The European Commission has given Sorigué, together with the Catalan companies Comsa and Verdés and two other European firms, some 1.5 million euros to develop an innovative international project to improve track ballast.
Under the title “New high-performance and long-lasting ballast for sustainable railway infrastructure”, Neoballast seeks to improve the mechanical properties of ballast, a material produced for use in the support platforms of railroads to reduce degradation and absorb vibrations and noise from the rails.
The consortium is comprised of Sorigué (with 6% share), the Catalan companies Comsa, S.A.U and Talleres Felipe Verdés, S.A; the Belgian company Dynamics, Structures and Systems International; and the Italian firm Mapei S.p.A.. The consortium is equipped with a budget of 2,134,000 €, of which 1,493,800 € is contributed by the European Commission.
The initiative was selected by the European Commission as part of its “Fast Track to Innovation” program, which in turn forms part of the European research and innovation initiative called Horizon 2020. “Fast Track to Innovation” is intended to finance the manufacture of mature and well-tested innovative products so they can be released to market in a short period of time.
Characteristics of Neoballast
• Improves the properties of ballast aggregate. The project consists of treating the aggregate by coating it in micronized rubber powder, thereby achieving a high-performance, long-lasting, and eco-friendly ballast.
• Extends the useful life of rail lines. The innovative design is focused on the two most important drawbacks in railway tracks: track degradation, and noise and vibrations.
• Reduces economic costs. By achieving increased performance, railway tracks will take longer to deteriorate, and so will require less maintenance, representing a significant cost savings.