Swiss S-Bahnen expand

first_imgTHE SUMMER timetable change on May 24 sees the expansion of S-Bahn services in the Swiss capital Bern. Two new cross city routes are being added to the two already operational. Services are run by a joint venture of SBB, BLS, Regionalverkehr Mittelland and the Sensetalbahn, with a common fares structure.SBB Line S3 links Thun and Biel via Belp, Bern and Lyss, effectively doubling the local service between Bern and Biel. BLS and RM are jointly responsible for Line S4, which provides an hourly service from Bümpliz Nord to Langnau via Burgdorf and RM’s Huttwil Bahn. Additional peak-hour express services from Bern to Huttwil operate as Line S44. Rush-hour extras are also introduced on the Bern – Neuchatel Line S5, diverging at Kerzers to serve Murten and Avenches; these are designated Line S55.May 24 also sees expansion of the cross-border Basel S-Bahn Green line from Frick and Laufenburg to Mulhouse. The basic weekday service is doubled to 14 trains each way, with 13 on Saturday and 10 on Sundays. All trains serve the intermediate station at Basel St Johann on the SNCF section in Switzerland. olast_img read more

Portable train weigher

first_imgRAPID MEASURMENT of rolling stock at any location is now possible, thanks to the development of a portable train weigher by British based Weighwell Engineering. Light enough to be carried by two people, the unit takes approximately 15 min to install. This makes it suitable for checking wagons being loaded at an engineering possession, for example, to avoid the risk of overloading.The PTW has two 600mm long convex shoes, which clamp against the inner sides of any conventional rail section. These are fitted with strain gauge sensors linked to the processor pack by protected cables. As a vehicle passes over at speeds up to 8 km/h, the flanges ride up on the shoes to lift the wheels clear of the rails during the weighing process. The signals are digitised and analysed by a portable control unit mounted in a rugged case.The unit is pre-calibrated, avoiding the need for any test weights on site. With an operating temperature range from -10í to +70í C, the unit can weigh up to 15 tonnes per wheel in increments of 50 kg. Weighwell Engineering Ltd, Great BritainReader Enquiry Number 140last_img read more

