Automated wayside inspection systems have been developed to monitor rolling stock condition and facilitate predictive maintenance strategies. Improving the effectiveness of railcar condition monitoring has the potential for significant cost savings as a result of reduced derailments and in-service failures. This paper presents an economic analysis of the costs associated with train accidents and mainline delay due to defective railcar components. We consider track and equipment damages as well as train delay costs. We use dispatch simulation software to determine the impact of in-service failures on mainline capacity at varying traffic levels. This analysis provides a basis for the comparison of current railcar inspection practices with new integrated practices incorporating automated inspection systems.

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