BYLINE: Dr Peter Schulz and Chris van Dranen*

INTRO: TURNOUTSfor the Betuwe Route are being supplied by BWG of Germany, working with its Dutch sister company WBN Wisselbouw.

In 2000 WBN Wisselbouw supplied the turnouts used below the hump to the sorting sidings in the marshalling yard at Kijfhoek south of Rotterdam; now it is

providing 60 for the new line to the German border. These are designated as Type EW-UIC60-760-1:18·5 and are designed to allow trains to take the diverging route at 80 km/h; normal line speed will be 120 km/h.

The first four turnouts for the Betuwe Route were delivered in early 2003 for use at Hardinxfeld-Giessendam, and the last will arrive on site in 2005. For the first time in the Netherlands UIC60 rail was specified, and a head-hardened S900A steel was selected for the rails, which are inclined inwards at 1:40. The fixed crossing is thermally treated to give a lowest tensile strength of 1180N/mm2. Point blades have three individual motor drives and are fitted with integrated Brandenburg rollers to avoid the need for lubrication. Split concrete sleepers are joined by elastic coupling plates that eliminate the transmission of vibration.

The split sleeper design allows the turnouts to be pre-assembled at the factory and moved by lorry directly to the installation site. The different sections of the point are positioned using a mobile crane, and the whole process takes around 5h.

Installation is not always a simple task. At the entrance to the Sophia tunnel near Papendrecht four turnouts had to be laid in a cutting, requiring careful co-ordination and detailed planning of the logistics; this was co-ordinated by WBN Wisselbouw. n

CAPTION: LEFT: Pre-assembled turnout sections are delivered ready for installation on the Betuwe Route.

RIGHT:The completed installation includes both facing and trailing crossovers

CAPTION: *Dr Peter Schulz is Chief Executive, WBN Wisselbouw Nederland BV and Chris van Dranen is Head of Sales & Marketing