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Track to the power of three cost-effective friction management

L.B. Foster is developing a cost-effective friction management solution for dual gauge track applications. Here we look at a project in Brazil.

Brazilian railroads operate mainly on two different track gauges:

  • Broad gauge (1.60 m)
  • meter gauge (1.00 m).

In some areas, the different tracks overlap and produce a ‘dual gauge’ track. A dual gauge track consists of three rails, allowing the passage of trains of two different track gauges.

Today in Brazil there is 515 km of dual gauge track, divided between different operators. Two ‘gauge’ rails are positioned close together (one for each gauge) and a third ‘common’ rail further away. This means two different gauge trains can operate on the same track, avoiding the need to transfer the cargo to another train or a different mode of transport.

As friction management programs continue to expand in Brazil, local railroads have recognised the need to install gauge face and top of rail trackside friction management systems in dual gauge track territories.

Two major railroads plan to install units in dual gauge areas over the next few years. L.B. Foster, in collaboration with these customers, is working to develop a cost-effective friction management solution in areas of dual gauge track.