Starting with the beginning of the age of modern railways, trains moved on ballast, sleepers, and rails. The great success of this track system was based on its physical characteristics. But: the required track maintenance work is expensive and also has a negative effect on line availability for continuous operation. For these reasons, we – primarily engineers in Germany and Japan – have been working for approx. 50 years on track systems without ballast. By now, and on the basis of its permanently unchanged track geometry, this new system has become permanently established as standard technology for urban transportation, high-speed rail traffic, and for a number of special applications.
Numerous system variants are available for the user’s selection. As experts for ballastless track, with more than 20 years of experience in this technology, we at Bachmann Consult can make the optimal selection of technologies available, to exploit the benefits of this advanced track system, with respect to both technical and economic aspects. And if systems-engineering adaptation or modifications are necessary, we conduct the necessary analyses and verification procedures – for high-speed lines, in urban transportation networks, or on extremely heavy-haul-capable lines for freight transport.
We at Bachmann Consult analyse the requirements and environmental conditions, and prepare methods of optimal track installation results. For the efficient, precise installation of ballastless track, we developed special machines – for example, for the ZUID High-Speed Line in Holland – that we later used for construction of the Chinese high-speed rail lines. By application-oriented re-engineering, we at Bachmann Consult optimized the required special solutions for the applications encountered: e.g., for projects with narrow tunnels.
For correct application of the prescribed installation methods, in accordance with Method Statements, and by local construction companies, we conduct staff training onsite and supervise the installation – which assures final installation quality. Bachmann Consult likewise offers, as neutral engineering office, professional project supervision. We have also developed special solutions for technological applications: for example, typical and special tunnel projects.
Problems and mistakes are often unavoidable in track installation. In the event that damages later become apparent in ballastless track – such as cracks in the concrete – a great number and variety of causes can be at work. In such cases, Bachmann Consult supports you in cause analysis, damage assessment and supervision, and if required in the choice of optimal correction methods.
Pioneering innovation: For the Taiwan High Speed Project, BWG for the first time installed high-speed-capable turnouts for ballastless track on bridges. The image here shows special construction necessary to compensate for movements in the bridge substructure.
Important milestones in the development and application of Rheda 2000® ballastless track were the first major projects HSL ZUID in Holland and HSL Taipei-Kaoshiung in Taiwan. These projects established the basis for introduction of now the internationally most widely used form of track.
The ZUID High-Speed Line in Holland: use of Rheda 2000® ballastless track
To assure these three key points, the Chinese Ministry of Railways decided in 2004 for the expansion of its Passenger Dedicated Line – its PDL Network – exclusively with ballastless track technology. From the beginning of construction work in 2006 to late 2014, approx. 14,000 km of PDL lines was completed. This breathtaking development was supported by technology transfer with three German and one Japanese track technology systems.
China in 2014: the Wuhan-Guangzhou line (1000 km) under construction
All stations for CRH trains are equipped with ballastless tracks
Track systems planning:
Value engineering and project management
Railway track design and dimensioning
Product design and production plant planning
Procurement and erection
Damage assessment and repair
Local project management
Design and engineering services
for construction projects
Sleeper design and Production plant planning
International procurement of
Material, components, and equipment