There is a necessity among rail transportation authorities for a superior understanding of the rail track degradation overtime and the factors influencing rail degradation. They need an accurate technique to identify the time when rail tracks fail or need maintenance. In turn, this will help to increase the level of safety and comfort of the passengers and the vehicles as well as improve the cost effectiveness of maintenance activities. An accurate model can play a key role in prediction of the long-term behaviour of railroad tracks. An accurate model can decrease the cost of maintenance. In this research, the rail track degradation is predicted using an autoregressive moving average with exogenous input (ARMAX). An ARMAX has been implemented on Melbourne tram data to estimate the values for the tram track degradation. Gauge values and rail usage in Million Gross Tone (MGT) are the main parameters used in the model. The developed model can accurately predict the future status of the tram tracks.
Rail transport authorities around the world have been facing a significant challenge when predicting rail infrastructure maintenance work for a long period of time. Generally, maintenance monitoring and prediction is conducted manually. With the restrictions in economy, the rail transport authorities are in pursuit of improved modern methods, which can provide precise prediction of rail maintenance time and location. The expectation from such a method is to develop models to minimize the human error that is strongly related to manual prediction. Such models will help them in understanding how the track degradation occurs overtime under the change in different conditions (e.g. rail load, rail type, rail profile). They need a well-structured technique to identify the precise time that rail tracks fail in order to minimize the maintenance cost/time and secure the vehicles. The rail track characteristics that have been collected over the years will be used in developing rail track degradation prediction models. Since these data have been collected in large volumes and the data collection is done both electronically and manually, it is possible to have some errors. Sometimes these errors make it impossible to use them in prediction model development. This is one of the major drawbacks in rail track degradation prediction. An accurate model can play a key role in the estimation of the long-term behavior of rail tracks. Accurate models increase the track safety and decrease the cost of maintenance in long term. In this research, a short review of rail track degradation prediction models has been discussed before estimating rail track degradation for the curve sections of Melbourne tram track system using Adaptive Network-based Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) model.