Cover of KiwiRail Long-term Rail Bridge Renewal Management
KiwiRail Long-term Rail Bridge Renewal Management
  • Publication no: ABC2017-135-17
  • Published: 26 April 2017

KiwiRail manages a wide range of rail assets, including approximately 1700 bridges and major culverts within resource and investment constraints. With an existing asset stock that is aging there is increased pressure to manage assets on whole-of-life principles, requiring risk-based decisions for maintenance and renewal investment. KiwiRail is dependent on reliable assets to support the goal of delivering profitable and cost-effective freight and passenger services. In order to achieve these and other safety-related organisational goals, asset and risk management planning as well as accurate prioritisation of capital investment is necessary to ensure that the assets remain fit for purpose and operate within acceptable engineering safety limits. The challenge for asset managers is to ensure that the most appropriate projects are identified, prioritised and included in approved annual business plans. The prioritisation of bridge renewals needs to consider risk factors associated with condition, loading, environmental impacts such as earthquakes and scour, as well as design and construction standards. In order to evaluate and include these factors in a comprehensive prioritisation model, accurate and quality data and information are required in order to establish a rational and transparent prioritisation methodology. KiwiRail is in the process of reviewing and enhancing a wide range of standards and processes related to structures management with the goal of developing a long-term capital renewal programme that will form the basis for annual business planning. The review is undertaken against a framework of standardisation, simplification and investment. The paper provides background asset data as well as references to processes and procedures currently utilised to prioritise capital investment based on risks facing structures. The paper concludes with the vision for future structures management in KiwiRail.