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15-07-2019

ProRail 'experimental garden' with FFU sleepers.


One beam is made from sulfur concrete, one from recycled plastic and two others from different types of composite. One of the composite beams is the FFU beam from Sekisui, delivered via Alom. According to ProRail, these are sleepers that are more durable than the widely used concrete NS90 sleepers. Contractor Swietelsky tracked the last crossbar last week. The purpose of the experimental garden is to see how the alternative sleepers perform in the Dutch railways. In addition, ProRail also wants to see whether vibrations and noise can be reduced.

 

Test lab announcement

ProRail announced the testing ground via TenderNed, after which several parties expressed an interest. Innovation Project Manager Lisette van Duin is responsible for the testing ground from ProRail. “We were looking for suppliers who already had an existing product that can be used immediately. The advantage of a testing ground is that we can challenge the market to come up with innovative ideas that are not yet covered by the specifications. ”

Pro Rails wants to investigate in two years how the sleepers function when they are in the track. “Because trains run over these sleepers, they must meet certain safety requirements. We have drawn up criteria that are included in verification tables. The sleepers of various interested parties were tested for this and a number of sleepers were dropped. In the end, four sustainable sleepers were selected and placed in the lane. "

 

Analyze data


“Visual inspections of the sleepers take place every month. At a later date we want to stick sensors on all sleepers. We want to analyze various data such as the deflection, the temperature and so on. We will then compare this with the NS90 sleepers. ”One of the suppliers has already mounted sensors on its sleepers. According to Van Duin it is the first time that so many sleepers are being tested at the same time.
The participating suppliers deliver their sleepers free of charge, ProRail provides the track where the sleepers are tested. The testing ground is funded by the Climate Envelope, a government subsidy scheme. The ultimate goal of the testing ground is to have sustainable sleepers that can be used by contractors as an alternative to the standard concrete sleepers in the Dutch railways.


There are currently 170 sleepers per 100 meters of track in the Netherlands. Our country has a total of around seven thousand kilometers of track. “Contrary to what various media reported last week, ProRail does not have the goal of replacing the concrete crossbar everywhere. The goal is that we also have alternatives for the concrete sleeper. In addition, we expect the sleepers made of other materials to reduce vibration better. However, this is yet to be proven by the test. "

 
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