Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Climate Change and Its Weather Hazard on the Reliability of Railway Infrastructure

Ahmad Kasraeia, A.H.S. Garmabakib, Johan Odeliusc, Khosro Soleimani Chamkhoramid and Adithya Thadurie

Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå university of technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden.


Due to the accumulated greenhouse gas (GHG) effect, climate change will affect infrastructure networks regardless of different climate mitigation strategies. Our current investigation reveals an apparent increasing trend in the number of climatic-based failures in the Swedish railway infrastructure from 2010 until 2020.

Switch and crossing (S&C) is a critical part of the railway infrastructure network, which plays a key role in adjusting the railway network capacity and dependability performance. Due to the structure of S&C, it can be affected more by extreme climate change impacts, e.g., abnormal temperature, ice and snow, and flooding. Clearly, the reliability and hazard function of infrastructures will be affected by age and environmental conditions. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the effect of different climate change features / explanatory variables called "covariates" on the reliability of S&Cs. The proportional hazard model (PHM) is a practical approach to assess and prioritize the impact of various environmental covariates on S&Cs' reliability.

This paper aims to integrate climate change data with infrastructure asset health. This integration can be developed by utilizing proportional hazard methodology to assess the effect of different covariates on the reliability function. The proposed methodology has been verified through a number of S&Cs located on the Swedish railway network. As a main result, this study has revealed that the operational environment covariates significantly influence the reliability of S&Cs and profoundly affect the availability and capacity of railway tracks. The study indicates the need for effective climate adaptation options to reduce climate change impacts and risks to achieve resilience and climate-neutral railway infrastructure asset.

Keywords: Railway infrastructure, Cox proportional hazard model, Reliability analysis, Climate change, Climate adaptation.

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