This article reports on the innovative approaches that are needed and being considered to construct the Netherlands High Speed Line (NHSL), which is a railway line being built over ground that is little more than 'solid water'. It includes a route map. The 100km line will run from Amsterdam to the Belgian border via Rotterdam and Breda, and is due to open in 2005. Trains will run up to 300kph, enabling a three-hour journey from Amsterdam to Paris. Engineering innovations being considered include a ballast-free track and a new trackbed technology to handle the difficult ground conditions. The track has to be founded on a 30m depth of peat, clay, and silt, close to sea level, with ground water just below the surface. Because the route has 60km of poor soil and no rock, the usual method of excavating bad ground and replacing it by rock cannot be used. Much of the line will be on bridge structures, where it crosses built-up areas, waterways, and an environmentally sensitive region. The decision was made to have no embankments, and to build the whole line on a concrete slab with piled foundations; this method has a relatively low cost increase. The typical cross-section is a double-U track, a continuous low prestressed concrete viaduct which can be built on site or prefabricated.

  • Corporate Authors:


    LONDON,   United Kingdom  EC1R 4QX
  • Authors:
    • RUSSELL, L
  • Publication Date: 1999-5


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00767079
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 6 1999 12:00AM