Research: RED Bernard special project:
New railway construction technology in luge, bobsled and skeleton sports
As part of a research funding program, an alternative to time-consuming and costly in-situ concrete tracks was developed on behalf of the Technology Center for Skiing and Alpine Sports in Innsbruck and with the support of the Austrian Luge Federation. Thereby, luge, bobsled and skeleton were intended to reach a wider public.
The result was a modular system that uses prefabricated precast concrete shells to reproduce the complex geometry of a luge, bobsled and skeleton track and completes the track with an adapted cooling system and in-situ or shotcrete additions. This technology for building artificial ice rinks was already presented in 2011 at the “59th FIL Congress” in Berlin.
Apart from the special challenge arising for the complex 3D geometry of the concrete shells, which was solved by using the 3D design program CATIA, the production of these shells, which are only a few centimeters thick, could also be realized and successfully tested on 1: 1 prototypes. In addition, the cooling system was optimized in a number of test series, in which thermal imaging cameras were also used, in order to minimize the energy consumption and thus the costs during operation when using the track under icy conditions.
With a simulation calculation program developed by the Technology Center, accurate speed and acceleration calculations were already carried out in the planning phase. As a result, the trajectory was ideally adapted to the external conditions, and the applicable building regulations for luge, bobsled and skeleton runs were considered.
Based on this we have already planned three tracks. For the track in Schliersee, Germany, the organizational course is currently being set for further planning. The track in Bludenz/Hinterplärsch, Austria, is about to be put out for tender.