For a good two years now, Vossloh's HSG grinding trains have been used to keep the quality of the rails in the Gotthard Base Tunnel at a consistently high level.
What will already be the fifth grinding campaign has taken place in October 2018. With two deployments a year, Vossloh's High Speed Grinding (HSG) has become a standard feature of the Swiss Rail Authority's (SBB) rail maintenance. The immense strain on the rails caused by the high density passenger and freight train traffic unavoidably results in rolling contact fatigue and corrugations. Preventive grinding, however, prevents rail defects from developing. Approx. 0.2 mm of rail steel is taken off, which is enough to remove the rail's head-hardened damage layer.
Well-coordinated teamwork in challenging conditions
The teams supplied by both concerns act as one, and the client makes a particularly valuable contribution by ensuring that the machine operators are extremely well prepared, all health and safety measures are complied with and that the work is executed with precision.
With its operating speed of 80 km/h, the HSG grinding train fits in with the regular timetable without any traffic restrictions, and thanks to its enormous grinding capacity is able to machine the line, which is nearly 60 km long, without stopping. Temperatures of up to 37°C inside the tunnel can challenge both man and machine, but here they serve to confirm the suitability of HSG technology for tunnel work. Other rail maintenance machines would often have to leave the tunnel or reduce their output after a certain period of operation in order to cool down.
The use of a mineral-composite material in the HSG-2 dust collectors is also paying off. The patented material meets all the requirements for functionality and safe railway operation with regard to temperature stability, wear resistance, damage tolerance, etc. And not being metallic, the dust collection system does not interfere with any of the switching equipment mounted in the center of the track.
The HSG concept delivers, especially in terms of cost-effectiveness, and this is why the HSG-2 is increasingly being used on the SBB's other lines in Switzerland.
Vossloh Rail Services GmbH
Anika Oda Amort, Marketing and Communications Manager
Hannoversche Straße 10
Phone: (+49 40) 430 93 13 90
Vossloh Rail Services
As a business segment of the Vossloh Group, Vossloh Rail Services provides a host of services centered on rails. Its range of services covers a rail's entire lifecycle – everything from long-rail production and transport, rail maintenance and preventive care right up to the reconditioning and recycling of old rails. By combining its own technologies with efficient procedures and experienced personnel, the company is ensuring that modern railway operations are both safe and sustainable.