In December 2016, the world's longest railway tunnel will start its revenue service in the heart of Switzerland.
Sonneville International Corporation (SIC) was incorporated in 1981 to pursue the worldwide development of the track system, which was originally designed by Mr Roger Sonneville.
Starting in the 1960s Mr Roger Sonneville together with SBB developed the first slab track system based on booted bi-block ties embedded in concrete. This system was one of the first slab track systems in the world and has evolved from bi-block ties for ballast track to the booted single block system low vibration track (LVT) in use today. The outstanding system performance and the extensive experience of SIC in the railway industry has seen its LVT system installed in three of the longest railway tunnels in the world.
To improve the vibration attenuation of LVT, standard SIC designed a new generation of LVT called LVT high attenuation (LVT HA). This latest innovation reduces the costs of lowering mechanical vibrations and noise emissions.
In 2009, after almost 30 years and two generations, Roger Sonneville’s son, Bernard, sold 100& of his SIC shares to Vigier Holding. This made SIC a sister company of the European licensee, Vigier Rail. To use as many synergies as possible SIC has moved to Switzerland and operates under its new name Sonneville.
The LVT system has been constantly improved and modified to meet client demands. As a designed system the performance of LVT is customised according to specific project requirements.
LVT provides design and cost advantages, which makes it very competitive against other systems and heavily used.
Single-block LVT systems
From its origins as a bi-block sleeper in a ballast bed, the LVT system has been developed into a single block system. It has a concrete block in a rubber boot and a block pad embedded in slab concrete.
The latest step in the development of the LVT system has been the implementation of LVT HA. With a 30& wider block and a 50& higher block pad the vibration attenuation is significantly improved.
LVT for switches and crossings
The installation of LVT special blocks for switches & crossings (S & C) provides a consistent track modulus and track behaviour. All types of S & C and fastening systems can be mounted using a combination of five different LVT block sizes.
Different ways of installing the LVT slab track system are possible and Sonnville’s engineers will work with you to find the most efficient and accurate installation procedure for your needs.
Most of the existing slab track systems are hard to maintain and finding replacements can cost time and money. With the LVT system an efficient replacement and adjustment can be achieved.
By replacing ballast tracks with the LVT slab track system, it will give railway operators the ability to provide constant service and reduce costs.
Low Vibration Track (LVT), one of the first non-ballasted track forms in the world has proven its worth in many famous and ambitious railway projects.
The Future Bern Station (FBS) project includes the expansion of the Bern railway station, the second biggest station in Switzerland. The project encompasses the construction of a new underground station, an underpass, and supporting outdoor expansion works.
Deteriorating railway and metro lines from increased use calls for renewal of tracks, but with only short service breaks available.
Sonneville has successfully carried out a number of projects together with its worldwide partners. Since its integration in the Swiss Vigier Group in 2009, Sonneville has grown significantly. Therefore we are glad to inform you about the latest changes to our organisation, which should lead to a continuously prosperous development in the future.
Sonneville's European LVT licensee Vigier Rail supplied the first 600 LVT Standard supports for the Ceneri Base Tunnel project for a test installation prior to the start of the track installation in May 2017.
On Thursday 23 October, 2014, Vigier Rail AG produced the last of 380,000 low vibration track (LVT) supports for the Gotthard Base Tunnel.
The new Gilon Tunnel will be equipped with a low vibration track (LVT) system. The tunnel is part of the new Akko - Karmiel line in northern Israel, and connects the costal railway line with the city of Karmiel.
In December 2014 the new 2.2km-long Moscow Metro line from Yugo-Zapadnaya to Troparyovo was put into operation.
The sister companies, Vigier Rail Ltd. and Sonneville Ltd., again had a presence at the world's largest trade fair for the rail industry in Berlin with a joint exhibition stand. The ninth InnoTrans attracted visitors from 140 countries.
A new type of low vibration track (LVT) system now exists: with LVT traffic, vehicles with pneumatic tyres can also run on ballastless track.
VT, one of the world's first slab track systems, has become the product of choice in the most prestigious and demanding railway projects. The excellent reputation of the Sonneville system is down to its precise track geometry and excellent vibration protection. Over 1,000km of the system have already been installed worldwide in a variety of different projects.
Among the multitude of tasks facing the railway equipment contractor Transtec Gotthard, laying the ballastless track in the Gotthard Base Tunnel is particularly demanding in terms of logistics and complexity.