IDR2-Novum promises lower rail maintenance costs

first_imgCAPTION: TOP: One of DafuR’s test sites on the DB networkFig 1. Q-force profile recorded during passage of a wheel over a rail at a DafuR test site on the Halle – Erfurt line in GermanyFig 2. Preventive grinding (left) and curative grinding (right) of the gauge corner on rail affected by head checking in FranceFig 3. Periodical hardness monitoring of the rail surfaceCAPTION: Progressive transverse rail cracking in curves (top) and in tangent track (above)CAPTION: Fig 4. Wheel-rail contact pattern for high rails (left) and low rails (right)CAPTION: Fig 5. Different pressure patterns generated by a locomotive on the rail head with shallow (top) and deep (centre) grinding on the gauge face; the pressure pattern for a wagon is also shown (bottom)CAPTION: Arc welding to repair a rail surface defectCAPTION: ABOVE: Head checking is less developed for MHH rail than for other gradesCAPTION: Rail surface showing a mixed flash-butt weld between bainitic and 900 A rail. There are no head checking cracks on the bainitic rail, but cracks are clearly visible on the 900 A railFig 6. The effect of successive weld layings used to repair a surface defect is to lift the rail, but after cooling there is a residual permanent deformationCAPTION: DBSystemtechnik’s test rig at Kirschm?€?ser is being used to investigate the initiation of crackingIDR2-Novum programme promises lower rail maintenance costsA wide-ranging programme of theoretical and field research suggests that a system approach to track-train interaction can lead to more cost-effective rail maintenance. The programme includes investigation of the mutual influence of the rail surface and track geometry on wheel-rail forces, requiring the use of high-level theoretical tools and modern numerical models in vehicle and track dynamics. Other work embraces computation of wheel-rail forces under different vehicles and the influence of variations in the properties of rail steels. Four groups of experts drawn from France and Germany are charged with completing the programme.Le programme IDR2-Novum promet des coûts de maintenance ferroviaire réduitsUn large programme de recherches, théoriques et d’application, suggère qu’une approche globale de l’interaction entre train et voie peut conduire à une maintenance ferroviaire plus économique. Le programme comprend l’investigation de l’influence mutuelle de la surface du rail et de la géométrie de la voie sur les forces roue-rail, nécessitant des outils théoriques de haut niveau et des modèles numérisés modernes concernant le véhicule et la dynamique de la voie. Les autres travaux comprennent l’évaluation des forces roue-rail sous différents véhicules et l’influence des variations de propriétés des aciers pour les rails. Quatre groupes d’experts appelés de France et d’Allemagne sont en charge de l’achèvement du programme.IDR2-Novum-Programm verspricht geringere GleisunterhaltskostenEin breit angelegtes Programm an theoretischer und praktischer Forschung lässt folgern, dass eine System-Betrachtung der Interaktion zwischen Zug und Gleis zu kostengünstigerem Gleisunterhalt führen kann. Das Programm umfasst die Untersuchung der gegenseitigen Beeinflussung von Schienenoberfläche und Gleisgeometrie auf die Rad-Schiene-Kräfte, welche hochwertige theoretische Werkzeuge und moderne numerische Modelle von Fahrzeug- und Gleisdynamik ben?€?tigt. Andere Arbeiten betreffen die Berechnung der Rad-Schiene-Kräfte unter verschiedenen Fahrzeugen und den Einfluss von unterschiedlichen Eigenschaften der Schienenstähle. Vier aus deutschen und franz?€?sischen Mitgliedern zusammengesetzte Expertengruppen sind für die Fertigführung des Programms verantwortlich.El programa IDR2-Novum promete menores costes de mantenimiento de raílesUn amplio programa de investigación teórica y de campo sugiere que darle un enfoque sistem? tico a la interacción entre la vía y el tren puede proporcionar un mantenimiento m? s rentable del carril. El programa incluye una investigación de la influencia que ejercen la superficie del carril y la geometría de la vía sobre las fuerzas rueda-carril, lo que requiere la utilización de herramientas teóricas de alto nivel y de modernos modelos numéricos en la din? mica del vehículo y de la vía. Otros estudios engloban el c? lculo de las fuerzas rueda-carril con distintos vehículos y la influencia que ejercen los cambios en las propiedades del acero del carril. Cuatro grupos de expertos venidos de Francia y Alemania se encargan de completar el programa. This year four groups of French and German experts will complete a wide-ranging programme of theoretical and field research which suggests that a system approach to track-train interaction can cut rail maintenance costs,Louis Girardi is Head of Rail Maintenance Standards & Policy Division, SNCF; Dipl-Ing René Heyder is Engineer Materials, Damage analysis at DB Systemtechnik; Didier Lévy is a track expert with RATP in Paris; and Daniel Boulanger is Technical Manager, Corus Rail Products. The authors would like to acknowledge support for the IDR2-Novum research programme received from RFF and Philip MontierTHE INITIATIVE for Development & Research on Rail (IDR2) began with an agreement between SNCF, RATP, rail maker Corus and four research institutions – the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research, Paris (Inrets), Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (Insa), plus the Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides (LMS) and Mecamix at the École Polytechnique in Palaiseau. Signed in 2002, the agreement aims to make rail maintenance more cost-effective by co-ordinating research programmes, integrating the results of theoretical work and benefiting from the latest developments in rail products. Financial support is provided by Réseau Ferré de France.In 2003 three German partners working on the closely-related Novum research programme joined IDR2. DB, the Federal Institute for Materials & Research (BAM) and the GKSS Research Centre in Hamburg are financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Education & Research.IDR2 pays particular attention to the behaviour of track under different conditions, covering theoretical computation of wheel-rail forces under various vehicles, surface forces between wheel and rail, internal stresses and crack propagation. The programme seeks to