Track-quality index and degradation of railway track structure: The construction track doubling project of northeast line from thanon chira junction to khon kaen station, Thailand
In the past, the railway network has not been developed, and new construction added has been mostly degraded caused by long useful life, and lack of maintenance due to a budget constraint. Currently, 93% of railway in Thailand is single track which results in delays due to low capacity and low average speeds, delayed train on a single track will also delay the train passing it. In some areas of the network, the amount of travel and transportation exceeds the capacity received, so delays in travel and transportation is quite high. Due to this above reason, the service of railway is not effective in terms of convenience and speed of service. Punctuality and cost is high compared with road transport. The biggest challenge that railways faces is the insufficient number of tracks and outdated or old trains. Most the trains cannot travel at their optimum speed because they do not get clearances on time. Thai government has a policy to develop railway track network and services to improve transportation efficiency and save fuel energy used in the transportation sector of the country. Thus, it is necessary to develop the rail transportation system from the existing network as a single track to the current double track network. This study focuses on investigating the degradation of the existing railway structure during the construction track doubling Project. Data were inspected by Track Inspection Car EM120N before the commencement of construction for analysing the condition with the Track Quality Index / TQI) in order to predict the degradation of the railway to plan maintenance and further renewal of the railway. The study found that the TQI value of the existing track structure during the two years of the doubling track construction (2017-2018) has changed significantly.