Under-ballast materials are proven to reduce the impact of vibrations caused by passing trains and are in widespread use around the world. The Recytrack research project, which concluded in 2014 and was conducted by Spanish engineers*, aimed to develop a new system using end-of-life tyres.
THE European Commission (EC) has allocated €1.6m through its Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) programme to fund the commercialisation of Neoballast, a new form of railway ballast which uses a recycled rubber-based coating to extend the lifespan of ballasted track while reducing noise and vibration.
A new ballastless track system developed by French engineers is designed to reduce the initial capital required for slab track and deliver better life-cycle costs than ballasted track. As Keith Barrow reports, NBT is now on test in Russia, where it will be subjected to high axleloads and extreme temperatures.
The infrastructure pillar of Europe's Shift2Rail research programme promises a raft of innovations aimed at improving resilience and reducing costs. Professor Andy Doherty, chief rail technology officer with Network Rail and chairman of the European Rail Research Advisory Council, outlined the aspirations for this major initiative at the recent VDEI track conference in Münster, Germany.
Russian Railways uses various geosynthetic materials to protect track subgrade formations. Gleb Soloviev, design engineer at Tensar, Russia, and Dr Alexey Kolos, from the Petersburg State University of Railway Transport, compare the performance of different materials in Russia's harsh climatic conditions.