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Engineering Project Preparation

Contents

Introduction.

Research Question.

III. Methodology.

a) Data collection.

b) Data analysis.

c) Validity of potential results.

Project Management

a) Scope of Project

b) Process and time-line.

c) Milestones and resources.

d) Uncertainty and risk control

e) Communication Management

Progress Statement

References.

I. Introduction to Improvement of Railway Performance

Railway tracks are an important mode of communication that is used frequently for transporting people and many goods daily. However, the frictional forces that train cause on the tracks by passing over them and the consequent corrosive effects that are created on the surrounding environment make the integrity of railway tracks essential (Zhang, Andrews, and Wang, 2013). Thus, the maintenance and works on the railway tracks become important for ensuring their smooth and proper functioning. Railway track maintenance demands huge budgets, is complex to execute and a lot of planning problems become an obstacle in organising such maintenance (Lidén, 2015). Different mechanisms are undertaken for the maintenance purpose of increasing the lifespan of the tracks in ordinary intervals and periodic renewals.

The aim of this research project proposal is to suggest a methodology and project management plan to evaluate the influence of track works and maintenance on social and economic impacts.

II. Research Question

Evaluation of the influence of track works and maintenance on social and economic impacts.

The research question aims to investigate the impact of railway track work and maintenance on the concerned population and economy. The track maintenance and renewal consist mainly of operations such as monitoring and evaluation of the track geometry, components, and restoration of such components in case of deterioration. These again have both social and economic impacts. The research project aims in evaluating those social and economic consequences arising from the track works and maintenance.

III. Methodology of Improvement of Railway Performance

For our research project, the evaluation procedure is adopted as a research methodology. Depending upon the purpose of the evaluation and object that is being evaluated, evaluation can be of different types (Fraenkel et al, 2019). There are two types of evaluation; formative evaluation and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation anticipated to enhance the object or program by evaluation and summative evaluation examines the impact or outcomes after the execution of the technology or program (Fraenkel et al, 2019). In our research proposal, we are used the summative evaluation method to evaluate the impact of track works and maintenance on society and the economy. The focus is on the South Coast rail line connecting Bondi Junction to Nuwara.

a) Data Collection

To collect adequate data that needs to be evaluated, an extensive study of literature available online and offline is conducted. The study materials are collected from research articles, journals, books, websites, and blogs. The literature review includes the data collected from the literature study. Apart from it, a survey is conducted, comprising 10 questions relevant to the research aim. The questionnaire is answered by 50-70 respondents who are railway employees, engineers, and regular train passengers traveling from the South Coast rail line connecting Bondi Junction to Nuwara. The aim of this questionnaire is to evaluate respond from various people from the diverse social background. The survey is conducted online. The questionnaire is shared with the participants as google forms via email and WhatsApp. No personal or sensitive information about the participants is asked and before starting the survey, participants' consent is taken. The confidentiality of participants is maintained even after the completion of the research.

b) Data Analysis

The data is analysed by the qualitative data analysis method. Quantitative data analysis refers to a procedure to organise, structure, and provide meaning to a large amount of collected data (Hilal and Alabri, 2013). It takes a lot of time and hard work to organise the collected data into a format the can be easily evaluated. Rather than following a strict procedure-based analysis, the quantitative analysis is much flexible and allows researchers to interact with the collected data (Corbin and Strauss, 2008). In our research work, the quantitative data is text-based, therefore, the data are analysed by the coding process. In the coding process, various tags or labels are assigned to different units of data which provides descriptive and inferential information about the complied data. We assigned a different color to certain data, phrases, or words. These data are then compiled together into meaningful sentences and paragraphs. Coding is done by using a highlighter of a different colour. The outcome of the survey is evaluated using statistical analysis. The final result is then represented through graphs which can be easily interpreted. 

c) Validity of Potential Results

Validity refers to the correctness, usefulness, appropriateness and meaningfulness of the particular implication researchers deduct from the data collected (Fraenkel et al, 2019). The data collected in for our research work is based entirely on literature evidences and survey conducted. Therefore, the validity of the potential is very high, but the correctness of survey is somehow doubtful due to involvement of human choices and less number of participants. The respondent may change their choices based on their experience and experience may vary person to person. Therefore, this can reduce the accuracy of potential result, however, this can be improved by conducting survey on much larger scale.

