Railway infrastructure

Rather than focusing on a detailed aspect in isolation, we aim to support the partner holistically from initial concept to production drawing.

With this philosophy, IBAF has become a trusted development partner of system suppliers and their subsuppliers. In the broad field of railway infrastructure applications, we specialise in track components, overhead contact line systems and noise reduction for railway installations – covering the whole journey from initial on-board to the supply of hardware and individual software solutions.

Range of services

We support manufacturers and operators in the following areas:

  • Development and optimisation of switch systems and actuators
  • Development of components for overhead catenary/contact line systems
  • Dynamic simulation of complex overhead contact line arrangements
  • Noise prediction and abatement for railway facilities

And we ensure that we use the most advanced design, engineering, computation and simulation methods available in our analysis and development work.

Development of components and assemblies for rail infrastructure projects

Whether for track switch systems integrated in the permanent way or isolators and retensioning devices arranged in overhead contact line systems, the first step in any development project is to establish and define the engineering objectives in a comprehensive performance specification. IBAF supports and systematises this process, assuming responsibility for the following:

  • Preparation of a detailed requirements specification
  • Performance of feasibility studies
  • Systematic elaboration of engineering solutions
  • Analysis and assessment of integrated concepts
  • Pre-dimensioning and draughting services

 IBAF’s services for the subsequent detail engineering phase include:

  • Packaging, installation space investigations, 3D-CAD modelling
  • Strength analyses, documentation
  • Subsupplier coordination and management
  • Preparation of production documentation
  • Project management

Dynamic simulation of complex overhead contact line systems

The dynamic interaction between pantograph and overhead contact line is of essential importance for the safe and uninterrupted power supply of electric railways.  Both the classic pretensioned catenary arrangements and the increasingly used overhead conductor rails constitute highly complex, vibrating systems.

System design and optimisation are derived from the results of simulation and mechanical modelling aligned to mapping the dynamic responses and interactions of the complex.

Together with system suppliers, IBAF develops the requisite design tools in compliance with currently applicable requirements for validated simulation and makes them available as customised software facilitating the following:

  • Flexible modelling
  • Efficient computational engineering
  • Tailored post-processing

Noise prediction and abatement for railway facilities

IBAF supports planners and operators of railway systems in reducing noise.

In existing systems, the solution to noise problems begins with an assessment of the prevailing acoustic conditions (e.g. with the aid of acoustic cameras), followed by identification of relevant noise sources and the associated noise abatement potential. On this basis, we develop an individual noise reduction strategy to ensure compliance with the specified acoustic limits and prepare the technical specifications governing the measures to be applied. Once the solution has been agreed with the customer, it is implemented to achieve the requisite abatement results.

For noise forecasting in the planning phase, acoustic simulation methods are used to estimate the relevant immission (impact) levels (CADNA 4.0). The acoustically relevant boundary and environmental conditions (system layout, terrain profiles, buildings, etc.) are taken into account as part of the simulation work, with noise sources being identified by specifying corresponding sound power spectra. Sound propagation simulation then enables prediction of the as-planned improvement. We assist in the planning of requisite noise abatement measures and can offer comparative simulations as an effective basis for the technical and economic evaluation of proposed interventions.

If required, we also offer the engineering, design, manufacture, supply and installation of tailored solutions for noise reduction:

  • Noise protection walls
  • Noise protection screens
  • Acoustic hoods and enclosures
  • Silencers, mufflers and sound absorbers