Ballast mats provide railway vibration protection

| Global Environmental Processes

Ballast mats reduce transit vibration

Residents in Toronto region gain protection from the vibration of passing trains through use of innovative track ballast matting.

A vibration protection system has been implemented this year for the new track along the Weston GO Station in Ontario. The ballast mats installed protect the track superstructure from vibrations, preserve the ballast and minimise wear, thereby reducing maintenance costs.

Canadian rail operator Metrolinx installed and modernised the track through Weston GO Station in York, Ontario in preparation for the 2015 Pan American Games. The improvement is part of the Georgetown South Project (GTS), along which both freight trains and the Union Pearson Express run. This connects Toronto Pearson International Airport with the city.

To protect neighbouring residents, Metrolinx developed a noise and vibration protection strategy for the construction and operation of the GTS – on the recommendation of the project’s Environmental Assessment study, the route is equipped with vibration protection from Getzner.

“The quality of Getzner’s ballast mats and the simple, cost-saving installation were what impressed the railway company. It ensures less wear to all the superstructure components and thereby reducing maintenance costs,” explained Andreas Denk, President of Getzner USA.

Despite weather-related delays, Getzner installed the solution within a few days and on schedule even when temperatures dropped to below zero and the completion date was brought forward by three weeks.

Reducing Maintenance Costs

The Weston GO Station line passes through a densely populated area, including two 25-floor residences and so vibration protection was essential. The resilient elastic ballast mats achieved the required effectiveness in a single layer. They were made-to-order and delivered in coordination with the construction progress.

The ballast mats made of Sylodyn are developed and manufactured by Getzner itself. They noticeably minimise vibrations and noise, allowing railway operators and neighbouring residents alike to reap the rewards. GTS is part of “The BIG Move”, which is fixed for 25 years and promises to improve transit links in the Toronto/Hamilton area.

“This first project on a Metrolinx line is extremely important to us as we were able to prove our quality,” says Andreas Denk.

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