murthy (2007) remark, over the last 50 years the approach to maintenance has been signi¯cantly changed. While over a hundred years ago, the focus was mostly on corrective maintenance, after the Second World War preventive maintenance gets increasingly more attention. The costs for maintenance has increased over the years as well.