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Adaptation of rail infrastructure
Rail infrastructure is exposed to different climate impacts, e.g. heat, high precipitation and flooding. Extreme heat may lead to rail buckling. During extreme temperatures, trains would have to run slower or would face the risk of derailment. Adapting the rail system to cope with great temperature variability will include an adjustment of the stress free temperature or even the use of other steel types. Stressing is a technique to avert track problems like fracturing or buckling at the temperature extremes. Stress free temperature is 75% of the expected maximum temperature of the region and should be adjusted to increasing temperature, so that stressing is not necessary. Maintenance includes many different possibilities to reduce infrastructure vulnerability that is caused by infrastructure in bad condition. Some examples: Maintenance of rail track (including replacement in time) reduces rail buckling during heat periods. Maintenance of embankments and drains guarantees the functioning of these systems if heavy rains or floods occur. Frequent inspection of bridges (especially corrosion) reduces damage and destruction risk due to heavy rains.
Data source Author Country Climate risks considered Methodological approach
Adaptation Measures in the EU: Policies, Costs, and Economic Assessment. Altvater, S. et al Europe Flooding, Heatwave

Cost-benefit analyses of retrofitting existing rail infrastructure concerning increased temperatures on tracks

Adaptation Strategies in the Transport Sector‖ Deliverable 4 of the research project WEATHER (Weather Extremes: Impacts on Transport Systems and Hazards for European Regions) Doll, C. et al Europe Flooding, Heatwave, Increased storminess, Water scarcity & droughts

Cost assessment of upgrading of tracks (track should be replaced as part of normal maintenance, upgrades to handle increased traffic volumes, or replacement due to storm surge or other catastrophic events).

Kosten und Nutzen von Anpassungsmaßnahmen an den Klimawandel: Analyse von 28 Anpassungsmaßnahme in Deutschland. (Costs and benefits of climate adaptation measures. Analysis of 28 adaptation measures in Germany) Tröltzsch, J. et al Germany Flooding, Heatwave

Cost-benefit analyses of adjustments of rail infrastructure to heat and precipitation, including additional costs for more robust tracks and additional maintenance

Kosten und Nutzen von Anpassungsmassnahmen an den Klimawandel: Analyse von 28 Anpassungsmassnahmen in Deutschland (Costs and benefits of adaptation measures: Analysis of 28 adaptation measures in Germany) Tröltzsch, J., Görlach, B., Lückge, H., Peter, M., Sartorius, C. Germany Heatwave

Cost-benefit assessment of heat-adjustments to rail infrastructure