Innovative plastic sleepers for light rail network city of Amsterdam

= 24th of August 2015 =


railway sleeper rail sleepers plastic sleepers 


The recessed version of the KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleeper is one of the innovations developed and produced by Lankhorst Engineered Products. High demands are placed on sustainability, lower Life Cycle Costs and high resistance to lateral forces. The hybrid plastic sleeper also achieves considerable sound reduction in addition to the long service life and substantial weight savings. For these reasons The City of Amsterdam has chosen the plastic sleepers of Lankhorst for the replacement of the light rail infrastructure on the section of the Madeweg - Overamstel.

As of July 28th this year GVB has been working  on the replacement of the light rail infrastructure on this section. Lankhorst supplied 1,800 KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleepers  fortwo fly-overs which will guarantee the stability of the track, also at high loads. The section is already successfully in service.  

"With regard to maintenance projects we aim for sustainable replacement and cost-efficiency every time" says Bauke Hoogzaad of the City of Amsterdam to clarify their choice of the plastic sleeper. "Wooden sleepers last for a maximum of 15 years, whilst the life expectancy of plastic sleepers is at least 50 years." Besides that the plastic sleeper is fully recyclable after use. The new KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleeper is a sustainable alternative to wooden sleepers and concrete sleepers, especially when these are too heavy for the underlying construction, which was the case with the two fly-overs in Amsterdam.

The innovative plastic sleeper has great lateral resistance due to the special relief on the bottom and it has a recessed design to be completely surrounded by ballast. This makes the construction "solid as a rock" and ideal for use at places where a large lateral pressure is exerted on the track or where the vertical load on civil works is subject to a maximum (e.g. bridges, viaducts or fly-overs). The infrastructure of the two fly-overs has been installed with a tight curve radius.  Passing subway trains run at high speed through this relatively sharp curve, leading to lateral forces on the rail that are very high.

Using these plastic sleepers results in considerable sound reduction. Sound measurements performed on recently completed bridges show a reduction of 3-5 dB! Additionally the high sound peak in the frequency range of hearing has also been drastically reduced; this means an extra reduction of noise pollution.  The strength and dimensional stability of the hybrid plastic sleeper makes it fit for use in all (weather) conditions. KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleepers  can be processed in the same way as wooden sleepers.