Getzner

Getzner Werkstoffe has developed vibration protection for the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will run through the Alps in Switzerland.

As a specialist in vibration isolation, the company has been working on the special protection measure for the past few years. The solution involves Sylodyn, a closed-cell elastomer that does not absorb water.

The company installed elastic Sylodyn bearings in both tunnel tubes for the slab track and on sections of the approach routes for the single block sleepers and high-speed turnouts. Said to be ideal for very high loads, Sylodyn’s properties can be modified based on the requirements.

According to a statement posted on Getzner Werkstoffe’s website, elastic railway track components guarantee availability and reduce life cycle costs.

"The company has installed elastic Sylodyn bearings in both tunnel tubes for the slab track."

All components will undergo up to 5,000 planned trials, until the tunnel opens for goods and passenger transport later this year.

The company’s CEO Juergen Rainalter said: "The protection measure reduces vibrations and wear of the superstructure components, minimising maintenance required on the track. Passenger comfort is also significantly improved, as the highly elastic inserts ensure even deflection as the train passes over."

The vibration protection will ensure passenger comfort and durability of the track in the world’s longest 35m tunnel, which would operate close to 250 trains at speeds of up to 155mph.


Image: The specially developed vibration protection for the Gotthard Base Tunnel ensures not only modern travel comfort but also a high-availability of the route. Photo: courtesy of Alptransit Gotthard AG / Getzner Werkstoffe.