FUCHS Europoles has been manufacturing special masts made from prestressed spun concrete for railway traffic since the 1990s. These C-masts have been optimised in such a way that they can now be produced with 30 per cent less material than their predecessors; they are lighter and cheaper, easy to transport and simple to erect. They are also aerodynamically stable and corrosion-resistant, durable and maintenance-free. Deutsche Bahn (DB) is satisfied.
The ABCs of concrete masts
Already at the end of the 1980s, at the time of the German Reunification, Deutsche Bahn enquires about a possible cooperation with FUCHS Europoles: new masts are needed for regional and long-distance railway traffic to meet the higher demands for flexibility and simultaneously optimise costs. The previously used B-masts from 1974, developed by DB itself, and the improved new B-masts (NB-masts) were not designed for high speeds and also do not meet the latest standards: in particular they cannot stand up to the extreme air turbulence and vibrations created by ICEs as they pass by. FUCHS Europoles thereupon develops the C-mast system in a cooperation project with Siemens.
In-house planning and calculations
FUCHS Europoles has its own technical department with planners, technicians and structural engineers who can also design, calculate and draw something new – in accordance with current standards and norms – in no time. So it is in this case too: FUCHS Europoles prestressed spun-concrete masts that are so stable that they can withstand the strong airflows generated by a high-speed train racing by at 330 kilometres an hour. The special feature is that the masts are stiff and do not vibrate when trains pass by.
Prestressed spun concrete – unbreakable
Custom-made reinforcing cages and steel cables which are tensioned in the mast mould prior to spinning increase the mast stability; at the same time they reduce the material requirements and hence costs. In addition, the new overhead line supports do not require corrosion protection, maintenance or repair because the surface produced in the spinning process is pore-free and smooth. Frost and air pollution no longer present any problems. Elaborate foundation work is also done away with: the masts can be inserted directly into special driven pipe pile foundations to a maximum depth of 75 cm. The 7- to 16-metre-long concrete masts used to support overhead lines are manufactured as single parts and can easily be transported by lorry and erected with a crane. Concrete prices have been stable for years; this ensures planning reliability.
The time and cost savings afforded by the C-masts are thus unbeatable – they are up to 30% cheaper and lighter than their predecessors. An NB-mast weighed around 1.4 tonnes; a comparable C-mast weighs a tonne. This also convinced Deutsche Bahn; it has been ordering the masts from FUCHS Europoles for more than twenty years.
We succeeded in reducing the masts to three types through series effects in production.
We are also well positioned logistically. We take our time in the planning and then have less work in production; through this we have become more time- and cost-efficient.
Project Manager for Overhead Line Supports
FUCHS Europoles GmbH
Project 1: Line expansion Nuremberg – Ingolstadt
Project 2: Erfurt – Ilmenau
Project 1: 2001-2005
Project 2: 2011-2017
Items included in delivery
Project 1: 1200 C-masts
Project 2: 3000 C-masts
- Material: prestressed spun concrete; concrete grade C80/95; round-conical
- Height: 8 - 16,25 m
- Diameter: foot: 310 - 580 mm; head: 167,5 - 370 mm
- Weight: 0,8 – 4,5 t
- Foundation: large pipe foundation (driven pipe pile foundation)