Paper by DE GROOT NIKEX from ISCR 5th 1986 Aachen Germany
In September 1984 the first West-European trial section with the Nikex system was constructed in Rotterdam. This sys~em was developed in the early seventies by the Public Transport Service of Budapest, a concrete manufacturer and Budapest University. By now, well over 225 km (single track) is in use in the cities of Budapest and Prague. The system is built up of the following elements: - Standard prestressed concrete slabs (thickness 0.18 m), provided with two trapezium shaped steel gutter profiles; - Rails, block rail type; - Sleeper strips and rubber clamps. The rails rest on the rubber sleeper strip and are being fixed in the gutter profile by means of the clamps. The superstructure rests on a foundation of e.g. crushed stone and three layers of asphalt concrete, the concrete slabs being laid on the upper (hot) levelling layer. The system has been developed to enable a quick construction and a simple rail replacement to be carried out without destruction of the adjacent road pavement c. a.; only a few (expert) employees need to be present at the construction site. Moreover the maintenance costs are expected to be low. After having evaluated the experiences in Budapest since 1973 and Prague since 1977 and after some modifications had been made, a trial section of about 100 m (double track) has been constructed in Rotterdam. Apart from the description of the design and the way of construction of the Nikex trial section compared to the traditional system (block or bar rails), the paper also includes the preliminary evaluation data over a period of about I 1/2 years after the trial section was put into use. These data in particular relate to the quality of the construction (skid resistance, evenness, bearing capacity, noise production, maintenance, etc.), the rate of construction and the costs compared with the traditional system. Besides it is shown how Public Works in Rotterdam (as far as the road constructional part is concerned) and the Public Transport Service RET (as far ad the railway technical part is concerned) think to optimalize the system, in consultation with the licensee aWl, in order to make possible a further application in Rotterdam.