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20 June 2005

RHEDA 2000® Ballastless Track System on a Spring-Mass System

Increasing train speeds and greater axle loads on the rail lines of today has correspondingly increased the harmful impact of noise and vibrations on the areas around rail lines. The unevenness that exists between train wheels and the rails, as well as the dynamic deformation of the tracks that takes place when rail vehicles pass over, transmits vibrations into the subgrade. These vibrations cause tremors to occur in developed areas near the tracks. These phenomena, in addition, cause vibrations in the structural components of nearby buildings that, in turn, give rise to disturbance from secondary airborne noise.

One of the most effective measures against the production of structural-borne noise and vibrations is the use of spring-mass systems, in conjunction with RHEDA 2000 ballastless track systems. These systems dampen the propagation of vibration. The design of such systems exploits the characteristics of the amplification function of single-mass oscillators. The use of spring-mass systems is particularly beneficial and effective in densely populated areas that are sensitive to vibrations.

Spring-mass systems for tracks can be implemented in light, medium-heavy, or heavy models. If a light spring-mass system is installed, then entire-surface or strip support systems with elastomer mats are used. If heavy spring-mass systems are employed, point-support systems are frequently used: in the form of elastomer blocks or steel springs. The lower the frequency of the vibration to be eliminated, the greater the required mass of the mass track-supporting layer is. Here, the structure of the RHEDA 2000 ballastless track system offers benefits to the entire system: the appreciable mass of the concrete track layer, with its bi-block sleepers embedded in concrete, contributes significantly to attenuation of vibrations. In addition, the RHEDA 2000 system, as a result of its structural properties that are insensitive to water and erosion, is well suited for application both on open track sections, as well as in tunnels.

The RHEDA 2000 ballastless track system on a spring-mass system has already been installed in a number of projects, in various models: e.g. in the Cologne-Bonn Airport Link (as a heavy spring-mass system), as well as in the Berlin North-South Link (with light to heavy spring-mass systems).

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