Construction News

Sat February 27 2021

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End of the line for rail ballast?

30 Apr 14 New railway track slabs that do away with the need for ballast have been put through their paces in a Network Rail trial.

Slabtrack has been piloted in Asfordby Tunnel near Melton Mowbray
Slabtrack has been piloted in Asfordby Tunnel near Melton Mowbray

The Ives precast Slabtrack Units were produced by Cemex Rail Solutions at its Washwood Heath factory in Birmingham and are described as a UK first.

In collaboration with Rhomberg Sersa, based in Austria, and its UK subsidiary Rhomberg Sersa UK, Cemex Rail Solutions has produced test mouldings and produced 420 Ives Slabtrack units for a section of test track in Asfordby Tunnel near Melton Mowbray for Network Rail.

Cemex says that the new Slabtrack units mean that ballast is no longer required underneath the rails; tensioning of the rails is done through specially developed plate called the Vossloh DFF 304.  This allows reduced track formation depth, which could be needed with the introduction of HS2 or other projects where Slabtrack is required.

The trial at Asfordby Tunnel will assess their performance and suitability in track.

Cemex Rail Solutions business manager Stuart Neil said: “This is an important opportunity for Cemex Rail Solutions as we develop new products and market opportunities, often in collaboration with other manufacturers throughout the world.  Slabtrack complements our existing range of monoblock rail solutions, giving customers the best solution for their markets.”

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