This website uses cookies

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to offer social media features and to analyze traffic to our website. We also share information about your use of our website with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. Our partners may combine this information with other information that you have provided to them or that they have collected as part of your use of the Services.

Detailed information can be found in our Privacy statement — cookies.

Sustainable Partner

On the right side of the track

More and more trains are rolling over the tracks and thus over Semperit rail pads, dowels and guide angle plates. This is also the case on the Koralm Railway. It is part of the new southern line in Austria and one of the most important infrastructure projects in Europe.

Every passenger kilometer and every tonne of freight transported by rail produces almost 30 times less greenhouse gas emissions than the average car or truck. Rail travel is therefore experiencing a renaissance, and investments in expanding climate-friendly mobility are being made throughout Europe. One of the most spectacular projects in the rail sector is the Koralm Railway in Austria. The first section of the new high-performance line between Styria and Carinthia was put into operation at the end of 2023. At its heart is the 33-kilometer Koralm Tunnel, which will be the sixth-longest railroad tunnel in the world and the longest in Austria when it is completed in 2025.

“From an international perspective, the Koralm Railway is a milestone in the railroad sector,” says Herwig Miessbacher, who has been with Semperit for 25 years and is responsible for product and process development in the Engineered Applications division and thus also for the railroad sector. “We are proud to have been awarded the contract for the Koralm Railway in ÖBB’s Europe-wide tender. Together with our partners Maba and Schwihag, a tailor-made rail fastening system for the project was supplied”, adds Marius Steiner from Sales in the Railway Superstructure division. In addition to its many years of references, Semperit’s problem-solving expertise was also a decisive factor in winning the contract: “If a problem arises, a competent contact person and a solution are always available,” says Roland Fischer, responsible for route management and system development at the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) about the cooperation with Semperit. Robert Ostermann, Head of Central Purchasing at Maba Fertigteilindustrie GmbH, a member of the Kirchdorfer Group, strikes the same chord: “We have been purchasing rubber and plastic rail fastening components from Semperit for decades and are more than satisfied with the quality and service.”

„We are more than satisfied with Semperit’s quality and service.“

Robert Ostermann, Maba

Photo of Robert Ostermann

Perfect track records

Rail fastenings have to withstand high loads of trains weighing several tonnes. And the trend is rising because the number of trains per kilometer of track is constantly increasing. Dowels for concrete sleepers and guide angle plates from Semperit ensure the stability of the rails, while rail pads act as damping elements – for the long run. “We recently removed and analyzed a twenty-year-old Semperit component and were amazed to find that it was as good as new and still met all specifications as on day one,” Herwig Miessbacher provides an example of the durability of Semperit products.

This product quality is one of the tickets that takes Semperit not only to Europe’s renowned railroads, but also to new markets: “There is a large rail network in the USA, but it is very outdated. The USA now invests much money in infrastructure, and we also want to gain a stronger foothold in America. For example, we have already supplied sleeper shoes for the subway in New York and Los Angeles,” Steiner reports on initial projects in the USA. “However, the trend towards public transport is not only a big issue in Europe and the USA but is also becoming increasingly important in the Middle East. Numerous infrastructure projects are being developed there, and we want to score points with our expertise,” says Bernd Schlegl, General Manager at Semperit’s FORM division.

CO2 savings and noise reduction

Another ticket is innovation. Here too, reducing the CO2 footprint is one of the most important topics. Herwig Miessbacher uses the example of the guide angle plate to outline the latest breakthrough: “Every component is now 20 percent lighter, which also means 20 percent lower costs and 20 percent less CO2. In addition, the energy required to manufacture the components has also been significantly reduced.” Apart from saving material, the development team consisting of material, product and process developers is working on the introduction of sustainable raw materials and tire waste for intermediate layers: “We are currently collaborating with Deutsche Bahn on a project where we want to save at least 30 percent CO2 in this way. We are the first for these products at DB,” says Miessbacher.

Herwig Miessbacher

Semperit is also innovative in the area of noise reduction in train traffic. In recent years, the company has optimized its rail pads so that the passing noise of the train can be halved. Miessbacher says of Semperit’s so-called Silent Pad: “The rail is like a guitar string that is struck by the train and starts to vibrate. However, if the energy is absorbed by our rail pad, the vibration and therefore the noise is reduced as the train passes by. This will benefit people living near railroad lines in the future.” Roland Fischer from ÖBB can also confirm this innovative spirit: “Semperit is very innovative in the development of new products for superstructures. The innovations meet the requirements of ÖBB, which has been dealing with the noise development of different intermediate layers for many years.”

„Semperit is very innovative in the development of new products for superstructures.”

Roland Fischer, ÖBB

Die Fabrik von Johann Nepomuk Reithoffer in Wimpassing im Jahr 1852
Marius Steiner
Die Fabrik von Johann Nepomuk Reithoffer in Wimpassing im Jahr 1852
Copyright ÖBB Franz Georg Pikl

More articles