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A new product created by Pandrol incorporates a bespoke design for the Toronto Metrolinx system, which was created to meet the extreme conditions posed by temperature fluctuations of between -10⁰C to 40⁰C combined with heavy rolling stock.
Toronto’s express rail link from Union Station to Pearson International Airport opened in 2015. Unfortunately, within two years bonded fasteners on the track were failing and needed to be replaced because of longitudinal stress.
As the fasteners are to be installed on a pre-existing system, the product needed to be a direct retrofit of previous measurements, as there could be no flexibility in the positioning of the bolts and rail. With combined stressors from extreme temperature fluctuations, sharp curves, and heavy express trains, the existing solution was being pushed far beyond its intended tolerances.
Initial investigations revealed a number of issues contributing to the problem. The express trains running on the 3-mile section of track are heavy. The line’s aerial structure is mainly composed of sharp curves, resulting in a high demand on the track. Thermal effects, exacerbated by Toronto’s extremes of weather, were causing differential movement of the rail and bridge (made of concrete and steel). Overall, the stress due to the track/structure interaction was pushing the fasteners beyond their design limit.
Consultants working on the problem adapted the quality test for the fastener, making it so challenging that no existing bonded DFF would pass. With an off-the-shelf solution not an option, Pandrol was approached to come up with a bespoke fastener design that would be able to withstand the challenges of the line and allow for a direct retrofit.
The new fasteners designed for these challenges by Pandrol passed tests at up to 3 million cycles, highlighting its longitudinal restraint at a tolerance of +/- 5% divergence under replicated conditions.
The key to the project was collaboration between client, engineers, and consultants. Dillon Benros, Pandrol’s Engineering Manager, who is leading this undertaking, said: “We analysed the problem, leveraged our deep toolbox of solutions, and engaged our global footprint. From design engineering in France to prototyping in Australia and shim manufacture in Norway, the Pandrol team across the world contributed to this undertaking.
“Consultants working on the problem adapted the standard quality test for the fastener to more closely replicate the conditions it would face. It was so challenging that no existing bonded direct fixation fastener would pass. As an off-the-shelf solution was not an option, Pandrol was approached to design a bespoke fastener to allow a direct retrofit.
“This is an exceptional product that perfectly meets the needs of our client. Better yet, it’s significantly more robust than anything else on the market.”
The complete order of 14,300 fasteners will be delivered in 2021.
The post Pandrol develops solution for Toronto Metrolinx network appeared first on Railway Track and Structures.
This article first appeared on www.rtands.com
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