Climate services in transportation
Over the past two decades, China Railway High-speed (CRH) has rapidly expanded to cover over 38,000 km of tracks across diverse terrains and climates. However, meteorological threats like strong winds, heavy rainfall, and snowfall endanger both operations and safety, leading to disruptions, damage, and accidents. Urgent action is needed to assess hazards, identify high-risk rail lines, and enhance resilience. A comprehensive risk assessment has been conducted to address these challenges and provide climate services for China Railway Corporation, enabling informed decisions and proactive measures for a more secure CRH network.
NCC provides a spatial analysis of the dominant meteorological hazards affecting the CRH network (i.e., gales, rainfall, and snow), in terms of both intensity and frequency, and identifies hazard zones according to CRH operating standards. Given that meteorological hazards can lead to speed limitation or disruption of CRH trains, a risk matrix model is developed based on hazard intensity and designated railway speed to comprehensively assess the risk level of CRH lines in China(Fig.1).
Fig.1 Flowchart of the methodological framework.
Risk assessment indicates that CRH lines exposed to hazardous levels of gales, rainfall, and snow account for 6.0%, 29.3%, and 20.0% of the total line length, respectively, while 7.3% of CRH lines are exposed to multiple hazards. Meteorological risk maps for CRH operation reveal hotspot lines that require special adaptive or preventative measures, and emergency protocols to reduce potential losses and disruptions（Fig.2）.
Fig.2 Integrated risk map for CRH operation under the influence of multiple meteorological hazards.
Colors are used to represent the eight different risk categories for sections of the CRH network.
(For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the Web version of this article.)
The research results have been incorporated into the relevant operational system of China Railway Corporation and BCC, providing scientific references for the planning and construction of high-speed railways and the risk management of meteorological disasters for their safe operation（Fig.3）.
Fig.3 Layout of the operational system in BCC