Germany: Plasser & Theurer, Robel, Kirow Ardelt, Linsinger, SRT, Vossloh and Windhoff presented their machines for rail infrastructure maintenance and construction at the InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin. However, only one vehicle made its debut.
So, the main novelty was the Unimat 09-4×4/4S Dynamic E³ hybrid machine for accelerated straightening and stabilization of railway tracks from Plasser & Theurer. According to the manufacturer, a hybrid traction system powered by a Stage V diesel engine and a catenary network can significantly reduce the consumption of working fluids with a potential saving of about €170 per hour, as well as reduce the noise level during operation by 20 dBA.
The dynamic track stabilizer can be coupled with a 5 m3 ballast tank and a sweeper unit. The maximum speed when moving between work sites is 100 km/h. All rotating mechanisms are driven by an electric drive, hydraulic one is used only for linear movements. The manufacturer claims that it helps to reduce oil consumption by 80%. It is worth mentioning that the Unimat 09-4×4/4S Dynamic E³ can continuously serve both straight tracks and turnouts.
The track machine presented at the exhibition was handed over to the construction division of Deutsche Bahn. The railway company also retains the possibility of exercising the option to purchase another similar vehicle until 2026.
Unimat 09-4×4/4S Dynamic E³ track stabilizer. Source: gleis3a, twitter.com
Plasser & Theurer also presented the ATMO rail grinder designed for tram lines. The prototype was unveiled to the public last autumn. As in the case of the previous vehicle, this machine has a reduced noise level. Its main feature is remote control and the possibility of round-the-clock operation: it is stated that it can grind rails at speeds up to 30 km/h and in curves with a radius of 17.25 m, pass curves with a radius of 16.25 m, while the work does not violate the regular line movement. A motor car can be attached to deliver ATMO to the needed part of the network. Rail grinding is carried out both with the use of grinding stones and vibratory grinding. The machine prototype is equipped with a 100 kW diesel engine and a 2,800 litre water tank for wet grinding.
ATMO rail grinder. Source: Plasser & Theurer
One of the most unusual exhibits was the new Roclean tunnel cleaning machine from Robel. It was produced by the order of Wiener Linien, the metro operator of Vienna, Austria, and is designed to clean the tracks from rubbish, dust and other contaminants. The machine can operate at a speed of no more than 2 km/h in both automatic and manual modes. The capacity of the collection container is enough for one or several shifts, discharge is provided automatically.
Roclean tunnel cleaning machine. Source: trains.com
The track foundation construction machine was presented by Kirow Ardelt. The producer showed the GGZ (Gleisgründungszug) machine for drilling piles and soil stabilization. The rolling stock was manufactured for the construction company Hering Bahnbau construction company of Germany. According to Kirow Ardelt, the machine has a number of advantages: the telescopic boom provides a large working area around the vehicle, and a short counterbalance allows operation without blocking the adjacent track. Another Kirow exhibit was the Multi Tasker 1200 railway crane, which has been on display at InnoTrans since 2014. It can be used in both track laying and emergency works. The maximum load capacity is from 150 to 160 t.
GGZ (Gleisgründungszug) foundation construction machine. Source: railwaygazette.com
Among the track equipment shown at the exhibition there were several machines previously unveiled by Robel, Linsinger and SRT at the iaf exhibition in June this year. Thus, Robel presented the Romill Urban E³ rail milling powered by batteries and a diesel engine, Linsinger showed a prototype of the MG11 H2 milline machine powered by hydrogen fuel cells and batteries, the exhibition by Vossloh included the HSG-City grinding train, and SRT exhibited the Vulcano Light modular grinding train.
The head car of the tram track construction train by Windhoff. Source: urban-transport-magazine.com
Also, Windhoff unveiled the machine for tram track construction. The company exhibited a Venus NV type GAF work car with a driver’s cab and a loading crane. This is one of three cars that are part of the track-laying train produced for the VGF public transport company of Frankfurt, Germany. Two end cars of the train have driver’s cabs with a capacity of 6 people and are equipped with hybrid traction: the main power supply is to come from the catenary network, auxiliary one from the diesel engine and batteries as the process of track laying is usually done with disconnection from the catenary. A trailer with a crane is attached to one of the cars, and an empty trailer for transporting construction equipment and rail sections is attached to the second. The third car of the train is 15 m long, located in the center and designed to carry rails.