Railway Projects south africa

1:4.5 Scissors Crossing with long universal concrete sleepers

The set included 36 universal concrete sleepers of 6m lengths through the centre section which added extra stability to the structure.  All sections and components were colour-coded prior to dismantling to assist the contractors during site installation.

Thorough and careful planning was required to overcome challenges on site. Half of the scissors crossing is situated on a bridge with limited access and storage space.  To complicate matters, there was no equipment available for offloading bigger components.

Material had to be placed at some distance from the point of installation, especially on the western side of Koedoespoort station as access to the eastern side was limited.

Had it not been for the preassembly process and the colour coding of components the installation of the crossing on site would have taken a number of days causing disruption to train services.

The client Metrorail ran trains in a set direction and brought in buses to supply supplementary shuttle services and ran two trains to shuttle between Valklip and Pienaarspoort.  This minimized disruption to commuters.

The project entailed removing some 80m of trackwork from the existing crossing. The ballast was excavated and the formation levelled simultaneously compacting the existing formation, After the sub-layer was compacted, the sleepers were packed out and before new ballast was brought in, the track was lifted and aligned to ensure that sleepers would not crack under the movement of trains.  Thermit welding of the steel components was put in by hand and finally the signal circuits were connected and tested.

Scissors Crossing image Railway Turnout under construction. Photo of Universal Concrete Sleepers being laid. Ramutsa

The speed with which the turnout was installed and commissioned from start to finish is due in no small measure to careful planning and work by Ramutsa Rail’s dedicated team whilst acknowledging the superbly manufactured, pre assembled and marked components supplied by VAE.

A scissors crossing is one of the most complicated pieces of trackwork used on a railway. The speed with which the set at Koedoespoort was replaced, with minimal disruption to train services and quality workmanship, reflects great credit on all involved.

Ramutsa Ramutsa Ramutsa Ramutsa

There is no doubt that preassembly was the key to the project’s rapid and satisfactory completion, complemented by the precision with which each part of the process was planned, timetabled and executed, together with the commendable teamwork that was fundamental to the project’s overall success.