(Gong Seon-yong, director of Technology Headquarters, Seoul Metro, and Rick Calusinski, executive manager of Engineering & Marketing, Vossloh AG)
Seoul Metro (in charge of Seoul Subway Lines 1-4) has developed a revolutionary B2S engineering technology which makes it possible to replace gravel tracks with concrete tracks without the need to suspend train operations. The company signed an MOU with Vossloh, Germany, on October 30, 2012 to apply the technology to the railway system in Singapore under the B2S Engineering Method Singapore Project.
The B2S engineering technology is highly innovative: concrete panels are made for tracks with the railway ties fixed. After fastening the rail-fastening systems, the removal of gravel and sleepers is sufficient to enable immediate work on the railway tracks, dispensing with the need to remove the actual tracks.
Previously, the operation of trains had to be suspended for a certain period of time during rail improvement works. Now, the subway operation schedule is not affected by such work at all.
In addition, B2S engineering prevents the previous problem with cracks from occurring. Securing rail shapes is easy. As a result, a safe work environment and high work quality are assured. It is estimated that about 100 billion won can be saved on railway repairs and maintenance costs for Seoul Subway Lines 1-4.
Seoul Metro obtained patents for the B2S engineering technology from the European Union and Germany in 2007. The technology has already been used in railway improvement projects for Line 1 of the Busan Transportation Corporation and the Gwacheon Line of Korea Railroad. Its efficiency has been proven both at home and abroad.
*Seoul Metro has laid gravel along 200km of its railway track. By applying B2S technology, savings of about 500 million won per kilometer can be made: the B2S method costs 1.9 billion won per kilometer whereas the traditional method costs 2.4 billion won per kilometer.