Innovative logistics by Track Tec
Track Tec has implemented the already announced innovative solution for transporting turnout blocks on prestressed concrete turnout sleepers.
The blocks of two turnouts R300 pre-assembled in the plant in Zawadzkie have been transported on the company’s own wagons equipped with specialist load handling devices to Sosnowiec South. On September 2nd of this year the accompanying operations at the rail station have been conducted, unloading and assembling on site using a railway crane with a lifting capacity of 45 tonnes, which took, for the first turnout, about 3,5 hours.
Considering that this was the first operation of this kind conducted by Track Tec for the track construction contractor CTL Service we assume that in future it will take less. The entire operation required considerably less time than today’s procedure.
The novelty of the Track Tec solution lies in the development of a technical installation (UR-1) in conjunction with EC Engineering, which – mounted on the freight wagon – ensures safe transport of turnout blocks on prestressed concrete turnout sleepers pre-assembled by the manufacturer and their immediate assembly on delivery directly from the wagon onto the prepared substructure.
The installation UR-1 is suitable for mounting on a mass-produced wagon platform with a lowered floor (type 423Z, series Uai) and requires no modification of the wagon construction, the gear shift or braking system. Following the loading of the turnout block the installation is raised to a transport position and the loaded wagon can be moved on the rail network.
The lifting construction enables the loading of the pre-assembled frog and linking track blocks in horizontal position, and then once the load is secured on the racks it is lifted driven by centrally-controlled hydraulic cylinders, in accordance with the written program, and placed in a sloping position (68o). This way of loading enables transport of turnouts with a radius up to R500 assembled on prestressed concrete turnout sleepers. Track Tec is finalising work on a transport concept for turnouts with longer radii.
The lifting and lowering of the racks, to which the turnout blocks are mounted, can be performed both automatically or manually ensuring in all cases complete operational safety as well as technical safety of the facilities and turnout blocks. The installation is designed to meet the highest technological requirements of transportation and lifting of the pre-assembled blocks while retaining their rigidity and maintaining the technical and performance parameters.
Segments of this size have not been carried in Poland before because only special vehicles from abroad provided such an opportunity. The method developed by Track Tec allows for transportation of a pre-assembled turnout on three wagons to any place within the rail network.
On the construction site, the turnout block is lowered to a horizontal position and, after the fasteners have been removed, placed by the railway crane directly onto the prepared substructure.
The installation UR-1 is powerd by a hydraulic drive with its own generator set and its construction meets all the safety requirements in compliance with the respective regulations. The installation has been authorised by the Transportation Technical Subervision TDT (Transportowy Dozór Techniczny).
Track Tec offers altogether four sets of three wagons each for transport of turnout blocks as well as a railway crane with a lifting capacity of 45 tonnes, which allows the turnout blocks not only to be uploaded on site, but also to be transported, including transportation under the wires.
Results of introducing the Track Tec solution:
- clearly defined responsibility for the quality of the assembled turnouts,
- appropriate geometry of the turnout due to the assembly by the manufacturer,
- shorter execution timescales and track possession periods,
- minimised disruption to rail companies during rail infrastructure enhancement works.
The initiative and the project costs incurred by Track Tec will certainly make an important contribution to implementing innovative investments in the Polish rail infrastructure. An appropriate use of EU funds is what we have to focus on, and the technologies used should ensure the estimated periods of use of the rail infrastructure elements.
The Track Tec solution is a concrete, proven proposal that addresses the intentions of PKP PLK to optimize the logistics processes and turnout assembly.
The project implemented by Track Tec contributes to achieving the above-mentioned objectives.