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19 August 2008

Schlüchterner Tunnel Upgraded with GETRAC A3

Neumarkt, Germany – An important milestone has been reached for attainment by GETRAC® A3 of the ‘standard-design’ (Regelbauart) classification for tunnel upgrading on the Deutsche Bahn network: RAIL.ONE Group has won contracts for delivery of ballastless track for the new Schlüchterner Tunnel tube in Germany, as well as for upgrading of the existing tunnel tube at the same location in Sinntal-Sannerz, in eastern Hesse, Germany. Now – after similar contracts for the Kehretunnel (2001), the Heiligenberg Tunnel (2001 – 2002), the Esslingerberg Tunnel (2004) and the Brandleite Tunnel (2005) – the Schlüchterner Tunnel marks the fifth tunnel in succession to be equipped with the GETRAC A3 system.

RAIL.ONE will produce over 14,000 wide concrete sleepers for the Schlüchterner project. In addition, the Neumarkt concrete-sleeper plant will for the first time also manufacture the anchor blocks required for such a project. As a result, RAIL.ONE will deliver all components for the GETRAC A3 ballastless system, on a one-stop basis, thereby guaranteeing maximum quality and operational safety and reliability.

The Schlüchterner Tunnel

The Schlüchterner railway tunnel, until now double-track in a single tube, is on the line between Hanau and Fulda. It was opened in 1914 and is 3,576m long; the second-longest tunnel in the old network of Deutsche Bahn. With an average of approximately 270 trains per day, the line is one of the busiest train routes in Germany, with important connections from Frankfurt am Main to Hamburg and Berlin. As a result of the condition of the structural components of the tunnel, and owing to new tunnel regulations, the decision was made to comprehensively upgrade the tunnel and to build a second tunnel tube.

Beginning in mid-2009, the plan is for train traffic to be routed initially on a dual-track basis through the new tunnel tube, while the old tube is being restored and adapted to the new safety stipulations. When work is completed, traffic will be routed on single tracks through each of the tubes, with the rest of the tunnel area to be used for rescue access. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2013.

The GETRAC A3 ballastless track system

The GETRAC A3 is a ballastless track system with direct support of wide concrete sleepers on a multi-layer asphalt course. Special anchor blocks fix the concrete sleepers to the supporting layer below, to provide a high degree of positional security of the track panel. The system is characterised by long-lasting stability of track position, which guarantees high quality, safety and availability over the long term. The wide sleepers, inherently part of the system, additionally reduce track structural height and the loads applied to the track substructure.

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