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. "
“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. "
Alom supplies the thermal welding systems of producer & Partner Pandrol on the Dutch market. "Pandrol's welding packages have been used for decades as a global market leader in the railways, and the certificates have already been obtained in the Netherlands," says Mark van den Rijen, director of Alom BV.
Pandrol drives greater weld traceability in rail sector.
Pandrol, the market leading manufacturer of aluminothermic welding systems, has released an innovative new app which is specifically designed to improve weld traceability across the rail sector. The app is also available for the Netherlands.
Tracktex, An effective, economical, easy-to-install replacement
‘Tracktex’ is a micro-porous filter sandwiched between two geotextile protectors which, when deployed at the base of ballast, prevents rain water penetrating through to the underlying formation but allows upward movement of water whilst filtering any fine soil particles.
Synthetic Railway Sleepers: Light, durable en strong
Alom offers , along with Sekisui, a Synthetic Railway Sleepers. These synthetic sleepers are produced by compressing single strands of glass fibre with polyurethane foam using a high pressure extraction press. The expected lifetime is more than 50 years.