Innovation: SYSTRA and STRADAL Develop Ballastless Track

SYSTRA and STRADAL, France’s leading precast concrete company, have co-developed Slab Track, the new generation of low-carbon ballastless track.

Many national or regional railway lines must be regenerated or renewed throughout Europe, but also more generally worldwide, in order to maintain their operational performance. These operations require significant investment from transport authorities and infrastructure managers. Several technical solutions are available to them: ballasted tracks, which make up the bulk of current rail networks, and conventional ballastless track techniques.

To meet this need, as well as the need to build new lines, while taking into consideration environmental issues, SYSTRA and STRADAL have co-developed a new generation of patented low carbon concrete ballastless track, Slab Track. This innovative solution, which is manufactured in France and unique in the world, offers numerous advantages in terms of design, installation, and maintenance. It offers a more advantageous financial profile than the technical solutions available on the market.

AN INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

Slab Track is designed for all railway lines, including high-speed lines, whether for passenger (High-speed/Regional/Intercity/Metro/Suburban) or freight transport.

It is the only ballastless track designed with a fully prefabricated low carbon reinforced concrete structure, with low environmental impact. Its track width is reduced (2.5 metres compared to 4 metres for a ballasted track) and no platform renovation is required prior to track installation.

In addition, the track geometry adjustment system, integrated into the structure, can compensate for track bed settlements of up to 100 millimetres. Conventional slab track technologies do not have this feature.

Slab Track is also a climate resilient and environmentally friendly solution. The 10-centimetre elevation of the track above the track bed allows water to pass through in the event of flooding, limits silting up of the tracks and allows the passage of small wildlife. Finally, Slab Track has the same permeability as a ballasted track, which avoids resizing existing hydraulic structures.

EASY AND ECONOMICAL INSTALLATION, REDUCED MAINTENANCE

Slab Track does not require any slab sealant and can be laid using existing equipment, including gantry cranes used in ballastless track laying and construction equipment, thus optimising the installation schedule and reducing energy consumption. The fastening systems and rails are those commonly used in ballastless track.

Slab Track requires very little maintenance compared to ballastless track, which ensures high track availability for operators. The track condition is monitored by sensors and connected objects.

Finally, this innovative ballastless track solution is particularly recommended for railway lines with high operating costs and for infrastructure managers experiencing difficulties with existing ballastless track systems.

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