determine whether particular forms of defect are caused by the properties of different types of rail or by wheel-rail interaction. Throughout the programme, the research teams went to considerable trouble to ensure that a realistic environment was represented.Driving the programme is the need for a better understanding of maintenance requirements as train frequencies, speeds and axleloads increase. These all contribute to higher maintenance requirements at a time when there is strong pressure to make cost savings. Current maintenance methods including grinding and arc welding repair have been studied to understand their effectiveness, improve their performance and reduce costs.Research objectivesOne of the basic philosophies of the programme is that rail behaviour cannot be explained without considering the various interaction phenomena between track and vehicles, including the influence of rail surface and track geometry upon forces generated by the passage of vehicles. Geometry is affected by deformation under load and by local irregularities, some of which can arise from routine rail maintenance operations such as welds or arc welding repairs.Another basic idea is that, in many cases where rail cracks occur, there is a ‘stable’ crack growing phase which can be monitored before the rail breaks. This expansion phase can be modelled using classical crack expansion principles with stresses governed by vehicle-track interaction. The research also considers crack dimensions and location to derive a strong correlation between theoretical and actual behaviour.An important part of the programme is devoted to investigating the mutual influence of all these factors. This requires extensive use of modern numerical models in vehicle and track dynamics, as well as engineering observations about rail maintenance operations. High-level theoretical tools are necessary, but these must rest on engineering results and maintenance case studies.The programme is divided among four task groups. The first is charged with determining the forces between wheel and rail and between the rail and its supports. The second and third task groups are looking at material properties and internal stresses in the rail section, while laboratory and track validations are being undertaken by the fourth task group; all this work is due to be completed by December this year.Rail behaviourTrack observations are being carried out by railway and industrial partners. These will allow a clearer insight into the main physical and mechanical factors affecting rail behaviour, helping to rank their mutual influence.It is essential that realistic loading scenarios are used in the laboratory experiments if the results are to be transferable to actual operating conditions, and so the programme managers decided to use the measurements of dynamic vertical wheel-rail forces taken at three DafuR test sites in Germany.DafuR is a diagnostic system for testing out-of-round wheels, and 28 measuring sites are installed across the DB network. The core of the DafuR system is the ‘long Q-force measuring station’ which records dynamic vertical forces arising as a train rolls over the rail. Fig 1 shows a Q-force measurement where the mean value of the Q-force profile corresponds to the static wheel load.Data collected and evaluated over three months will be used to calculate frequency distributions of the wheel-rail contact forces as a function of running speed for freight and passenger trains. This will identify certain wheel defects such as out-of-roundness and flats, as well as establish time profiles for selected train movements.Control of wheel-rail contactModification of the wheel-rail contact is commonly achieved by grinding the rail gauge corner to eliminate or reduce head checking. Tests to determine the effectiveness of grinding have been performed on conventional and high speed lines in France at sites which suffered from head checking on the outer rail.Both preventive and curative grinding has been used in the tests, with different amounts of metal ground from the gauge corner of the rail. A small amount was removed for preventive grinding, and 0·7mm was ground off when curative grinding was required (Fig 2).Periodic hardness monitoring has been conducted at different points over the same rail sections (Fig 3). These points are located at the centre of the rail (blue dots), near the rail centre in a very hard zone (green dots), on the rail corner (pale blue dots) and on a bright zone (red dots) which appears when gauge corner contact between wheel and rail resumes. This bright zone forms a parameter that is easy to check for monitoring the end of a preventive or curative cycle.Defect developmentPractical observations on different railways reveal a wide range of defects over the rail surface. These include phenomena such as squats and the Belgrospis (crack clusters) observed by DB, which seem to be caused by non-uniform surface forces. Observations also confirm that head checking appears most frequently on the gauge corner of the outer rail in curves.Different types of internal crack exist, and these may be caused by surface cracks or existing initial inclusions, located at different positions inside the rail head or elsewhere in the rail section. In curves, they are often located near the gauge side, whereas in tangent track they are typically found near the centre of the railhead (below left).From these examples, we can see whether a defect is initiated internally or externally.Contact patterns and forcesHertzian or semi-Hertzian computations give a pseudo-elliptical print for the wheel-rail contact patch, with different patterns for high and low rails (Fig 4).Differences exist between the two rails because of lateral forces which tend to move the axle towards the external rail, leading to a different contact pattern for the two wheels. Computed pressure patterns have allowed a better understanding of the wheel-rail contact, and improved control of the contact area through grinding.For a locomotive, pressure patterns are very different after shallow grinding of the gauge corner of the rail (Fig 5a) and after deep grinding (Fig 5b). With a wagon, pressures are more centred on the rail tread (Fig 5c). This suggests that only traction vehicles cause head checking, but more information is needed to support this theory.If the pressure pattern for shallow