ITALY: Infrastructure manager RFI and track maintenance contractors Salcef and Ar.Fer have awarded three contracts for the first applications of Holdfast rubber level crossing panels in the country, after seeing the technology on display at Expo Ferroviaria in Torino earlier this year.

RFI will use the panels to renew a double-track crossing near Barletta in the south. In the centre of the country, Salcef is modernising seven crossings on the Roccasecca - Avezzano line, of which five are on curves and two on straight track. Ar.Fer is renewing three crossings at Asti in the north. Installation is due to take place by the end of October.

The contracts were awarded through local distributor Commel SRL, which specialises in supplying components and tools for track maintenance. Holdfast Director Mark Coates Smith says the company is delighted that the technology has generated so much interest in such a short space of time, adding that 'this is the first of a number of orders in the pipeline.'

Commel's Paola Roncolato said RFI 'immediately saw the benefits of rubber panels that would be simple to install, would not invade the current sleeper structure and could easily be removed for maintenance.'