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Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
Venue: THotel, Cagliari, Sardinia
Railways 2016
The Third International Conference on
Railway Technology:
Research, Development and Maintenance
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
5-8 April 2016

Special Session Call for Papers:

Special Session: RW2016-S21
Squats: Detection, Monitoring, Mitigation and International Experience
Session Aims and Scope

Rail squats (and sometimes called studs) are typically classified as the development of any cracks that have grown longitudinally and laterally through the subsurface and become a laminated crack resulting in a depression of the rail surface. By UIC definition, this defect is visible on the running surface of the rail head as a widening and a localised depression of the rail/wheel contact band, accompanied by a dark spot containing cracks with a circular arc or V shape. The cracks propagate inside the head, at first at a shallow angle to the surface. Then, when they reach 3 to 5 mm depth, they propagate downward transversely, producing the fracture of the rail. Globally, railway maintainers and operators are suffering from rail squats (rail surface defects) that lead to increased maintenance, operational downtime, more frequent monitoring and track patrol, and possibly the broken rail. In addition, urban rail operators experience social problems of ground-borne, structure-borne noise and vibration induced by rail surface defects.

Increasingly the rail defect has become a widespread problem in both passenger and freight rail networks around the world. The rail squat/stud defects could be observed in all types of track structures, in all arrays of track geometries and gradients, and in all possible operational traffics.

To address these problems, railway infrastructure managers world-wide have devoted numerous resources for research and investigation in order to develop mitigation strategies around rail squat defects. However, despite much effort, effective and unified solutions are still not available.

This Session will bring together rail authorities, maintenance engineers, track engineers, rolling stocks engineers and wheel/rail experts and will cover, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Wheel/rail interaction;
  • Crack propagation mechanism;
  • Detection method and automated technology;
  • Monitoring and modelling of rail squats and studs;
  • Maintenance, mitigation, repair and removal;
  • Innovative solutions;
  • Friction management;
  • Failure mode and consequences;
  • Environmental and social impact due to rail squats;
  • International experience of rail squats/studs.

For specific questions regarding the scope of this session please contact the organisers:
  • Dr M. Ishida, Nihon Koei Ltd., Japan, (ishida-mk AT
  • Dr Z. Li, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, ( AT
  • Dr. S. Kaewunruen, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, (s.kaewunruen AT

Please note that papers that are found to fall outside the scope of this session may be considered for other sessions.

Abstract Submission
To submit abstracts for this special session, please follow the normal abstract submission procedure but please select "RW2016-S20" when asked "Is this paper part of a special session?"
Continue: Call-for-Papers