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Innovative railway sleeper design increasing track lateral resistance, reducing significantly costs related to track misalignment events

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DINTRA (Innovative railway sleeper design increasing track lateral resistance, reducing significantly costs related to track misalignment events)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2018-12-01 al 2020-11-30

Railway track lateral movement occurs when lateral resistance is not enough hold track in place. This movement known as track misalignment, or track buckle. Track alignment must be restored as even small misalignments introduce additional dynamic forces in the vehicle that negatively affect to railway traffic safety.

Track maintenance operation to restore track alignment (tamping) require 26% of track maintenance and renewal cost (2.989M€/ year in Europe).

Track misalignment causes a high risk of derailment. Around 25% of train derailments are due to track geometry deterioration, causing an average of 18 derailments per year in Europe with an associated economic loss of € 32M, not considering the potential human losses.

To solve this situation ACCiSA has developed DiNTRA, which is the result of the design of a new sleeper with its geometry and mechanical characteristics improved, capable of significantly increasing the lateral resistance of the track.

The objective is to introduce an innovative solution in the international market that responds to a common risk that affects the rail transport system, technically demonstrating the effectiveness of the product in its operating environment and achieving homologation. With the completion of the project it has been fully completed.
"The project contains 6 Work Packages (WP) and the total duration has been 36 months.

WP 1 Analysis of the current situation in the selected section of the railway lines where the DiNTRA sleepers must significantly increase the lateral resistance of the track
COMPLETED 100%
RESULTS
Characterize the problem. Compare current situation with the installed DiNTRA sleepers, recording and analyzing the data by modeling the transverse dynamics of the track


WP 2 Full-scale demonstration item in the DiNTRA sleeper operating environment for metric gauge tracks
COMPLETED 100%
RESULTS
- Complete sleeper renovation project for the metric gauge demonstration section

- Homologation and validation of the design of the DiNTRA sleeper for metric gauge track

- Manufacture of DiNTRA sleepers for track assembly

- Installation in a full-scale section that has made it possible to demonstrate the effectiveness of DiNTRA sleepers in the metric gauge operating environment

- Validation tests: Carried out by structural monitoring of the section, through the implementation of a high precision sensor system that has allowed the behavior of the sleepers to be studied in real conditions

TECHNICAL CONCLUSIONS:

The benefits of the DiNTRA sleeper on the railway infrastructure reach their maximum in curved sections with reduced radius of metric gauge, as they are the most sensitive to suffering misalignment.

The DiNTRA sleeper provides an increase in transversal stability to the infrastructure compared to the conventional sleeper.

A hitherto unknown phenomenon has been detected. We have called it ""REVERSE CENTRIFUGAL THRUST"" and It manifests itself when the train crosses the project section at certain hours of the day, due to the variation of the thermal gradient to which it is subjected.

With the results obtained, DiNTRA solution can be considered as a good alternative to minimize lateral instability.

The delay of this work package was one of the reasons that forced us to request two amendments to extend the total duration of the project by 12 months.


WP 3 Optimization of manufacturing, transportation and installation process of DiNTRA sleepers. Homologation for international and Iberian gauge tracks
COMPLETED 100%
RESULTS
Optimization, design validation and HOMOLOGATION according to international standards.

Document with all the homologation requirements demanded by ADIF in accordance with the strictest European standards for all gauges of interest (metric, international and Iberian)

Set of guidelines and technical specifications with the optimization and quality assurance of each process involved in the manufacture, transport and installation of DiNTRA adapted to potential international clients. Therefore, the processes are easily replicable in all markets.


WP 4 Full-scale demonstration element in the operating environment of DiNTRA sleepers for Iberian and international gauge tracks through an optimized process
COMPLETED 100%
RESULTS
- Complete sleeper renovation project for the demonstration sections

- Manufacture of DiNTRA sleepers for track assembly

- Installation in a full-scale section that has made it possible to demonstrate the effectiveness of DiNTRA sleepers in the Iberian and international gauge operating environment
2 phases:
1_ Iberian gauge developed in the Port of Santander
2_ International gauge developed at the Adif Maintenance Base in Olmedo

- Validation tests: Carried out by structural monitoring of the section, through the implementation of a high precision sensor system that has allowed the behavior of the sleepers to be studied in real conditions.

Both test campaigns were successfully completed.

With the results obtained, DiNTRA solution can be considered as a good alternative to minimize lateral instability.

The delay due to obtaining the permits was the other reason that forced us to request two amendments to extend the total duration of the project by 12 months.


WP 5 Exploitation and dissemination
COMPLETED 80%
RESULTS
Market analysis and identification of current and future competitors

Business model: exploitation strategies and marketing plan

Dissemination plan: it has been developed in line with market trends, ensuring transversal coherence between all communication channels and actions in collaboration with potential partners, end users and interested parties (manufacturers precasts and railway infrastructure managers)

Through homologation, DiNTRA has been included in technical specifications of Adif. This is a key action that gives a lot of visibility and brings a high technical relevance to the project.

National and International visits to potential clients, congresses and technical events have been attended.

""REVERSE CENTRIFUGAL THRUST"". Object of independent detailed study to prepare a scientific article that is intended to be managed through the service offered by the European Commission to disseminate the successful results of its projects and which will in turn serve to complete the doctoral thesis of the person who has served as technical director in the DiNTRA project.

WP 6 Project Management
COMPLETED 100%
RESULTS
Technical coordination
Monitoring and controlling the use of resources and administrative supervision of the cost incurred.
Quality monitoring and risk assessment"
DiNTRA sleeper:

increase the lateral resistance against the exerted forces by trains. System stability can be increased by up to 96%

Increase the life cycle of rails and ballast

Reduce risk of derailments and costs associated with maintenance and periods of speed limitation for freight and passenger traffic by rail

A model document has been drawn up to study the economic savings that the use of DiNTRA contributes to railway maintenance costs

Patent expanded at international level

Agreements established for manufacture in Greece and Argentina

A Technical Article is being prepared for a scientific publication

Reception of requests from two Spanish metric gauge Railway Administrators to include DiNTRA in their railway renovation projects

Presented to Railway Administrators of France, Italy, Denmark and Switzerland, with a positive assessment
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