COLOMBO SUBURBAN RAILWAY PROJECT (CSRP), PART III – Focus on KV-Line and Balana-Incline, Concept with Meter-Gauge and Y Steel- Sleepers

The author advocates Meter-Gauge for the upgraded rail-track on the trace of the Kelani-Valley Railway and long welded rails (LWR) on Y-shaped Steel-Sleepers with Pandrol Fast-Clips Rail-Fastening, providing several advantages over a Broad-Gauge track with concrete sleepers and Short Welded Rails (SWR). Less space is needed. Y steel-sleepers tolerate shallow ballast cushion and allow a tighter top-of-formation width. They make the track-grid resistant to the so-called “curve breathing” in curves without the need to heap up ballast shoulders as needed for concrete sleepers, and they retain the curve geometry parameters in an excellent way.

Y steel-sleepers are nowadays widely used especially on mountain railways and by railways with tight curvatures and narrow traces in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain and Germany. The live-span is longer than of concrete sleepers with less maintenance expenditures as demonstrated on a 160 kmph standard-gauge test-track between Cologne and Düsseldorf in Germany.

On elevated structure, as envisaged for the KV-line, Meter-Gauge and Y steel-sleepers  demand less space, and with less ballast-cushion there is less weight.

As Rolling Stocks the author advocates Light Weight Rail Cars of Swiss Stadler design with middle traction modules, nowadays used by many advanced railways around the globe.

Modern Light Weight Rail-Cars have higher acceleration and deceleration rates than conventional Power-Sets like the Srilankan Class S8, S9, S11 and S12 with heavy Diesel-engines in power cars, and they can faster negotiate tight curves.

Micro Cars Limited in Sri Lanka has made efforts to develop Rail Mass Transport Systems in Sri Lanka using Light Weight Rail-Car Concepts in order to design and manufacture in Sri Lanka Diesel engine powered Rail Cars under the “LANKA ECONO RAIL” Project. The author designed a Rail Car based on the technology of the Swizz Rail-Car Manufacturer Stadler with conventional “Diesel Power Packs” in middle Traction Unit. For Crash Worthiness, the author suggested for the Driver`s Cabins the Stadler Concepts fulfilling European Crash Norms.

For the rehabilitation of the ailing Balana-Incline Broad-Gauge rail-track with Y steel-sleepers and long welded rails, one can learn from the complete re-engineering of the Montserrat Railway in Spain, which underwent in 1991 renovation under trace broadening using concrete retaining walls.

The author suggests for a KV Mass Rapid Transit System the deployment of Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) or European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1.

To learn more, free download:CSRP, PART III, PDF