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Freight wagons without their own brakes come to a halt at the bottom of the sorting hill at the Kijfhoek railway yard with a brake shoe. At least if the brake shoe is in the right position. Syracuse recently tested various scenarios for ProRail for using the slip.


Rolling on

How do you ensure that freight wagons rolling out from the hill at Kijfhoek do not roll on? They do not have an independently operated brake for their last meters of rollout. That is why there is the brake shoe, a steel construction with wedges and a connecting rod. It is placed on the rails. Syracuse and ProRail tested at a separate yard what happens if the brake shoe is not positioned properly.


Safety first

With the rolling tests we collect data on various factors that determine braking and rolling distances, such as frictional forces, rolling resistance and the position of the track. We use this data to refine simulation models. Michiel: ”It is good to test models regularly. This way you will not be faced with any surprises in practice and it provides data with which we can reconstruct certain situations. Safety comes first.”

Knocked off the track

Wirth the failure tests we looked at what can happen if a so called ‘brake shoe’ is placed incorrectly on the track. “What we expected happened,” says Michiel. “In that specific situation, the brake shoes were hit and knocked out of the track or broke and were no longer usable. They were then no longer able to provide the necessary braking or blocking function.”

Museum track

The testing took place in Stadskanaal, on a railway yard of the STAR museum railway line. There – under controlled and representative conditions – experiments could be conducted freely without it becoming unsafe.

Source: ProRail 

We knowingly let things go wrong and that is quite unique for ProRail

Michiel Stam | Directeur Syracuse, project manager