PROSE wins two public invitations to tender from the Federal Office for the Environment
Swiss rail transport shall get quieter – that’s the objective of the research projects recently initiated by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Federal Office of Transport (FOT). PROSE was awarded contracts for two infrastructure projects. Specific, PROSE is going to develop innovative track components within the coming 2 - 3 years, with the view to reduce the rolling noise directly at the source. One project concerns the optimisation of concrete sleepers and one the development of a soft-elastic rail pad that shall be applied to low-noise types of superstructure. The optimised sleepers and the soft-elastic rail pads are to reduce wear of the ballast and thus also reducing the maintenance effort and extend life of the track.
Acoustically optimised intermediate layers
In Switzerland, the standard track superstructure usually consists of concrete sleepers in a ballast bed and rails with stiff-elastic rail pads. This kind of superstructure usually is very quiet because of high structural damping. Soft rail pads would be an optimisation in terms of wear on the concrete sleepers and the ballast bed. However, a product that does not only reduce the noise, but also the vibrations and thus the wear is not available on the market yet. In this FOEN project PROSE is going to develop exactly such innovative, soft-elastic and highly damping rail pads together with the Austrian rubber element manufacturer BATEGU.
Within the scope of this project PROSE and BATEGU’s research teams are going to examine various rubber compounds, manufacturing processes and designs for their vibrational and acoustic properties. PROSE is responsible for the test layout and performs the tests on the track. At the prototype and field test stages the team will cooperate closely with test laboratories and railway operators.
Acoustically optimised concrete sleepers
In this research project PROSE cooperates with Vigier Rail, a Swiss manufacturer of concrete components for the rail sector. It is the objective to develop a new type of concrete sleeper that has better vibration-acoustic properties than the sleeper types B 70 and B 91 used so far in Europe. The effect of the new type of sleeper is to be achieved both without under sleeper pads and with elastic layer at the bottom of the sleeper.
For this purpose, PROSE shall at first measure and analyse the existing types of sleepers and assess the relevant acoustical parameters. A further challenge to PROSE will be the development of a suitable simulation model for the sound radiation. Prototypes of the new sleeper type will be manufactured and measured in a test set-up.
PROSE wants to support the rail sector with these two research projects on important elements of the track superstructure. The objective is less noise and less wear and thus lower lifecycle costs. Both the residents and the infrastructure managers may profit from the results of these projects.
Other PROSE news
PROSE analyses the longitudinal dynamics of a 2,200 T freight train
Can a 2,200T heavy freight train be driven safely down the 22.5‰ Brenner Pass Railway track slope, and if so, how?
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