Building railways in the Middle East

How do you stop sand drifting onto railway lines in the desert? How do you ensure that trains moving at 250km/h through remote areas remain connected to the internet? How do you prevent humidity from damaging your state of the art communications systems? And how do you stop fine sand particles drifting into your train ventillation system and causing problems for passengers?

All of these challenges and more have to be overcome by railway operators planning the 2000km GCC railway, and other local rail and metro systems. I was lucky enough to get some of the answers from prominent organisations such as Alstom, Huawei Enterprise, Dar Al Handasah, URS Scott Wilson and Arup. The feature will be published tomorrow in the MEED Rail Report. Here is a taster below:

In Iraq, which already has 1900km of track running the length of the country from Rabiya down to Basra, drifting sand dunes commonly cause delays to services. A solution employed by Iraqi Republic Railways Company is the use of sand removal machines. Al Burhan Group brought a new generation of machines to Iraq in 2008 from US owned rail equipment supplier Kershaw, which is owned by Caterpillar.  Moving forward the machines act as a plough that delves 10cm below the top of the rail, side wings push sand outwards up to 4.2m and a brush on the back sweeps the sleepers and the fastenings (that connect the rail to the sleeper).

Read the full article here

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