REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0045.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: railway infrastructure; high-speed rail; tracks; risk; management and monitoring; climate change; global warming; adaptation; operational readiness
Online: 5 August 2016 (05:11:02 CEST)
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and many of the observed changes are unprecedented over five decades to millennia. Globally the atmosphere and ocean is increasingly getting warmer, the amount of ice on the earth is decreasing over the oceans, and the sea level has risen. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the total increasing temperature globally averaged combined land and surface between the average of the 1850-1900 period and the 2003 to 2012 period is 0.78 °C (0.72 to 0.85). But should we prepare for such the relatively small change? The importance is not the mean of the warming but the considerable likelihood of climate change that could trigger extreme natural hazards. The impact and the risk of climate change associated with railway infrastructure have not been fully addressed in the literature due to the difference in local environmental parameters. On the other hand, the current railway network in Malaysia, over the last decade, has been significantly affected by severe weather conditions such as rainfall, lightning, wind and very high temperatures. Our research findings point out the extremes that can lead to asset system failure, degraded operation and ultimately, delays to train services. During the period of flood, the embankment of the track can be swept away and bridge can be demolished, while during drought, the embankment of the track can suffer from soil desiccation and embankment deterioration, high temperature increases the risk of track buckling and high winds can result in vegetation or foreign object incursion on to the infrastructure as well as additional quasi-static burden exerted. This review is of significant importance for planning and design of the newly proposed high speed rail link between Malaysia and Singapore.