Logistics

S. African firm plans tie-up with Indian company for railway track projects

Suresh P. Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on March 27, 2012

Tubular Track.

Tubular Track (Pty), a South African company, is in talks with an Indian infrastructure company to jointly bid for the proposed dedicated freight corridors in the eastern and western regions.

patented technology

Tubular Track has a patented technology for laying tracks without ballast (broken gravel).

The rails are continuously supported on twin reinforced concrete beams laid on a specially designed formation.

The beams are tied together with galvanised steel tie-bars, the ends of which encircle the beams.

Mr Mpho Makhuza, Head (Marketing), Tubular Track, told Business Line that the installation cost of tubular tracks are about 40 per cent less than for conventional tracks with ballast and are almost maintenance-free. “Installation of these tracks in a South African coal field has resulted in huge savings. Our tracks shifted just two millimetres after six years of installation. This despite tonnes of coal being transported on a daily basis,” he said.

He declined to identify the Indian company.

maintenance

To insulate the system from shock when trains pass, rubber-bonded cork pads are placed at regular intervals between the rails and the beams.

This rail system replaces the conventional track of sleepers and ballast thus increasing the life cycle and reducing the cost of maintenance.

installation

Tubular tracks can be installed by railways for public transport and marshalling yards, as well as in ports, underground mines and bulk loading sites.

The system will also provide a long-standing solution to metro-rail passenger platforms, where consistent rail-to-platform height has to be achieved, said Mr Makhuza.

first tubular track

The first tubular track was installed in 1989 for the South African mining industry.

The underground installation was done at President Brand Mine.

Since then, some 600 km of track has been installed in the mining industry.

The company received its South African and international patents in the same year.

Tubular Track in a joint venture with Central Mining Co. Investment formed T-Track Saudi to install 40 km of tubular model track on the main railway line between Harad and Al Tawdihiyah in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

This line also carries containerised freight between Dammam and Riyadh.

suresh@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 27, 2012

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