NS adopts standard pointwork
INTRO: A range of standard high performance turnouts and crossings being introduced across the Dutch network uses 'plug-and-play' technology to reduce possession time and ensure rapid availability after installation
WITH two new lines under construction and several major upgrading projects in hand, track renewal has become a significant issue on the Dutch rail network.
Netherlands Railways and infrastructure manager Prorail have been working to develop a range of standard high performance turnouts and crossings. Designed in co-operation with German switch and crossing supplier BWG and its Dutch subsidiary WBN Wisselbouw, all are pre-assembled in the factory and delivered complete for rapid installation.
The biggest project underway on the conventional network is the quadrupling of the 40 km main line between Amsterdam and Utrecht. Work began in October 2000, and is expected to be largely completed by 2005. As the main international passenger corridor to Germany, the line is being upgraded for 200 km/h running. A section of the new alignment was commissioned through Bruekelen last September, eliminating two level crossings.
In December the approaches to Amsterdam Centraal station, and several platform roads were relaid using standard pointwork carried on split concrete sleepers. These are fitted with Ebiswitch drives.
For the quadrupling, Prorail is using newly-developed UIC 54-725-1:15 points, fabricated from UIC 54B rail with a low asymmetrical tongue profile. The rails are inclined at 1:40 on BWG split sleepers, and there are two single Ebiswitch drives.
The Utrecht Curve
Now taking shape to the south of Duivendrecht, the Utrecht Curve will provide a connection between the Amsterdam - Utrecht line and the southern side of the Amsterdam ring, allowing the introduction of direct trains from Utrecht to Schiphol Airport in 2005.
The junction to the curve includes the first turnouts in the Netherlands to be designed for trains to take the diverging route at a speed of 170 km/h. BWG is supplying UIC 60-10000-4000-1:39·17 pointwork, to a design used on DB's K