UOW's Centre for Geomechanics and Railway Engineering are using tyres to fix railway tracks

Professor Buddhima Indraratna (UOW). Picture: Paul Jones

Professor Buddhima Indraratna (UOW). Picture: Paul Jones

A team of University of Wollongong researchers say recycled tyres may be the solution to delivering high-speed rail and more efficient freight services in Australia.

The Centre for Geomechanics and Railway Engineering is developing rubber shock mats to absorb energy from track movement. 

Professor Buddhima Indraratna said our country has one of the longest rail track networks in the world but we also have poor soil conditions, particularly along the east coast.

“The weight of train traffic will eventually cause the track to sink and buckle in places, leading to unusable track that is costly to repair or increase the risk of derailments,” he said.

The cost effective mats are made of chopped up tyres and bonded together. They can be placed under the track’s rock foundation or beneath the sleepers to absorb the energy from trains.

Professor Buddhima Indraratna (UOW)

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