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Multiple traffic types multiply the complexities of modern railway networks.
Mixed traffic railways maximise route utilisation by carrying both people and freight efficiently and with minimised environmental impact.
For asset owners and maintainers the diverse traffic types combine the complexities of running relatively fast passenger traffic with the extra load of heavier and usually slower, high axle weight freight services.
As route geometries are often set as a compromise for each traffic type, the performance of the rail at resisting the demands placed upon it becomes increasingly essential to the efficient operation of the railway.
Typical track issues experienced on mixed traffic routes include linear issues such as rail wear, plastic deformation, rolling contact fatigue and head checks, combined with discrete defects such as squats, corrosion or foot fatigue.