Risk evaluation of railway rolling stock failures using FMECA technique: a case study of passenger door system

Fateme Dinmohammadi, Babakalli Alkali, Mahmood Shafiee, Christophe Bérenguer, Ashraf Labib

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Railway transport consists of two main asset classes of infrastructure and rolling stock. To date, there has been a great deal of interest in the study and analysis of failure mechanisms for rail infrastructure assets, e.g. tracks, sleepers, bridges, signalling system, electrical units, etc. However, few attempts have been made by researchers to develop failure criticality assessment models for rolling stock components. A rolling stock failure may cause delays and disruptions to transport services or even result in catastrophic derailment accidents. In this paper, the potential risks of unexpected failures occurring in rolling stock are identified, analysed and evaluated using a failure mode, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) based approach. The most critical failure modes in the system with respect to both reliability and economic criteria are reviewed, the levels of failure criticality are determined and possible methods for mitigation are discussed. For the purpose of illustrating the risk evaluation methodology, a case study of the Class 380 train’s door system operating on Scotland’s railway network is provided and the results are discussed. The data required for the study are partly collected from the literature and unpublished sources and partly gathered from the maintenance management information system available in the company. The results of this study can be used not only for assessing the performance of current maintenance practices, but also to plan a cost-effective preventive maintenance (PM) programme for different components of rolling stock.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-145
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Rail Transit
Issue number3-4
Early online date7 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Railway rolling stock
  • Failure mode
  • effects and criticality analysis (FMECA)
  • Risk evaluation
  • Preventive maintenance (PM)


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