Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - CORPTUS (Concrete railtrack panels for tunnel safety)

The main scientific objectives of the CORPTUS project were as follows:
- to develop a concrete rail track panel system, useable for rail and subway tunnels, which, for the first time, enables trafficable access of conventional road vehicles in emergency cases;
- to examine and use optimal materials in terms of durability, load/vibration and fire-proof quality, and recycling properties; and
- to achieve also noise reduction by application of the system.

The prime industrial / economic objectives of CORPTUS were:
- to test the production of ready-made concrete panels and to plan a cost-effective way of production on large scale;
- cost effectiveness for the production caused by long durability and possibilities for full recycling after reaching the life time;
- to reduce the need for cost-intensive emergency tools for tunnels, like road-rail vehicles or fire brigade trains;
- to reduce personal costs for stand-by personal for emergency case;
- to reduce training costs for emergency cases; and
- to open a new market niche for the Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) participants.

The societal and policy objectives were:
- to reduce the task force time for rescue teams and fire brigades in case of emergencies in rail tunnels, which is up to date too long;
- to improve the evacuation procedures;
- to improve self rescue opportunities of rail and subway passengers;
- to improve first aid facilities on the spot, because of the opportunity to enter the tunnel with more emergency vehicles at one time (in existing systems only one special road-rail vehicle can enter the tunnel at one time);
- to improve travel convenience for passengers in rail tunnels by noise reduction;
- to improve working conditions for rail workers in tunnels;
- to increase employment in ready-made concrete industry and sale; and
- to increase employment in rail and metro infrastructure processing and planning sector.

At the kick-off meeting the creation of a Concrete consortium (CC), working on the components and the noise behaviour of concrete and a Design consortium (DC), working on the design of the panel system was decided. With agreement of the co-ordinator, the CC proposed, to invest more time in material research, mixtures and experiments, to avoid adapted models and later comparative experiments. Caused by this fact two complete work packages could be connected as one unit in the further progress of the project.

The evaluation of the experiment results lead to the final material components and the mixture for the draft models of the panel. The static calculation and detail planning for the construction plan of the first panels, used for installation in the OEBB tunnel Windhofkehren were made in September 2007.

Based on this first test and the experiences of the first installation procedures, partner Swietelsky also developed a special installation tool for the CORPTUS panels, which is usable with most of the common two way roadrailer, a machine, which is used in track construction in rail engineering as well as for track laying for metro systems.

Final small adaptations of the panel size connected with improvements of the installation technique lead to the official permission of the partner OEBB to install the CORPTUS panel system in their railway network at the site of Windhofkehren Tunnel.

The final workshop took place in Brno on May 22/23, 2008, where all the results were presented and the time table for production and the installation method were discussed. Beginning with the kick-off meeting a special film team accompanies the most important stages of the project (i.e. fire tests, meetings, conferences, visits of tunnel site, final installation, final workshop, etc.). The final cut of the film is ready and the German version is available now.

The most essential innovation of the CORPTUS system are the facts of low costs for its fabrication and the short time impact for its installation, connected with all the features and characteristics of concrete track slabs without replacement of the gravel bed including the main goals of its ability to be installed in high speed train routes with speeds up to 250 km/h and producing the availability and all features necessary for a busy road.

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