ASC Sensors Enable Smart Railway Sleepers

Let’s make rail tracks more sustainable while reducing CO2 emissions, noise and vibration levels: Dutch rail infrastructure provider ProRail is currently testing new types of railway sleepers made from recycled plastic.

The national provider in charge of managing and maintaining all tracks in the Netherlands aims to introduce sustainable alternatives to standard concrete sleepers – hardly the best option when it comes to noise, vibrations or CO2 footprint. With about 170 sleepers laid on every 100 metres of track, a huge difference could be achieved in terms of all three parameters – as well as lots of plastic recycled to save on precious raw materials.

railway sleepers

However, prior to any new component being put into broad use, rigorous testing in real-world conditions is required. For two years, on a dedicated test track, ProRail is measuring and analyzing the impact of forces and temperatures on various positions of the new sleeper.

To that end, several of ASC’s high-precision capacitative accelerometers have been integrated in each sleeper on the test track, generating large amounts of accurate data on acceleration, vibrations, motion, deformation, displacement and more; to analyze the sleepers’ behavior at diverse train speeds, directions, types of sub-soil and climates.

Through this collaboration, ASC hopes to be able to contribute to a significant reduction in greenhouse gasses and noise, while repurposing recycled materials and making the world’s railway systems safer, more sustainable and productive.

Learn more here.

This article was originally published by ASC Sensors.

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