The system allows users to select a variety of parameters including the type of operation, track radius, load, their investment and maintenance strategy, and their rail grinding regime including the rate of metal removal to determine the ideal solution while minimising the cost over the life of the rail.

“We have the results from more than 100 track tests around the world, so we have a lot of results on rail performance, whereas an infrastructure manager only knows his own railway,” Dr Martin Platzer, Voestalpine’s senior vice-president, told IRJ at InnoTrans.

Referring to the propensity of railways to choose products based on first cost rather than the life-cycle cost, Platzer said: “We hope that with this tool we will be able to get infrastructure managers through the psychological barrier of not doing something even though they understand the benefit of doing so.”