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Translation of pages 36 – 39

2000 meters of track replaced in 52 hours


On the second July Weekend in 2009, the area between Bellevue and Stadelhoferplatz was transformed in to a mammoth construc- tion site. Fifteen excavators and 55 trucks be- longing to the Eberhard Bau AG Company removed a total of 2000 meters of streetcar tracks plus 18 switches and 4500 cubic meters of concrete rubble.

by Urs Peyer

berhard Bau AG is one of the pioneers in the construction trade, using the newest technolo- gies for de-construction and ex- cavations. The company pionee- red some of the techniques for the deconstruction of streetcar tracks. The town of Zurich has a total of 165 kilometres of streetcar tracks with a life span of around 30 years and until now, rehabilitation of a track segment took several weeks and severely disrupted traffic flow in the construction area. E

Back in 1986 Eberhard Bau AG approached the Vehrkersbetriebe Zurich (VRZ), the operator of the streetcar lines, with a proposal to replace a track segment over a weekend. Streets affected where to be closed to all users during this

time and the work would be com- pleted on time using a large fleet of machinery. The old rails including their concrete footings where to be removed, and a new gravel bed installed, new track installed and new concrete poured.

For the heaviest work, the pro- posal called for the use of a large excavator equipped with a special rail rippingattachment, invented by Eberhard Bau AG. This adapted tool looks like an excavator bu- cket without sides and has a small hole in the back of the shovel part. Like a farmer ploughing a field, the excavator rips old rail from the concrete base whilst moving back- wards. The special three section boom is very short and weighs 23.3 tons and together with the special rail ripping scoop, the Caterpillar 385BL has a operating weight of

93.3 tons and 95.7 tons when used with the Cat 385CL.

Huge asset deployment

Possibly the largest track de- construction project in Zurich’s history began on Saturday, July 11, 2009. A 2000 meter section of worn out streetcar track that had to be replaced, situated between the Bellevue and Stadelhofen station. VBZ crews had just finished dis- connecting the last electric over- head wires when the first Eberhard owned excavators arrived on the scene shortly after 1:00 a.m... The Bellevue was turned in to a huge construction site. Two caterpillar 325C excavators weighing 30 tons started by peeling back the blacktop surface with New Holland MH and additional mobile loaders standing by to load the waste on to waiting trucks. With enough of the surface paving removed, the two 100 ton excavators sprang in to action.

The firm of Walo Bertschinger had prepared a slanted attack shaft at the point where de-construction was to start to facilitate the work of the specialized rail rippers. After the tracks where cut, the operator of the excavator inserted the rail ripping attachment with the cutting edge between the upper and lower concrete strata and started to enga- ge the full force of 513 hp engine.



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