July 2011 » Departments

Leveraging technology for railways
The support of rail line, whether for new or existing track, is an essential aspect of railroad construction and maintenance. In some circumstances, it can be an expensive and lengthy procedure, involving the mitigation of soft or variable soil conditions, frequent ballast maintenance, and track realignment. However, advances in technology have provided quantifiable financial and time reduction benefits. For instance, Tensar’s Spectra Rail Railway Improvement System, incorporating Tensar Geogrids, can providee mechanical stabilization of rail ballast and sub-ballast layers.

By using Tensar Geogrid, the Utah Transit Authority had significant reduction in material and labor costs.

This allows construction of rail lines with longer life or reduced roadbed thickness with no loss of performance. It also cuts down on track settlement and general wear and tear, which reduces maintenance costs, thus providing both short- and long-term financial benefits. Read a case study regarding the use of this technology online with the July issue of CE News at www.cenews.com.

Smarter railway design
This summer, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) will begin construction of a clean diesel passenger railroad through Sonoma and Marin counties in Northern California. When complete, the 70-mile project will include approximately 14 stations and 56 miles of multi-use pedestrian and bike pathway. To complete the complex design-build package on time, SMART and a multi-disciplinary team of engineering and surveying firms relied on a model-based design process supported by a variety of tools, including AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D software for the track design and corridor modeling and Autodesk Buzzsaw software-as-a-service for management of models, data, and documentation. At project’s end, the 30-percent design-build package was delivered on time and under budget. Read the case study online with the July issue of CE News at www.cenews.com.

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