Recommendations for the DEsign and use of MOnoblock concrete SLEEPERs

Start: 2018-01-1

End: 2019-12-31

Project code: 2018/RSF/572

Project director: Christian CHAVANEL

Project manager: David MIRAYO

Sleeper, together with the rail, is the most important component of track superstructure in ballasted track.
Their quality conditions have considerable influence on the overall superstructure quality. Moreover, track maintenance costs are affected by this element due to their higher number. For many years now, prestressed concrete sleepers have replaced the use sleepers in other materials (wooden or metallic). All the shapes of normal types of sleeper can be substituted with prestressed concrete.

Previous UIC activities have set up the fundamental basis for the design of prestressed monoblock concrete sleepers, which have served afterwards to produce a series of European standards in cooperation with the manufacturing industry.

However, there are still complementary topics to be covered or expanded, in terms of:

  • latest state of the art
  • design,
  • current and expected speeds and loading cases
  • other track gauges (apart from the standard one, 1435mm) and the influence in terms of charges applied and efforts
  • recommendation for use and maintenance practices of concrete sleepers
  • the interaction with other superstructure components, such as:
  • the use of USP-Under Sleeper Pads,
  • ballast and the design of sleepers to avoid the flying ballast phenomenon under higher speeds.
    Additionally, these subjects should have a global application, even more extended than the EU space.

This project will contribute both to the “technical-economical asset management” and “improving the system utilization operating safety passenger and freight services and overcome infrastructure limitation to heavy and long trains” themes of the Rail System Forum Strategy, and fits with the maintenance optimization objective of the Rail Technical Strategy Europe. Likewise, it is complementary with the S2R Objectives to reach a safe, interoperable, reliable and cost-effective infrastructure.

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Wednesday 30 September 2020


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