Elevating Belgium’s Railways with Topcon Positioning Systems

Belgium’s government-owned rail network company, Infrabel, plays a crucial role in maintaining the country’s railways. Recently, Infrabel faced the task of renewing the switches and crossings at the Kinkempois site…
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Belgium’s government-owned rail network company, Infrabel, plays a crucial role in maintaining the country’s railways. Recently, Infrabel faced the task of renewing the switches and crossings at the Kinkempois site in Liege. To ensure a smooth, safe, and high-quality transition, Infrabel teamed up with construction specialist Jérouville. They chose Topcon Positioning Systems and its advanced total station solutions to guide their machinery.

Based in Libramont since the 1970s, Jérouville has been executing various railway projects for Infrabel throughout the Walloon region. The Jérouville team understood the importance of staying on schedule and minimizing disruption to the rail network.

Stéphane Lemaire, Equipment Manager at Jérouville, said: “For any project involving national railways, it’s vital that the work is conducted quickly, safely and to the highest possible standard, which is why we rely on Topcon’s technology. At Kinkempois, we first dismantled and removed the previous set of foundations and the sub-foundations. From there we installed new foundations, as they are the bedrock of the new switches and crossings, and will ensure the new switches have a good grounding for years to come. For the earthworks involved in this process, we used two Komatsu crawler dozers, a D37 and a D51 PXi, in conjunction with the Topcon total stations, which provided us with incredibly accurate data in real-time, helping teams operate as efficiently as possible.”

Due to interference from overhead lines, traditional GPS technology was not an option. Instead, two of Topcon’s total stations were employed on-site, one for each crawler dozer. The GNSS technology within these stations delivered precise readings for each dozer, even under challenging circumstances.

Stéphane explained: “Thanks to Topcon’s total stations, we were quickly able to level the terrain where necessary, with the advanced technology playing a key role in getting the job done perfectly, and on the first try. Traditionally, this has been a time-consuming process for projects like this, with a tracker on site who would manually ensure that the levels were correct. However, with total station technology, the process only took three shifts across two weekends, compared to six shifts across two weekends.
“Not only has the technology increased the accuracy and speed of the work we are doing, but since using the Topcon solutions, we have virtually doubled the operating hours of our teams.”

In conclusion, the collaboration between Infrabel, Jérouville, and Topcon Positioning Systems has led to a successful switches and crossings upgrade at the Kinkempois site. This project showcases the potential of advanced technology in enhancing railway infrastructure.

For more information about Topcon’s technology, visit Topcon Positioning.

 

 

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