The challenge to sustain railways depends on the ability to optimise the utilisation of the asset
base. It demands the establishment of a continuous asset improvement process which requires
maintenance personnel continuously to improve their understanding of the infrastructure’s
performance and the relevance of the configuration to this performance. A successful asset
management process incorporates these elements and results in the optimisation of the
infrastructure life cycle by extending useful life while minimising the operational interference,
thereby increasing capacity. The effect of condition-based maintenance is illustrated, signifying
how this maintenance strategy increases maintenance effectiveness (doing the right things
at the right places), thus decreasing maintenance costs. It is apparent that with an increase in
maintenance effectiveness, less time will be spent on maintaining assets, resulting in an increase
of asset availability adding to the business objectives, allowing for an increase in operations.
The paper demonstrates how condition-based and condition performance-based maintenance
can enable railway organisations to save up to roughly 30% on their maintenance costs, while
increasing capacity to approximately the same value.