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P&T Research

Dynamic stabilisation of new track types in the lab

In her doctoral thesis Sophie Feurig focuses on a detailed analysis of dynamic track stabilisation in the laboratory. An in-depth understanding of the system behaviour of the ballasted track sparks not just her enthusiasm.

The Chair and Institute of Road, Railway and Airfield Construction at Munich Technical University (TUM) is the best address for well-founded laboratory analyses with practical relevance on the permanent way. When visiting the institution, it becomes obvious, straight away, where its passion lies: in the track as a transport route of the present and future. Professor Stephan Freudenstein, Head of the Institute, and Dr.-Ing. Walter Stahl, Deputy Head of the Institute, with their whole team exude this attitude of the unit. Numerous research activities in the testing facility show the complexity of traffic route engineering.

Analysing the effect on three types of track

For the DynlaTrack research project, Plasser & Theurer decided to utilise this passion for and know-how about the track and its components. The aim of the cooperation with TUM is to take account of the changing conditions in rail infrastructure maintenance and to present the subject academically in a doctoral thesis. The research focus is on how the new track types with additional elastic components influence the system behaviour of ballasted track and how the machine technologies of the Dynamic Track Stabiliser (DTS) optimise the work results.

The DynlaTrack research project, initiated by Plasser & Theurer, focuses on three different types of track structure. These are the three most common sleeper types with their standard fastenings which are in use at Deutsche Bahn: prestressed concrete sleepers of types B70, B90 and B07So. They have not only a different geometry but, in combination with their respective rail pads, also different elastic properties. On the B07So concrete sleeper additional elasticity is introduced into the system due to a plastic pad on the underside of the sleeper. This elasticity has, amongst others, a particularly positive impact on the load distribution and consequently a wear-reducing effect on the track ballast.

Patience, rigour and, above all, persistence are characteristics required of the research project manager when setting up the experiments. Sophie Feurig is the ideal person for this. She is working diligently on her doctoral thesis and, within this project, is fully focused on dynamic track stabilisation.

The detailed analysis of the results has great potential: The basic research provides an understanding of the complexity of the track in the elastic ballast superstructure. Thanks to new materials and their impact on the working parameters, the capacities of this infrastructure are constantly expanding. And this wows not only the technical experts.

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Facts about the DynlaTrack test setup

Standard cross section at Deutsche Bahn
6 m rails
9 sleepers
19 t of ballast

3 track designs
B70/ B07So/ B90 sleepers

Experiment with elastic sleeper footing

Variation in load and frequency applied by the DTS

Measurements of lateral track resistance