The New Balastless Track Project from Idea to 1km Prototype

Paper by THIERRY LISE LOUIS from ISCR 12th 2014 Prague Czech Republic

Within the frame of a French collaborative research program started in 2007, private companies, a public research laboratory and a rail network owner have jointly developed a new ballastless track structure (NBT) based on independent concrete slabs. This structure is dedicated to both very high speed operations and mixed passenger/freight operations and has a design life of 100 years. The present paper describes the different steps of the project: the conceptual design, a 10 million loading cycle test made on a real scale mock-up up in laboratory and finally the construction of a 1km long demonstration track on the French railways network, in 2013. The paper concludes by highlighting the particular advantages expected from this solution compared to ballasted track when life cycle is analysed.

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