Many railway lines must be regularly regenerated or renewed to maintain their operational performance, which requires 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. SYSTRA and STRADAL have co-developed a new generation of patented low-carbon concrete ballastless track, Slab Track, to help solve this problem while taking into consideration environmental issues and offering a more advantageous financial profile than technical solutions available on the market.
Slab Track is designed for all rail lines, both for the passenger (high-speed/regional/intercity/metro/suburban) and 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 meters compared to 4 meters 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 millimeters. Conventional slab track technologies do not have this feature.
Slab Track is also a climate-resistant and environmentally friendly solution. The ten-centimeter elevation of the track above the platform allows water to pass through in the event of flooding, prevents siltation of the track, and allows the passage of small wildlife. Another advantage is that the Slab Track has the same permeability as the ballasted track, which avoids resizing existing hydraulic structures.
Slab Track does not require any slab sealer and can be laid using standard equipment, including gantry cranes used in the laying of ballastless tracks and construction machinery. This optimizes the installation schedule and reduces energy consumption. The advantage is also very low maintenance compared to ballasted track. The track condition is monitored by sensors and connected objects. The innovative ballastless track solution is particularly advantageous for rail lines with high operating costs and for infrastructure managers who have difficulties with existing ballastless track systems.