Winter Technologies for High Speed Rail
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High speed rail are operatives in many countries in the world. The technology has evolved for about 40 years now and is mastered by several worldwide companies. However, high speed rail are fairly new in Nordic countries suchas Sweden and Finland and few development has been done so far to deal with high speed rail in hard winter conditions. Japanese Shinkansen experiences snowfall and cold weather but nothing compared to the Norwegian long, cold and snowy winters over the whole country. With the possibility of building a high speed rail in Norway in the future, NSB and CargoNet realise that few technologies are published in regard of winter operations. However, after winter 2009/2010 overwhelming snowstorm throughout Europe, most countries started analysing the situation to avoid any major winter shortage in the future. Many problems occurred on the networks either on the rolling stock, infrastructure or operations. The goal of the thesis is to analyse the proposed winter technologies from an economical/beneficial point of view to propose the best one to the industry. Literature study provides information about the available technologies and interviews with railway industry actors confirms its efficiency in case of an existing technology and the potential success in the event of a new one. The analysis of data provided that propylene glycol de-icing was the most cost effective technology for the rolling stock and should be implemented throughout any winter railway network. It has been proven effective by the industry. Likewise, snow brushes and fences combined with improved switch heaters – with the use of cameras and sensors – will reduce manual cleaning and increase the efficiency of the entire infrastructure network. For the planning, many alternatives are available to improve the operations but two main recommendations are to be kept in mind; Communication between weather forecasting groups, infrastructure managers, trains operators, customers and authorities is primordial as well as being ready to react to any situation by having emergency plans before the undesired situation arise.