Rail 2000 – a new railroad line without rumbling and noise

The Swiss Federal Railways have made strong efforts to minimize vibration and noise emissions on the new sections of the Rail 2000 line. Critical sections of the line are to be fitted with ballast mats for example. As part of a large-scale pilot project, Sylodyn® ballast mats made by Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH were installed in the station in Rothrist, on the core section of the new Rail 2000 line between Mattstetten and Rothrist. These highly effective ballast mats are designed to reduce vibration and structure-borne noise from rail traffic to the buildings directly adjacent to the line.

The very small distances between buildings and rail lines in heavily populated areas make it necessary to implement highly effective measures for the reduction of structure-borne noise and vibration. These measures are also designed to hinder the propagation of vibration and the development of secondary airborne noise. Sylomer® and Sylodyn® ballast mats offer effective, low cost solutions for insulation against structure-borne noise.

Within the framework of the Rail 2000 project, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) have practically completely renovated the Rothrist station. In the course of this project various systems and combinations of ballast mats are being installed and tested. In this manner SBB wishes to lay a fundamental basis for solving track insulation problems in other sections of its rail network.

Over 450 trains daily

When the first stage of the Rail 2000 project is completed, the facilities at Rothrist will be handling over 450 trains per day, including a significant amount of freight traffic. The 4-track section of the Rothrist station required a vibration insulation solution, which would protect the building adjacent to the rail lines from the vibration and structure-borne noise emissions of rail traffic under the following tough conditions:

 speed: 160 km/h (later > 200 km/h)

 maximum axle load: 25 t

 unsprung mass per axle: 3500 kg

 ballast layer: 35 cm to 55 cm

Together with its distribution partner Angst + Pfister, Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH developed and offered a solution using Sylodyn® ballast mats. Working closely with track experts at SBB, Getzner’s specialists determined the type of mats to be installed in order to obtain the best possible insulation against vibration. Not only did Getzner’s staff draw up the installation plans and instructions, they also supervised and coordinated proper installation of the ballast mats themselves. The mats provided by Getzner fulfilled the high static and dynamic requirements, providing excellent insulation characteristics in the 32 Hz to 125 Hz range. Sylomer® and Sylodyn® ballast mats are produced to meet the specific requirements of the construction application.

Easy installation of the pre-cut, lightweight ballast mats ensures quick progress on site.

Ballasting and construction equipment traffic

Another additional advantage of Sylomer® and Sylodyn® ballast mats is that the installed mats can be driven on by vehicles with pneumatic tires (trucks, construction equipment) without any problems. The ballast mats are glued to the foundation along the route, meaning that the ballast can be loaded onto the mats during normal driving (no abrupt braking, acceleration or turns). In similar projects Sylomer® and Sylodyn® ballast mats were driven on by over 100 trucks without any distortion or buckling of the mats.