IV. Project Management

a) Scope of Project

The scope of this project is to provide an insight about the pros and cons of influence of track work and maintenance on social and economic aspect. Track maintenance is very significant and have a lot of influence in it surrounding. According to Pouryousef, Teixeira, and Sussman (2010), track maintenance and scheduling become important for high-speed lines to carry passengers in the fastest possible time. In this regard, various operations are undertaken for maintenance. Bilateral interactions take place between such activities and daily train operations causing disturbances and interruptions. Some of the issues arising out of these interactions are capacity and track possession, allocation and availability, safety concerns and train scheduling interruptions. For this purpose, corrective and preventive maintenance mechanisms or models are undertaken for reducing the issues (Pouryousef, Teixeira and Sussman, 2010). In preventive maintenance, the emphasis is given on pre-scheduling and predicting capability for the required practices and tasks. Guler (2013) has pointed out that track maintenance and renewal works should be carried out at the right time for making them more efficient and optimized, thereby enhancing the life of the railway track components. The rising demand for railway transportation has made it essential to invest significantly in track maintenance and renewal. Besides, cost reduction and better control of such processes are also ensured for increasing track efficiency. According to Jovanovic, Guler, and Coko (2015), deterioration models are being incorporated into railway maintenance management systems (RMMS). These help in enhancing the performance of railway infrastructure through achieved quality with costs of maintenance and renewal. The authors’ further point out the various functions that RMSS performs for track maintenance and renewal. The presence of the flexible database structure, full inventory of assets and others help in condition monitoring and visual inspections (Jovanovic, Guler and Coko, 2015).

According to Dolinayova, Kanis, and Loch (2016), there occurs multiplication effects from the maintenance and renewal works of railway tracks such as lower congestion, improvement in health conditions, the safety of transport augments, and decreased need for highways and reduction in environmental impacts. Sharma, et al. (2018) has opined that track quality index is used for evaluating the state of the railway tracks required for maintenance and renewal. It helps in identifying various defects on the tracks that are further addressed with the help of track preventive maintenance and Markov decision process.

Some of the economic benefits that are created with the help of track maintenance and renewal are savings of energy, reduction of freight costs and land occupied by other transport communications, enhancing land value, decreasing soil and water pollution, reduced road congestions, improving transport safety, increase in industrial production, augmented employment opportunities, reduction in public health nuisance, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and savings of time (Catalano, et al., 2019). Al-Douri, Tretten, and Karim (2016) have pointed out that track is the central part of the railway infrastructure, thus good maintenance is essential. Furthermore, with the rapid growth of technology and increasing automation, the maintenance of tracks has become more expensive and complicated (Dao, Basten and Hartmann, 2018). Additionally, it plays an essential financial role while undertaking any administrative, technical or managerial decision. Manaugh and El-Geneidy (2012) have pointed out that maintenance, works and renewal of railway tracks also create some social benefits for the people. These are social equity, urban regeneration, and an increase in the use of public transport.

Dolinayova, Kanis, and Loch (2016) have pointed out that maintenance and renewal of railway tracks for ensuring proper functioning of railway transport incur three types of social costs. These include costs of the infrastructure manager, external costs and costs of the railway transport operators. The infrastructure manager cost involves all the costs associated with the operation of railway transport. These include costs of substations, posts and heavy-current equipment, initial costs for electrification and servicing and maintenance of the traction lines. Costs of the operators include direct and indirect costs. While direct costs consist of traction fuel and energy, direct wages, costs of vehicles, fees, material costs and others, indirect costs include both operating and administrative expenses (Dolinayova, Ľoch and Camaj, 2016).

Our project proposal is to perform a detailed evaluation of influence of social and economic influence of track work and maintence. 

b) Process and Time-Line

The above diagram represents how the study will be performed for this research. It demonstrate the significant phases of work for the project. During first week of the study, literature study will began. Based on this literature study, a survey will be prepared and distributed to respondents in week 2. Adequate time will be provided to the respondents so that they may answer it will relaxed mind and full consciousness. During week 3, survey data will be collected and literary data will be organised. In week 4, all the data will be evaluated and transformed into an easy to understand format. Finally, all the compilation and documentation work will be completed in week 5.

