The European Commission, through the ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ (FTI) programme, has allocated €1.59M for the commercialisation of the Neoballast R&D project.
Led by the technical and R&D area of COMSA and with the participation of Spanish, Belgian and Italian companies, the project aims to improve the properties of railway ballast to reduce the level of degradation and attenuate the noise and vibrations caused by the trains running on the tracks. The pilot tests have so far shown significant improvements in prolonging the life of the ballast.
The progressive wear of the ballast, which is used as track layer support, generates numerous and expensive maintenance operations which, in general, must be carried out during the night. In this context, Neoballast reduces the level of degradation of the aggregate, thus reducing maintenance costs and the resulting environmental impact. According to data provided by the research, this development may mean a saving of 40% of the total cost of the track, including construction and maintenance.
The European ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ programme finances the launching of innovative and cutting-edge products that have already been successfully tested, so that they can be marketed quickly. The third call for proposals, which received more than one hundred applications, has led to the funding of fifteen R&D projects in various sectors and involves a total of €30.5M.