Leverkusen, Germany - A railtrack ballast-bed system using polyurethane foam that reduces noise and cuts maintenance costs was recently highlighted as part of a German initiative called "365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas."
Medium-sized company Frenzel-Bau GmbH & Co. KG in Freden, Lower Saxony, collaborated with Bayer MaterialScience to develop this system, called Durflex, said a recent statement from the raw materials supplier. Ballast under the track is stabilised by completely filling the cavities between the ballast stones in the track bed, using an elastic polyurethane foam system from BaySystems, a BMS unit.
A test section of Durflex which was put into operation near Uelzen in 2007 has transported over 90 million tonnes of train load. A test track for urban rail operations was also set up in Berlin last year. Positive test results mean the partners want to develop Durflex further, and plan a longer demonstration track in Germany.
Benefits for rail network operators include "boosting the stability of the rail track and thus cutting maintenance in continuous operation," explained Jörg Frenzel, managing director of Frenzel-Bau, in the BMS statement. "Furthermore, noise emissions on the railroad are significantly reduced, so the system has both economic and ecological benefits." The system can be used on new sections of track and to upgrade existing stretches.
Over 2000 organisations entered the "365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" contest, a campaign by German government and industry to communicate a positive image of Germany both at home and abroad.
The award was presented to Frenzel-Bau during a ceremony at the company headquarters in Freden and celebrated with an open day. The event played host to numerous guests from politics and business, representatives of German rail company Deutsche Bahn and rail experts from inside and outside Germany.