The future of rail is closer than you think.

Enable a truly 24/7 operation with Embedded Rail Technology.

It’s simple: rail built with less pieces requires less maintenance. Less maintenance means less downtime. Less downtime means more trains on tracks. Which means a more reliable, safer, and cost-effective network.

That’s Embedded Rail Technology (ERT).

Up to 95% fewer elements

ERT only requires approximately four elements per metre. Modern rail systems require between 50 and 90 elements. A slipform or pre-cast concrete base with an embedded rectangular block rail, removes the need for all the components used in fastening and anchoring a traditional rail.

Up to 70% less maintenance

Less elements means less things that can fail. Which, apart from safer rail, means less maintenance. The only remaining requirement is to replace rails when they wear out. Thanks to ERT’s unique and more robust rail profile, the need for replacement is less frequent.

24/7 uptime

Minimal maintenance requirements provide true 24/7 uptime. This enables more goods and passengers to be transported per day. With higher tonnage and higher speeds, uptime becomes even more valuable.

But that’s not all

ERT is a reliable and safe track solution. A proven efficient system that offers best value and comes with a host of other benefits.

Heavy haul

Higher tonnage

Derailment protection

Higher speed

Passenger rail

Lower noise and improved ride quality

Smaller structures

Shorter journey times

...and more

Lower carbon footprint

Reduced sub-formation

...and more.

If ERT’s simple elegance provides so many benefits, why has it not been widely adopted? There are two hurdles to commercial viability: it’s slow and the upfront investment to build is high*. However, that’s changing, and it’s changing fast.

*The lifetime cost of ERT is much more cost efficient than traditional processes as proven in European studies and sites across Spain and the UK. To enable its suite of benefits, the system installation is currently being automated, to install it during short track access times offered by the rail operators. When the installation cost approaches that of a ballasted track, the ERT system is irresistible.

One

Don’t fix what isn’t broken

The system is specifically designed to be installed using inexpensive, standard and readily available civil engineering equipment for the concreting and the railing. Now we are automating the alignment of the rails to speed up the installation process.

Two

Add some ingenuity

While the output is quite different from traditional rail, many of the tools required to get the job done can – with a little ingenuity – be repurposed for ERT. We are developing solutions to combine the incredible precision of robotics with the functionality and availability of the existing industry equipment.

Three

Fill in the gaps

As with all things, the simplest solution often requires the most work. We have assembled a team of experts to develop the solutions to increase the efficiency and reduce the time of installation.

Downer has teamed with the Australian Government, ERT LTD, the University of Wollongong, the University of Technology Sydney, and Antoun Civil. These partners combine specialist knowledge in Embedded Rail Technology, slipform concreting, engineering, material and robotics to develop solutions to every part of the build process.

Concept development
Oct '20 to Dec '20

Delivery phases 1–4
Jan '21 to Dec '21

Delivery phases 5–7
Jan ’22 to Jun ‘22

Timeline

Having completed the research phase in December 2020, the research team is now exploring and evolving installation and construction solutions by December 2021, and resolving special components, maintenance and testing by June 2022.

The future of rail is almost here. Get ready.

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