Recycled plastics from kerbside waste will be used to create innovative modular tram stops, making Melbourne’s tram network more sustainable, accessible for people with disabilities and less disruptive to maintain and develop.
The Development of Next Generation Tram Stop Platforms Using Recycled Materials project will develop ways to turn recycled plastics into modular components that are ‘fit-for-purpose’ for the construction of future tram stop platforms across Melbourne.
Melbourne’s tram network is the largest in the world consisting of 24 routes, stretching 250 kilometres with more than 1,750 tram stops. Future-proofing tram stop platforms with this innovative modular design, which incorporates hollow drainage features, is set to promote environmental sustainability and improve constructability with minimal disruption to traffic.
Director of the Monash Institute of Railway Technology, Professor Ravi Ravitharan said the project will identify how reinforced recycled plastics can be used effectively to construct a modular platform that can be rolled out on a large scale.
“Our team of researchers will look at a number of suitable options of recycled materials that can be manufactured into a prototype which will then be trial assembled and load tested at the Institute of Railway Technology laboratories,” said Professor Ravitharan.
“The development will consider recycled rubber for damping components as well as reinforcement options to achieve the intended design concept.”
The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Monash University researchers from the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Arts, Monash University Accident Research Centre and Monash Art, Design and Architecture with Monash Institute of Railway Technology.
Integrated Recycling, creators of the Duratrack railway sleeper, will manufacture and trial modular elements of tram stop platforms for testing and prototyping purposes.
Advanced Circular Polymer will supply the recycled plastic mix recovered from kerbside waste collections that will be used for the production of the base material in the tram stop platforms. To learn more about this project and Monash Institute of Railway Technology, visit irt.monash.edu