Pandrol solutions for Sydney tramway 09 November 2022

In Sydney, the CBD and South East Light Rail is a new rail network which is used by 9.8 million customers every year. To better improve public access through the rail network, this line was expanded in 2018 to a 12.7km route. In this demanding city centre project, vibration mitigation was key to ensure minimised disruption to local residents. To resolve the issue, Pandrol provided solutions including Qtrack® and Floating Slab Mats.

Due to its central location, the project required an innovative and flexible approach, including the necessity of a fast installation taking place over weekends which could guarantee minimal interruption to busy streets. Pandrol, part of the Delachaux Group, was appointed to this project in 2016. The main technical challenges lay in the need to mitigate the vibration issues of the project and the high electrical stray current isolation that was required.

A further requirement was the demand for large volumes of product and the need for flexibility in the delivery programme, as work took place in a congested urban environment. Pandrol met this challenge by increasing factory production capacity, establishing several production moulds to work in parallel with each other.

Pandrol solved these project requirements by engineering a combined solution of two systems: Pandrol Qtrack® and Pandrol Floating Slab Mats (FSM). The Pandrol QTrack® system was specified for the Sydney Tramway, which is a continuously supported and fastened embedded slab track system. The rail is encapsulated by elastic resin bonded rubber profiles, which provide a range of benefits, such as vibration mitigation and electrical isolation – both issues which were of great importance for this project.

QTrack®, Pandrol states, is easy to install and the Pandrol team provided technical support throughout the process, from design to installation. On-site training was also provided by the Pandrol team from Hoeilaart, in Belgium.

QTrack® is consistent in reducing ground-borne noise and vibration and is compatible with special track works, such as drainage and electrical boxes, insulation joints, axle counters, switches and crossings and other typical depot equipment. Also, the product includes few components and is therefore eco-friendly. Pandrol QTrack® is available for grooved and Vignola rails for different axle loads: LRT, Metro, Train, High Speed and Heavy Haul.

Pandrol also developed a solution to issues with stray current named QT ELEC. The QT ELEC is an electrical insulating film which the company used on the Sydney tramway project.

The success of the project resulted in a new line which will serve the busiest areas in downtown Sydney. Pandrol states the project demonstrates the company’s approach to working proactively with customers and delivering high volumes to meet project requirements.

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