Line clear for ICE

On 16.11.2009, the renewed track section between Fürstenberg and Dannenwalde on the Berlin-Rostock railway line was officially handed over. For this project, CEMEX Kies & Splitt GmbH, a subsidiary of CEMEX Deutschland AG, supplied around 50 000 t mineral materials as ordered by the contractor, the SPITZKE AG group. The company also took care of the proper disposal of the unstable rail track substructure.


Presumably by the year 2015, Deutsche Bahn will reconstruct the over 200-km-long Berlin-Rostock twin-track railway line to take train speeds up to 160 km/h. The journey time is to be reduced to less than two hours. Contracted by Deutsche Bahn AG, SPITZKE AG has provided an extensive package of services since December 2008. Main component of the line upgrade was track renewal in both directions of travel, each with a length of 13.6 km between Dannenwalde and Fürstenberg. In addition, two bridges were refurbished and the platform at Dannenwalde station was renewed. SPITZKE AG entrusted CEMEX Kies & Splitt GmbH with the supply and disposal of a total of 150 000 t of mineral aggregate for renewal of the track, specifically for the installation of a new formation protective layer (FPL) and the disposal of non-stable track substructure. The building materials were supplied by CEMEX-Kieswerk Kraatz in the district of Oberhavel in Brandenburg. The spent materials were disposed of in cooperation with specialist disposal companies based locally.


The layer under the ballast bed no longer met the requirements for the new line (160 km/h). It was removed and replaced with a stable formation protective layer, which was produced to the specifications of DB AG in compliance with its TL 918 062 at Kraatz Gravel Works (grain blends 1 and 2). CEMEX Kies & Splitt attached special importance to the regular monitoring of the material quality to meet the demanding customer requirements. The formation is a surface produced with an incline, which supports the track bed structure. The FPL is the supporting layer between the subgrade and the ballast bed. On the one hand, it helps distribute the load, and on the other it is useful for the drainage of the surface water to the sides.


Track construction was completed with the special RPM-RS-900 tracklaying machine from SPITZKE, which is also known as Catherine the Great (Fig. 1). The machine is just under 200 m long and combines various functions that previously could only be performed separately: cleaning and recycling of the ballast and the upgrading or renewal of the protective sub-layer. In front of and behind this are material conveyor and silo wagons, which are used to take away the spent materials and supply the new materials. The excavating machine is the core component of this huge machine. It lifts the rail tracks together with the sleepers. By means of two chains, the track ballast and then the old base layer under the tracks is brought out and removed on a belt conveyor. On other belt conveyors, the materials for the new FPL are heaped onto the subgrade and rolled (Fig. 2). The track and sleepers are removed, the cleaned ballast added and compacted with a tamping machine. The expensive track laying machine, which costs several million €, is in action around the clock so that it can be operated cost efficiently. In an hour, the around 30 men who operate the machine can manage up to construct 150 m of track (Fig. 3).


This presented Cemex with a great logistics challenge: the materials produced were always stored in sufficient quantities, so that it could be transported by lorry to the different stockyards of the line sections whenever called for. From these yards, the just under 200-m-long RPM-RS-900 takes the material to use it in the track structure. On its return route, the machine transported up to 5 000 t per day of the removed material to the storage yards. CEMEX Kies & Splitt then took this material for professional disposal. On many days, 30 lorries were in operation at the same time.


CEMEX Deutschland AG, Ratingen (D),

Tel.: +49 2102 401-0,


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