Progress on quiet feet
In mainline and regional rail transport, how can we more effectively combine economy with environmental compatibility? By assuring better connection for the sleepers as well: concrete sleepers with elastic pads protect the superstructure, improve track geometry, and reduce the propagation of structure-borne sound. This enables transport infrastructure with reduced maintenance cycles that protects the environment and appeals to residents near railway lines.
As part of upgrading the rail line from Berlin to Cottbus, on the section between Königs Wusterhausen and Lübbenau, RAIL.ONE GmbH delivered almost 50,000 main-track sleepers with elastic pads made by the Getzner company – as well as turnout sleepers for approx. 30 turnout sets. This is the first construction project in Germany with extensive installation of concrete sleepers on elastic pads for reduction of propagation of structure-borne sound and protection of nearby buildings.
Ongoing work here will be primarily financed by investment from the economic stimulus program of the German federal government. After completion of all construction work, rail speeds of 160 km/h will be possible on the 98-km section between Königs Wusterhausen and Lübbenau.
Provision of elastic support for concrete sleepers is an effective measure for upgrading classical ballasted track systems. Installation of elastic support pads into the fresh concrete creates a direct bond to the sleepers. This technique protects the ballast and achieves enhanced track elasticity. Track superstructure with elastic supporting pads is especially effective for installation on difficult, shifting subgrade. These applications especially include high-performance track systems and sensitive transitions of the line between embankments and tunnels. Such upgrading reduces maintenance costs and sustainably enhances track positioning. At the same time, this solution is intended to reduce propagation of structure-borne sound and protect buildings near tracks from vibration.