British Steel

Reims opts for 41 GPU rails for city tram network

Like Valenciennes, Le Mans and Lyon, Reims has chosen the new 41 GPU grooved rail from Tata Steel. While installation has only just begun, its recent success highlights the advantages of this new Tata Steel Rail for tramways. It assures a perfect continuity of the running rail with the Vignole 50E6 rails (standard EN 13674-1). It thus assures the durability and the optimization of investment, reduced wear and improved comfort for passengers and residents.

Reims opts for 41 GPU rails for city tram network
The Reims tram network is a dedicated transport corridor project. By April 2011, it should connect the Reims neighbourhood of Orgeval with the TGV train station. The line, 11.2km long and punctuated with 23 station stops (with the potential for three more), will cross the town, operating at a commercial speed of 20km per hour (maximum speed 80km per hour). The estimated future use is around 45,000 passengers per day. This is why 2,600 tonnes of Tata Steel’s 41 GPU rails are going to equip the network. In the urban zones, the tramway track is embedded in the road and is built with grooved rail to allow a combination of cars, pedestrians and other forms of transport. In the right-of-way zones – where there is no traffic or pedestrians – the grooved rail is no longer necessary, and it is more popular to use Vignole track in an attempt to reduce infrastructure cost. This then poses the potential problem of junctions between grooved and Vignole rails. This was the reason for the development of the 41 GPU. Its profile is perfectly compatible with the Vignole 50E6-type rail (standard EN 13674-1), as shown in the diagram below. Thanks to a universal lamination process developed by Tata Steel, the tolerances of grooved rails are precisely those of associated Vignole rails. The rails then allow perfect continuity between the two profiles.

The 41 GPU rail has several advantages:
-Optimisation of investment: grooved rails are used on roadways, but Vignole rails can be used everywhere else – to reduce infrastructure cost.
-Durability of investment: the original urban road network can easily be linked to outlying networks.
-Overall reduction of wear: the continuity of the running surface between the 41 GPU grooved rail and the Vignole U50 rail offers a rail/wheel optimum.
-Greater comfort: in limiting the nuisance sounds of interfacing rails (grooved & Vignole rail).

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