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Transportation – Rail Wear and Tear

Reasons why railway tracks get weathered away or broken.

Fishbone template on rail wear and tear

Railway tracks are the backbone of the railway system infrastructure. Most of the accidents and derailments occur due to mechanical failure of wheels, broken tracks, operational errors etc. Lack of periodic maintenance, issues in substructure or superstructure of tracks, rail profile and inclination, bogie damping, vehicle speed, stiffness of bogie, axle load etc. are some of the causes that are responsible for rail wear and tear. I have designed a fishbone template following the principles of Ishikawa’s fishbone diagram which is simple and well structured.

Rail Wear and Tear

  •         Braking and traction
  •         Vehicle speed
  •         Bogie damping
  •         Bogie stiffness
  •         Wheel diameter
  •         Wheel profile
  •         Axle load


  •         Weather conditions
  •         Pollutions


  •         Rail hardness
  •         Rail inclination
  •         Rail cant
  •         Rail profile


  •         Lubrication
  •         Milling
  •         Grinding

 Track superstructure

  •         Track superstructure damping
  •         Track superstructure stiffness
  •         Curve radius
  •         Irregularities

  Track substructure

  •         Subgrade damping
  •         Subgrade stiffness
  •         Ballast damping
  •         Ballast stiffness

You can reuse this fishbone template to analyze the root causes for your own specific purpose. It is a methodical way to arrange the parent causes of any problems hierarchically with their child or sub-causes.

Who should use the Rail Wear and Tear template?

  • This fishbone template provides a thorough guidance to one who wants to know the causes of rail wear.

Why use this template?

  • The Rail Wear and Tear template describes the causes why railway tracks get weathered away.
  • Customize, extend and reuse this template using smartQED.
  • Design and create your own templates for in-depth visual problem analysis in smartQED.

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