Britpave, the British Cementitious Paving Association, is an independent body established to develop and forward concrete and cementitious solutions for infrastructure.
Please note, Britpave Trade Association has no commercial interest in or trading association with Britpave concrete step barrier. For contact details see: www.bbsbarriers.com
It is active in the development of solutions and best practice for roads, rail, airfields, guided bus, drainage channels, soil stabilisation and recycling. As such, the Association is the focal point for the infrastructure industry.
The broad membership of Britpave encourages the exchange of pan-industry expertise and experience. Members include contractors, consulting engineers and designers, specialist equipment and material suppliers, academics and clients both in the UK and internationally.
The Association works closely with national and European standards and regulatory bodies, clients and associated industry organisations. It provides a single industry voice that facilitates representation to government, develops best practice and technical guidance and champions concrete solutions that are cost efficient, sustainable, low maintenance and long-lasting.
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This report summarises the findings of a scoping exercise for a slab track commercial case carried out by Ove Arup and Partners on behalf of Britpave (the British In-situ Concrete Paving Association). The commission for this scoping exercise was awarded in May 2003 to facilitate the development of a slab track business case.
The objectives of the ‘Slab Track Commercial Case Scoping Study’ were to:
From the papers reviewed, it is generally accepted that slab track offers a cost-effective alternative to ballasted track if the two systems are compared in Life Cycle Cost terms. However, there is very little supporting evidence to substantiate such a claim. It is therefore considered that the development of a commercial case for slab track will probably further Britpave’s promotion of slab track. In addition the development of whole life costs models for the slab track compared with conventional ballasted track is desirable if Britpave wants to create a robust commercial case for slab track.
From the literature search it has also become apparent that it is considered that slab track has performance benefits over conventional ballasted track. This may prove to be a key point in the promotion of slab track but does require further research.
Several markets have been identified for the initial promotion of slab track. These are: all new build projects, tunnels, viaducts and major upgrades carried out in blockades. Essentially the business case can be progressed as either:
The format of the business case is dependent on the audience (which is defined by what market the business case is aimed at and at what level). The Strategic Rail Authority is a prime member of this audience and has a methodology for the development of a business case. For this reason this report has focused on the detail of a business case for the Strategic Rail Authority although the broad components identified below would also be applicable to any other member of the audience such as Network Rail:
The six broad components outlined above would form the basis of the business case and each would be developed to include both the benefits and disadvantages of slab track as outlined in section 6.3 of this report.