The lifecycle tests will assess the performance of various slab track configurations with the aim of certifying the system for use on high-speed lines.

Working in co-operation with Russia's Roszheldorproekt design institute, Vossloh, Pandrol, and concrete supplier Lafarge Russia, Alstom has installed a 125m-long section of NBT at Shcherbinka, including two 25m-long transition zones.

During the first phase of testing a loaded train will run over the section of track at 80km/h. The most stable configurations will then be put forward for high-speed testing, which will involve the construction of a longer section of slab track.

A 1km double-track section of NBT has been in operation on the Gisors – Serqueux line in northern France since last December.