grinding of the gauge corner in the case of a single rail and a single wheel is compared with that of a single rail and different wheels, it becomes clear that because of wheel and rail tolerances, strong profile modification is needed to alter the wheel-rail contact pattern significantly.Dynamic effectsThe track and rail are submitted to external constraints in the vertical and transverse directions, which can cause dynamic effects. These depend on the track geometry, but because of the inertial effects, they exist even in perfect track.Under the IDR2 programme, multibody load computations will be undertaken, coupled with 3D finite element modelling which takes track and rail dynamics into account. In the case of a moving constant load, the moving force represents the wheel contact, allowing derivation of the dynamic vertical translation at the location of the force. These computed results show that even in the case of perfect track, combined track and rail dynamics cause different behaviour according to the speed of the train. This can also be stated on the basis of experimental data.Thermo-mechanical effectsArc welding is commonly used to eliminate rail surface defects (below). Successive heating phases before welding help to avoid rapid cooling which would lead to the formation of martensite. Different thermal deformations occur after heating, and a small residual vertical deformation usually remains after the repair has been completed.As these residual geometric defects may cause harmful dynamic effects, especially on high speed lines, a transient elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical model has been tested to analyse the effects of boundary and thermal conditions. The purpose of this is to check if the simulation agrees with real-world data, and to fine tune the heating and weld deposit processes to obtain better residual geometry of the overall longitudinal rail shape.After the preliminary pre-heating phase, the increasing heat during the successive weld layings causes the rail to lift. After completion of the repair, the rail cools, but a final residual permanent deformation remains (Fig 6).Material properties and mechanical behaviourIDR2 includes a series of field tests to ascertain if head checking cracks are eliminated naturally where there is considerable wear on the gauge side of the outer rail. The chosen test site was a 985m radius curve at Saint-Benoît, near Poitiers on the Paris – Bordeaux main line, where trains run at 120 km/h. The external rail had been replaced in 1997 by a combination of perlitic 800 (220), 900 (260) and MHH (micro-alloyed, heat-treated) grades.After an initial grinding operation and 134 million tonnes of accumulated tonnage, the following conclusions were drawn:all grades suffered head checking;the head checking zone is generally more work-hardened, except for the MHH rail;wear is higher for the 800 and 900 grades;head checking is less developed for MHH than for other grades (p442). A further conclusion is that for both wear and head checking criteria, MHH appears to be outperforming all other grades.Bainitic rail was tested at Dieupentale, near Toulouse on the Bordeaux – Toulouse line, where traffic is a mix of TER regional trains and TGVs running at up to 160 km/h. A bainitic rail with hardness of 320HB was laid to replace an external 900 A rail in a 1140m radius curve which was strongly affected by head checking. No grinding was carried out until accumulated tonnage had reached 80million.The two grades display very different head check development. While there are no head checking cracks on the bainitic rail, cracks are clearly visible on the 900 A rail.Both the test zones revealed how important material properties can be in making an assessment of rail behaviour; they also served as useful references for validation of the numerical models.Mechanical behaviour of railMuch attention has been given to improving knowledge of the material properties of rail steels and to feeding these properties into numerical simulations. The mechanical properties of rail differ at every location, but it is clearly not possible to take test samples that would allow material characteristics over the entire rail section to be known.IDR2 therefore uses the results of successive indentation tests, in which pressure is applied by a small indenter onto various parts of the rail section, and the mechanical characteristics deduced from the measured force and displacement. Material properties can be identified using a finite element computation, fitting calculated force/displacement responses to the measured data.Crack initiation and propagationThere are three main phases in crack development: initiation; slow growth; and rapid growth before the break occurs. The slow crack growth phase is really what matters for rail maintenance, because inspection work needs to be minimised without risking a rail break.The German partners in the project are responsible for carrying out investigations into the first phase of crack development, using a wheel-rail test rig operated by DB Systemtechnik. The second phase of slow growth is being examined by means of fatigue testing on a 1MN servo-hydraulic resonance test machine at the Federal Institute of Materials Research & Testing in Berlin.ConclusionThe IDR2-Novum research programme covers a wide field of theoretical as well as applied rail research. One of the primary benefits expected is better prediction of the crack growth rate inside the rail in order to establish the opportunities for improvements in track monitoring, component design and service conditions.Thanks to a system approach it is possible to vary a range of key parameters to improve current maintenance processes such as lubrication and rail profile modification using grinding or other methods. Finally, the programme methodology may lead to a need for significantly fewer tests, and which will be of shorter duration with better understanding of their results.Rail manufacturers as well as railway infrastructure managers stand to benefit because of the strong links between rail product specifications, maintenance needs and research results. In the near future the project team hopes that use of a similarly comprehensive approach will help reduce maintenance costs and deliver products that meet the increasingly heavy demands placed on rail networks.last_img read more

