Repair and/or replacement might be necessary, such as in case of strong differential settlement or train derailment. The design of the Slab Track Austria enables a quick and easy track level adjustment or panel repair or replacement in case of damage due to derailment. The track shutdown times are kept to a minimum and the repair or replacement requires very little space so that the parallel track can continue being in operation.
The elastic layer separates the slab from the self-compacting concrete. Concrete locking the track base plates in place can be removed from the openings, therefore allowing the plates to be easily lifted and replaced within three to four hours.
The elastomeric layer on the bottom of the panel enables easy decoupling from the track and fast replacement. The following video illustrates how expediently a panel can be replaced.
In case of differential track settlement, track adjustment can be done with minimum effort, thus saving resources.
Further possibilities of adjusting the track, if the required adjustments exceed the maximum adjustments of the fastening system, can be made by manipulating the track base plates themselves.
As can be seen in the below animation, the adjustment of the track level is done in the following way:
- The concrete locking the slabs in place is removed from the tapered slab openings in order to allow the decoupling of the panels.
- Track base plates level is adjusted by using the spindles to lift the plates to the correct new position
- Side formwork is placed
- Concrete is poured to fill up the gap between the plate and the settled base and to lock the plates back in place
In case of derailment, repair and resuming of operations on Slab Track Austria is quick and efficient. Slab Track Austria provides actually additional stability and help prevent the tipping over of the train in case of derailment. During one such event when a train derailed due to a huge rock which was dropped on the track, the train continued gliding upright.
Thorough examination of the slab track with the noise absorbers was performed after a derailment accident. In this case only the rail support concrete shoulder and the fastening systems were damaged. The damage was limited and the track could be easily repaired. The track base plates themselves were intact, not a single base plate had to be replaced.
Following is an illustration of how the concrete support under the rails can be repaired by using special formwork and grouting concrete. Special grouting concrete can be used to harden the concrete within only a few hour, in case the track needs to go into operation very quickly.