KCPM Consulting has shown that the track owner's maintenance budget can be hugely affected by the way operators maintain their train wheels.
KCPM Consulting offers expertise in rail sleeper / tie design, identification of track maintenance problems, analysis of track dynamics and load capacity, and education services in track engineering.
Track component designs for sleepers and ties
KCPM has enabled track owners to achieve major reductions in costs through its unique component design method.
The company’s ‘limit state design’ concept for concrete sleepers and ties can be used for construction projects worldwide.
KCPM has also consulted on several high-impact, successful R&D projects on timber sleepers / ties, including the development of synthetic components to replace timber units.
Rail maintenance analysis
KCPM Consulting can help track maintenance workers to identify difficult problems through sophisticated track condition data analysis.
The company’s advanced techniques have identified the causes of seemingly intractable problems with track degradation, as well as quantified their significance and rates of development.
KCPM Consulting helps track owners to focus maintenance expenditure where it is needed, as well as make decisions regarding major track renewals and localised rectification works.
Track dynamics, analysis, research and development
KCPM Consulting’s expertise in track dynamics has helped identify problems, minimise costs and improve operations for track owners.
The company has conducted research and published international technical papers on a variety of topics related to track dynamics, such as in the design of new tracks and re-rating of existing tracks for increased traffic loads.
Through field testing and computer modelling, KCPM has shown that the damaging peak wheel-rail forces experienced by track are not a multiple of the static wheel load.
In fact, these peak forces occur randomly, and their maximum values are often closely related to operational factors such as wheel maintenance practices and policies.
KCPM also helped to develop the DTrack dynamic modelling computer package, which, together with KCPM’s specialist knowledge of track dynamics, has been used to minimise costs for track owners.
Track capacity and upgrades
KCPM Consulting provides realistic ratings of track load capacity for owners concerned about increased traffic demands on their tracks.
KCPM uses its track dynamics expertise, sophisticated modelling and analysis tools, and risk-based sleeper / tie design-and-rating system to verify whether tracks can carry existing and planned traffic demands successfully.
These outcomes result in large cost savings for clients via safely deferring major track upgrades.
Education programmes for railway engineers
KCPM Consulting has worked with major universities on R&D projects, consulting work, laboratory testing, independent validation, and railway education programmes.
Dr Martin Murray of KCPM created and ran the world’s first online, international Master of Engineering in Railway Infrastructure course at Queensland University of Technology, as well as a number of external education modules for track engineers worldwide. He was also the main developer and presenter of a five-day professional development programme for rail engineers and technical personnel in the Middle East.
Dr Murray is a key presenter at the twice-annual, one-day introduction to track engineering courses offered by the Australian Railway Association.
About KCPM Consulting
KCPM has more than 30 years of experience in design, track materials, maintenance and analysis.
The company has provided specialist expertise to local and international rail operators, including Roy Hill, Rio Tinto, Australian Rail Track Corporation, Queensland Rail, Fluor Rail, TasRail, Etihad Rail, Adani Mining, Australasian Railway Association, SMRT (Singapore) and Vossloh Pacific.
Dr Martin Murray of KCPM Consulting has been a pioneer in developing tailored, flexible professional development programs for railway engineers.
KCPM Consulting has shown that current methods of assessing rail fatigue are deficient and can lead to costly, unexpected failure.
KCPM Consulting's new design method saved the multi-award winning Roy Hill Mine in Western Australia an estimated $5 million on the purchase price of the (approximately) 600,000 concrete sleepers / ties in its heavy haul rail line.