Smart Railway Maintenance – Challenges and Research Directions



Railway maintenance is crucial for the operation of current railway systems, as these are subject to strict requirements in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, quality of service and scalability. Existing solutions for railway maintenance are, traditionally, either reactive or periodical, which is far from optimal. Moreover, they tend to use expensive, specialized approaches, and do not take advantage of emerging technologic tools and techniques, such as 5G systems, cloud-based operation, and intelligent data processing and information extraction/inference for achieving predictive maintenance. In fact, predictive maintenance is the core paradigm of what is now called Smart Railway Maintenance. This paper provides an insight on Smart Railway Maintenance, by overviewing existing approaches to railway maintenance systems, identifying their limitations with respect to current requirements, presenting technologies with potential for supporting future Smart Railway Maintenance systems, and offering new research directions. Moreover, in line with the suggested research directions, the paper also proposes a novel architecture to address the encountered issues/limitations.

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(TBP) 2020

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