Since, there is no physical interaction involved in this research, the chances of delay is very less. The literature review and survey will be carry out online. Therefore, there should be any delay in the stated period. The central motive of the above diagram is to demonstrate how the work will be organised, step by step.

c) Milestones and Resources

The above pie process chart illustrate the milestones that need to be achieved for the success of this research project. The important resources to achieve these milestones are:

  • Peer viewed journals.
  • Authentic books, blogs and websites.
  • Participants who are interested and have adequate information related to the research question.

d) Uncertainty and Risk Control

There are certain limitations that could affect the final result of this research project, such as:

  • Since, there is no involvement of qualitative analysis, the actual impact and degree of influence cannot be determined with accuracy.
  • Some of the participants may not respond to the survey with required seriousness or maybe due to insufficient knowledge.

The measure that could potentially lower these uncertainty are:

  • Selecting only peer viewed and renowned literature.
  • Explaining the research aim and scope to the participants before conducting survey.

e) Communication Management

Subject

Chanel

Purpose

Ideal time

Actual time

General notes

Supervision Meeting 1

Face to face Meeting

Clarifying data collection

16-11-2020

 

Due to online Covid-19 pandemic arrange video conference.

Inviting participants

Email

Survey arrangement

23-11-2020

 

70 possible participants

Final report submission

Face to face meeting

Get consent from supervisor

21-12-2020

 

Get supervisor signature

V. Progress Statement

The objective of our project holds a significant role in establishing a sustainable environment. As mentioned earlier, there are many social and economic aspects related to the railway track work and maintenance which directly or indirectly influence our environment. Therefore, we expect an informative and beneficial outcome of this project. The milestones play a critical role in determining the success of this project. The driving force behind achieving those milestones would be planned work, academic labor, and coordination among all the stakeholders. This project is estimated to be completed within five weeks of initialising. Hopefully, this project will be completed within the expected deadline and prove to be valuable for society. 

References for Improvement of Railway Performance

Al-Douri, Y.K., Tretten, P. and Karim, R., 2016. Improvement of railway performance: a study of Swedish railway infrastructure. Journal of Modern Transportation, 24(1), pp.22-37.

Catalano, G., Daraio, C., Diana, M., Gregori, M. and Matteucci, G., 2019. Efficiency, effectiveness, and impacts assessment in the rail transport sector: a state‐of‐the‐art critical analysis of current research. International Transactions in Operational Research, 26(1), pp.5-40.

Corbin, J.M., and Strauss, A. L. 2008. Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. London: Sage Publications, Inc.

Dao, C., Basten, R. and Hartmann, A., 2018. Maintenance scheduling for railway tracks under limited possession time. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems, 144(8), p.04018039.

Dolinayova, A., Kanis, J. and Loch, M., 2016. Social and Economic Efficiency of Operation Dependent and Independent Traction in Rail Freight. Procedia Engineering, 134, pp.187-195.

Dolinayova, A., Ľoch, M. and Camaj, J., 2016. Liberalization of the railway freight market in the context of a sustainable transport system. Transportation Research Procedia, 14, pp.916-925.

Fraenkel, J.R., Wallen, N.E., and Hyun, H.H. 2019. How to design and evaluate research in education (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Guler, H., 2013. Decision support system for railway track maintenance and renewal management. Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 27(3), pp.292-306.

Hilal, A.H., and Alabri, S. S. 2013. Using NVivo for data analysis in qualitative research. International interdisciplinary journal of education2(2), 181-186.

Jovanovic, S., Guler, H. and Coko, B., 2015. Track degradation analysis in the scope of railway infrastructure maintenance management systems. Gradevinar, 67(3), pp.247-257.

Lidén, T. 2015. Railway Infrastructure Maintenance - A Survey of Planning Problems and Conducted Research. Transportation Research Procedia, 10, 574–583. doi:10.1016/j.trpro.2015.09.011

Manaugh, K. and El-Geneidy, A., 2012. Who benefits from new transportation infrastructure? Using accessibility measures to evaluate social equity in public transport provision. In Accessibility Analysis and Transport Planning. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Pouryousef, H., Teixeira, P. and Sussman, J., 2010. Track maintenance scheduling and its interactions with operations: Dedicated and mixed high-speed rail (HSR) scenarios. Joint Rail Conference, 49071, pp. 317-326).

Sharma, S., Cui, Y., He, Q., Mohammadi, R. and Li, Z., 2018. Data-driven optimization of railway maintenance for track geometry. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 90, pp.34-58.

Topalovic, P., Carter, J., Topalovic, M. and Krantzberg, G., 2012. Light rail transit in Hamilton: Health, environmental and economic impact analysis. Social Indicators Research, 108(2), pp.329-350.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Engineering Assignment Help

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