The railroad industry has been a formidable economic power in America for nearly two hundred years. With nearly 95,000 miles of road, Class 1 Carriers are an integral part of the infrastructure of this great country. The safe and efficient transportation of goods and people, from coast to coast has woven the railroad industry into the very fabric of America and it is critical that the maintenance of tracks and facilities meet or exceed those of other industries.
When it comes to track maintenance, time truly is money. For example, should repairs require shutdown of a main track or branch line, traffic must be either diverted or stopped until the repair is complete. When rail traffic comes to a halt, associated costs in man hours, re-crews and fuel consumption can greatly affect a carrier’s bottom line. The same is true for portions of track where erosion or water intrusion has weakened sub-soils resulting in settlement. Long term slow orders, due to settlement, slow train traffic affecting train handling and fuel consumption, again affecting the bottom line. When track speed is reduced due to poor road bed conditions, other factors such as prolonged rain or flooding can result in erosion and/or failure of an already compromised road bed to support the loads it was designed to carry and increase the likelihood of derailment. URETEK ICR can restore the integrity of slow order track, repair crossings and stabilize culverts and bridge abutments with no requirement to take track out of service for an extended period of time. Our ability to clear work areas and allow train traffic to pass, then return to work immediately keeps operations running with minimal interruption.
Railroads have adopted new technologies over time to help streamline operations and create a safer work environment for their employees. Technology has helped railroads to become the most efficient and safest mode of transportation available today. Now a new technology, developed over the last 20 years by URETEK, will allow railroads to achieve higher efficiencies with minimal disruption to service.
URETEK ICR, a leader in concrete lifting and soil stabilization for over 2 decades, is known primarily for lifting sunken concrete (sometimes in excess of 250,000lbs.) in an efficient, timely manner with little or no downtime to business operations, traffic, or large equipment expenses. URETEK uses a patented, eco-friendly technology to stabilize and lift loose, unstable soil and concrete by injecting a structural grade polymer into weak soil strata to stabilize the soil base of the building, highway, or in this case, the railroad track.
Using the same operational model as URETEK uses on similar applications, URETEK can altogether avoid complete shutdown of the railway crossing and can be back in use within a 10 minute window of notice if necessary. The technology is in URETEK’s patented polymers curing to 90% strength in less than 15 minutes. This allows pinpoint accuracy and control over projects that are time sensitive in nature. URETEK also maximizes safety by having little to no large equipment to complete projects, reducing potentially hazardous job sites. URETEK utilizes its surgical injection process to place accurate polymer injections where the base soil of the track has been weakened from extreme loads and vibration of constant movement. Reducing re-crew rates, getting slow order tracks up to timetable speeds in quicker fashion, along with altogether eliminating complete shutdown of railway crossings, the advantages of URETEK’s expanding polymer technology to solve railway problems is quite evident. There have been over 85,000 projects successfully completed worldwide with most of the projects being very unique in nature.
Recently, URETEK successfully completed different railway applications to show the railway industry that they are ready to service the railway industry on a larger scale by providing a virtually shutdown-free solution to sunken or unstable crossings, and sections for slow order tracks that are problematic for most railway organizations. URETEK’s processes and services address erosion, washouts, erosion around culverts, and settled crossings in high traffic areas. Main line and branch lines are ideal for URETEK to maintain problematic base soils. URETEK has proven, successful projects for railways throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.