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Three Types of Rail Track & Their Fastening Systems

In the world there are mainly three types of rail tracks, normal rail track, high speed rail track and subway track. In order to meeting the requirements of locomotive and transportation on the tracks, people designed various types of rail fastening systems relevantly.

Normal railway fastening system

The designation of track for normal railway aims at slow and middle speed train for passengers or freights. The maximum speed of train is below 160km/h generally.

Throughout developing history of railway, normal railway has experienced the stages of wooden sleeper and concrete sleeper, its railway fastening systems changed relevantly globally. At early period, spike fastening system was applied on the track with wooden sleeper. Afterwards, with the use of concrete sleeper, clamp fastening system was designed and used early. With the speed increases gradually, great improvements have been made for designing new fastening system to meet higher requirements of tracks. So the most famous fastening systems were respectively designed by Pandrol and Vossloh. E-clip fastening system and W-clip fastening system are widely used in the world. Take E1609, E1809, E1813, SKL1, SKL3, etc. for examples, similar clip fastening systems are widely used for normal railway tracks. In addition, KPO fastening systems are famous for good function and high performance.

normal railway fastening system

High speed rail fastening system

The designation of track for high speed railway aims at very high speed train for only passenger. The speed of train is no less than 250km/h, the fastest speed of train reaches 486km/h at present in China. With the pursuit of more comfortable and effective transportation tools, high speed trains are more and more welcomed by most passengers. Because of the high speed, safety, reliability and durability of the train need to be paid more attention by researchers and designers.

Nowadays there are three relatively successful types of high speed railways which are Europe high speed rail system, Japan high speed rail system and China high speed rail system.

Germany and France are the representatives of Europe high speed rail systems. In Germany special W-clip fastening systems are adopted such as Vossloh 300 and Vossloh 336 fastening systems, and the main fasteners are SKL12 or SKL14. In France Nabla fastening systems are popularly used, main fasteners are blades. In Britain Pandrol company has been developing a series of Fastclip fastening system to meet the needs of high speed railway for dozens of years. In Japan Direct fastening systems are applied, main fasteners are still blades.

Recently China has made a great breakthrough on high speed technologies. On the tracks of high speed lines of Type VI, Type V fastening systems, WJ7 and WJ8 fastening systems are widely used. They are designed by China on the basis other high speed fastening systems.

high speed rail fastening system

Subway rail fastening system

Subway, also named metro, the designation of its track aims at urban transportation for only passenger. The speed of subway is more than 100km/h, the fastest speed of train reaches at 160km/h at present in China. In addition, subway rail fastening system must meet other function for better city environment such as shock absorption & noise reduction.

In 1978, a kind of subway rail fastening system, named Cologne egg, was developed and used on Cologne subway in Germany. It was with excellent performance of shock absorption & noise reduction. Later on it was applied on many city lines such as Washington in US.

Pandrol company also developed new rail fastening system for subway, named Vanguard fastening system. It functions so well that many countries introduce and use it on their lines, such as Guangzhou in China.

There are many types of subway rail fastening systems designed and produced by China and they are called DT series.

subway rail fastening system
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