In A First For India, RRTS Rail Track System To Use Unique Precast Track Slab Technology

by Arun Kumar Das - Mar 8, 2022 10:35 AM +05:30 IST
In A First For India, RRTS Rail Track System To Use Unique Precast Track Slab TechnologyPrecast track slab technology suitable for high speed rail system.
Snapshot
  • The precast track slab technology produces high-capacity ballastless track slabs that have a longer life cycle and require less maintenance.

Suitable for the high-speed rail system, the precast track slab technology is being used for the first time in India in the construction of the regional rail of the country.

India's first RRTS project under construction between Delhi to Ghaziabad and Meerut is a high-speed system with a design speed of 180 kmph.

The RRTS corridor is passing through the congested urban environment as elevated as well as the underground corridor. The selection of the ballastless track structure has been finalised after considering all these key factors.

In A First For India, RRTS Rail Track System To Use Unique Precast Track Slab Technology

The precast track slab technology produces high-capacity ballastless track slabs that have a longer life cycle and require less maintenance. Due to this, the overall life-cycle cost of the track is also low.

With an operating speed of 160 kmph and the station at every 5-10 km, it will cover a distance of 100 km in about an hour. It is very important to have an efficient and qualified rail track system to run the train at this high speed.

Since the RRTS project aims to significantly reduce the travel time, it is ultimately very important that the design of the selected track structure is suitable for high speed. It should be reliable and easily maintainable.

The existing ballastless track system being used in metro rail projects in India is generally suitable for design speeds of up to 95 kmph. In the absence of high-speed ballastless track experience in the country, NCRTC has studied several internationally prevalent rail track systems to select an apt track system suitable for high speed, and reliable with low maintenance. Precast slab track system has been selected as the track system for RRTS.

NCRTC adopted a strategy to identify a suitable track system for RRTS and first selected a ‘system provider’ who has complete knowledge and experience of the said system. After that, this technology was strategically acquired from this system provider for all RRTS corridors.

These precast track slabs are being manufactured in a factory located at Shatabdi Nagar, Meerut. These track slabs are generally 4 m x 2.4 m in size and use elastomer as a separation layer. High-quality concrete is being used in the construction of these track slabs, due to which it has high strength and very good finishing.

RRTS precast track slabs are being manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. On average 90 precast track slabs can be manufactured daily in this factory. A total of about 42,000 precast track slabs are to be produced for the entire Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor, whereas for the priority corridor only, about 9,000 track slabs are being made.

After the construction, these track slabs are transported on large trucks/trailers to the already built viaduct at the construction site and installed on the RRTS viaduct. Precasting helps in better quality as production takes place in a controlled factory environment and faster track laying and about 100-150 metres long track can be laid per day by one team through this process.

NCRTC has adopted the strategy of implementing uniform track structure across its different corridors and this precast track slab technology will be used for all under construction and upcoming RRTS corridors.

With the help of this track slab technology, NCRTC will be able to run high speed and high-frequency RRTS trains and ensure safety and comfort of passengers during operation with design and average speed of 180 kmph and 100 kmph respectively.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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