Extended rolling stock service life

Context and issue

Vibratec was commissioned by the transit authority to assess the residual service life of rolling stock bodies.

Residual life represents the time remaining before major structural damage occurs. This analysis is essential for planning mid-life and preventive maintenance operations, and for forecasting the costs of repairing or renewing the equipment.

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Client Benefits


Extension of rolling stock operating life

The study confirmed the relevance of operating for up to 40 years (30% gain).


Focused maintenance

Easier maintenance, with no need for heavy intervention, as risk areas were identified in the study.


Optimising investment costs

Optimization of infrastructure maintenance criteria to minimize operating stresses.

Challenges for Vibratec


Estimate the residual lifetime of equipment in its actual environment and use


Optimize rolling stock and infrastructure maintenance strategies


Investment decision support


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A global approach, covering both rolling stock and infrastructure

Key Development Points

Design review

This stage consisted in assessing the mechanical design of the body. It included the production of numerical models (finite elements) and the identification of sensitive (weak) areas of the body under design loads.


Analysis of structural integrity and determination of actual loads based on in-service measurements

Measurements taken during operation under various load conditions provided a better understanding of the structure’s behavior and identified the equipment’s actual stresses. Observations and inspections were also carried out on the body to assess its mechanical integrity at any given moment.


Estimation of residual life based on future operating forecasts (life profile)

These methods made it possible to assess different operating scenarios over the residual life of the structure, and to plan inspections and repair accordingly.

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