Project details



Automated and cost effective railway infrastructure maintenance

Start date: 01.12.2010

Duration: 36 months

Coordinator: Centro de Estudios Materiales y Control de Obras S.A.

Budget: 3.85 M€


ACEM-Rail project deals with automation and optimisation of railway infrastructure maintenance. It focuses on the track. The final goal is to reduce costs, time and resources required for maintenance activities and increase the availability of the infrastructure. The project includes both conventional and high speed lines. ACEM-Rail project will mean an important step forward in railway infrastructure maintenance techniques for the following reasons:

  • Several technologies for automated and cost effective inspection of the track (subgrade and superstructure) condition will be developed and prototypes will be manufactured. These technologies will be applicable both to conventional and high speed lines
  • Predictive algorithms will be developed to estimate the rail defects evolution.
  • Algorithms will be developed for an optimal planning of railway infrastructure maintenance tasks. For the moment, there are not appropriate optimisation models for the integrated scheduling of preventive and corrective operations.
  • Modes and tools will be developed in order to monitor the proper execution of corrective and preventive maintenance tasks. These technologies will be applied in mobile (hand.held) computers. This way execution and monitoring of maintenance tasks will be automated and optimized.
  • A novel technology based on intelligent systems will be developed for the optimal management of all the subsystems in the whole railway infrastructure system. A classification of all the different subsystem together with the selection of most relevant parameters will be carried out.

The main benefits of the project are: (i) reduction of cost, (ii) increase in safety, quality and reliability of the service, (iii) increase of rail freight transport and, as a consequence, (iv) reduction in CO2 emissions.

List of achievements

The project publications are available here.


Contact person: Noemi Jiménez-Redondo