Eight 60E1 1 in 9 secant geometry turnouts in standard Cape gauge have been supplied to Grootgeluk coal mine for the construction of an upgrade of private rail siding to provide access to an expanded loading facility.
Up until the advent of this project, S60 / UIC60 / 60E1 1 in 9 secant geometry turnouts were constructed with timber sleepers. Timber sleepers are no longer a viable option as they are scarce and more expensive than their concrete equivalent.
Concrete sleepers do not require any maintenance and last a lot longer. Moreover, their incorporation into the new 60E1 secant geometry turnout has facilitated a more modern design such as adjustable guard rails and flexible fastening systems. This design complies with the requirements to manage 32 tonnes axle loads.
By using the flexible fastenings on the 60E1 1 in 9 secant geometry turnout, it allows for a limited amount of rail movement and reduces the lateral forces. It is a crucial factor to the performance of the turnout because it reduces sleeper fatigue and cracking, especially under heavy axle load conditions.
Consulting engineers have welcomed the new 60E1 1 in 9 secant geometry turnout because it can be applied on several other rail networks, for example, to replace worn turnouts at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.