Weather-Related Railway Infrastructure Failures in Sweden: An Exploratory Study

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceedingpeer-review


The impacts of adverse weather conditions on railway infrastructure can result in delays and cancellations across the railway network and increased maintenance costs. The frequency and severity of extreme weather events are expected to rise due to climate change, making railways more vulnerable. This study aims to gain a better understanding of weather-related infrastructure failures (specifically track, catenary line, signal, and switch failures) between 2015-2020. We do so by using infrastructure failure data from the Swedish infrastructure manager, the Swedish Transport Administration. We use an exploratory data analysis approach to understand which infrastructure assets are most vulnerable to what weather-related phenomena and if infrastructure failures follow any seasonal trends. Results indicate that tracks and catenary lines are most vulnerable to fallen trees, likely linked to windy conditions, while switches are most vulnerable to snow and ice, and signals are most vulnerable to both snow or ice conditions and fallen trees. Additionally, most failures occur during the winter months. These results highlight the importance of increasing the resiliency of railways to extreme weather today and in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe 10th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis: RailBelgrade 2023 - Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 2023 Apr 252023 Apr 28


ConferenceThe 10th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis
Abbreviated titleICROMA RailBelgrade

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infrastructure Engineering

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