Rail traffic is reaching out toward new horizons on ballastless track systems. The arguments are indeed convincing: long life cycles, top speed, ride comfort, and great load-carrying capability. In many cases, a maintenance-free track system is indeed the more cost-effective solution over the long run. For the first time, Deutsche Bahn AG applied this new technology on a full section of track: with extremely high levels of technical quality, and with great overall success. Ballastless tracks can be built on either asphalt or concrete supporting layers. On the other hand, systems implemented with concrete supporting layers offer the selection among an optimal diversity of models with homogeneous system structures.
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Ballastless tracks therefore offer a high consistency in track geometry , the adjusting of which is not possible after the concreting of the superstructure. Therefore, ballastless tracks must be concreted within a tolerance of 0.
The advantages of a ballastless track over a traditional superstructure are its highly consistent track geometry, its longer life span, and the reduced need for maintenance.
The usual preventive maintenance is limited to rail grinding, since tamping is not necessary due to the absence of ballast. Curative maintenance beyond rail replacement is required only after several decades. Further advantages of ballastless tracks include better and controlled drainage , the elimination of flying-ballast damage on rolling stock and civil engineering structures, a shallower superstructure, and the possibility run-over sections such as crossings over which pneumatic vehicles can be driven.
When used in stations, ballastless tracks are easier to clean. The primary disadvantage of a ballastless track is its significantly higher cost of initial construction. While numbers vary depending on construction type and track infrastructure ballastless tracks are generally more suitable to infrastructures that are also made of concrete, as is the case in tunnels or on viaducts , the Deutsche Bahn estimated in that construction costs of ballastless tracks are 40 percent higher than those of traditional superstructure.
Further disadvantages of ballastless tracks are the impossibility of adjusting or correcting track geometry once concrete has been set, the necessity of a stable infrastructure since no adjustments can be made to the superstructure , higher noise emissions, and longer repair times when the concrete slab is damaged e.
Early slab track projects a range of construction types, sub-bases and fastening technologies. All of its components can be exchanged individually. Mortar is used to connect the 9-ton-slabs to the infrastructure and to one another. The first serial installation took place in Schleswig-Holstein and Heidelberg in For its use on the high-speed link between Beijing and Shanghai , , slabs were installed.
It was first tested in , became the standard system in Austria in ,  and has been used for over kilometres of track worldwide, including the German Verkehrsprojekt Deutsche Einheit Nr. The necessary elasticity is given only by a flexible intermediate plate in the rail fastening elements.
The structural elements of this system are individually manufactured and can be positioned laterally or longitudinally onto the base layer. The structural elements have recesses in the top, where the rail fastening elements are placed into. Afterwards, the rails are lifted onto the fastening elements and a track grid is established.
At last, the rail fastening elements are friction-locked to the structural elements with high-strength grouting mortar. Thanks to its versatile construction and easy installation, IVES is suitable for all rail types. Baulk Track and Slab track are similar in that the rails are continuously supported, compared to ordinary track where the rails have to "bridge" the gaps between the sleepers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Railway Gazette : 44f.
July European Slab Track Symposium New Civil Engineer : Retrieved 17 September Railway Gazette International : 40f. January Retrieved 16 November One in German. April Slab Track Austria. The Rail Engineer : Retrieved 23 September Railway Gazette International : 44—7. Retrieved 7 June Retrieved 1 June Schriftzug in German. Categories : Railway line types Railway track layouts. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.
Superior stability, the absence of deformation and a shallower construction height are just some of the advantages slab track , also known as ballastless track , offers compared to its traditional counterparts. Superior stability, the absence of deformation and a shallower construction height are just some of the advantages slab track , also ballastless track , offers compared to its traditional counterparts. The laying of ballastless railway track used to be a time consuming job. Stabirail has designed and developed a groundbreaking method for milling concrete blocks. Our ballastless track construction system is a continuous process in which rails can be assembled directly on the concrete bed with millimeter accuracy, thus guaranteeing faster construction times at a lower cost.
The demands on the track system have changed greatly since the start of railways. This applies not only to parameters such as axle load and speed, but also less obvious factors such as train length and frequency. In addition to the classical design of track grid floating in ballast, other non-conventional designs have been developed with varying degrees of success. The railway permanent way has an average useful life of between 30 and 60 years. Because of the large financial investments that are necessary, innovations in the field of railway infrastructure only gain acceptance slowly.
The journey of ballastless track
As we are anticipating the next boom in investment in railway transportation, conscious of the important role that slab track is to play in that, and aware of the drag on competitiveness caused by the use of commercial systems, ACCIONA has promoted the development of its own slab track system. The system is articulated around prefabricated concrete slabs, each of which contains two pairs of prefabricated blocks with premounted elastic fastening. In order to attenuate the vibrations inherent to slab track and enable adjustment of the vertical rigidity, the FASTRACK system has up to three planes of elasticity of scalable rigidity. Elastic mat under the slab.
Ballastless track construction system
Posted: 23 August No comments yet. The different systems have undergone extensive laboratory and field tests before implementation on grade, bridges and in tunnels. Available measurement results indicate the expected favourable structural behaviour and prove the low maintenance requirements. With increasing speed and a lay-out of lines with extreme track parameters — e. For evaluation purposes, it is necessary to take into consideration the interaction between vehicle and track.