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Transition zones: Areas of railway tracks that require high levels of maintenance

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Transition zones are sections of track where the stiffness of the bedding changes considerably over a short distance. When there is an abrupt change in the superstructure construction, the variations in stiffness and resulting rail deflections cannot be avoided. Sudden changes can, for example, occur in the transition from a ballasted track to a slab track, from open track to a bridge or when crossing over a turnout.

Problems

  • Stiffness variations due to different superstructure types
  • High rate of superstructure component wear
  • High level of maintenance and life cycle costs
  • Lower route availability

Solution

Installing highly elastic Sylomer® and Sylodyn® components compensates undefined variations in stiffness in the transition zone. The improved load distribution ensures that movement within the ballast bed is reduced and has a positive influence on settlement behaviour. A targeted graduation of the rail deflection within the transition zone reduces the impact loading of the wheel/rail system and superstructure, significantly extending the service life of the transition zones and thus the availability of the line as a whole.

Advantages

  • Optimised graduation of large variations in stiffness and deflection differences
  • More even load distribution
  • Reduced ballast loading
  • Less hollow areas
  • Reduced impact loads as the train passes over
  • Less settlement
  • Less wear of superstructure components
  • Increased safety and ride comfort
  • Less maintenance work Increased availability
  • Longer service life