The Railway Dictionary

first_imgBook review,by Alan A JacksonTHE FOURTH edition of this wide-ranging reference work has been updated with around 1550 new or revised entries to reflect changes since the last edition was published in 2000.Assisted by members of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, the author has put together a wide range of railway terminology, acronyms and slang from around the world. Running from the Antrofagasta (Chile) & Bolivia Railway to Zulu Warrior, the 400-page book includes a number of French and German terms, but there is a natural predominance of English-language entries from the UK and North America.ISBN 0-7509-4128-5£25 from Sutton Publishing, Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7JJ, UK.Fax: +44 1963 440001www.suttonpublishing.co.uklast_img

Self-service scanning

first_imgUK: As its mobile ticketing project gains in popularity, Chiltern Railways has installed two scanning devices on ticket gates at London’s Marylebone station to allow passengers to validate tickets carried as barcodes on their phones.Chiltern says its three-month trial of mobile ticketing (RG 1.07 p31) has proved a great success, and the operator is looking at ways to develop the technology further in conjunction with suppliers YourRail, Mobiqa and ts.com. The gate scanners were supplied by Cubic Transportation Systems, which already supplies gate readers for Transport for London’s Oyster smart cards. Passengers can use the barcode readers to access the platforms, rather than having a member of the station staff scan barcodes for them to open the gates, as was the case during the initial trial. Mobile ticketing can only be used in conjunction with Chiltern’s E-Day online advance-purchase ticket.last_img

Amtrak and California join forces on high speed fleet procurement

first_imgUSA: Amtrak and the California High Speed Rail Authority held a joint event at Washington Union station on January 17 to issue a joint Request for Information with a view to the procurement of a common fleet of high speed trains.The partnership agreement is intended to help advance both the rebuilding of the Boston – New York – Washington, DC Northeast Corridor and the development of an 800 km Californian network by establishing ‘a US standard’ for high speed passenger rolling stock which could be ‘manufactured and supplied domestically and produced for the rest of the world’.Amtrak announced in December that it had abandoned plans to lengthen its existing Acela Express trainsets, used on premium Northeast Corridor services, in favour of procuring an entirely new fleet.According to Amtrak, ‘record-setting’ Northeast Corridor ridership over the past decade has influenced its intention to purchase an initial batch of 12 trains with capacity for between 400 and 600 passengers. These would augment the existing Acela fleet of 20 six-car trains. A subsequent order ‘in the early 2020s’ would then replace the existing vehicles. Amtrak is seeking a distributed-traction trainset capable of operation at up to 240 km/h on the existing line and 350 km/h on any subsequent new alignment. Similarly, CHSRA requires dedicated rolling stock to operate the 210 km Madera – Bakersfield first phase of its planned San Francisco – Los Angeles route. The authority is seeking a 200 m long trainset suitable for 350 km/h operation, seating between 450 and 500 passengers.The Federal Railroad Administration says it encouraged Amtrak and CHSRA ‘to work together collaboratively’ following discussions by its Railroad Safety Advisory Committee’s pan-industry Engineering Task Force about ways to facilitate the ‘procurement of lighter weight, faster and more energy-efficient rail equipment’.‘This is a natural fit since Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and California will be the bookends for American high speed rail’, explained CHSRA Chief Executive Jeff Morales. Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo said the agreement could ‘create ripples through the domestic supply chain’ by encouraging international suppliers to establish factories in the USA.Amtrak President Joseph Boardman and Vice-President, Northeast Corridor Development, Stephen Gardner discussed their vision for the route in the September 2012 issue of Railway Gazette International, available to subscribers via our digital archive.last_img read more

Study sets out ways to cut Denmark – Hamburg journey times

first_imgEUROPE: Passenger journey times on the 337 km route between Aarhus in Denmark and Hamburg in Germany could be reduced by 97 min to 2 h 53 min without requiring major infrastructure works, according to a study undertaken by Atkins on behalf of 17 local authorities.Atkins has produced a series of proposals to speed up services: 27 min would be saved if all trains were to travel at the speed of the fastest current DSB and DB services on the corridor; 17 min could be saved by reducing the number of stops to five; Time would be saved by stopping trains at Flensburg-Weiche station on the direct line, rather than the more central main station which is situated on a loop. This has been agreed by the local authority. Between 15 and 27 min would be saved as a result of upgrading works planned for 2015-25, including: Track doubling underway between Vamdrup and Vojens; Electrification and resignalling which is now underway; Work to eliminate tight curves which has been approved under Denmark’s national project to offer 1 h journey times between main cities. In the longer term, a tunnel under the Kiel Canal at Rendsburg would eliminate the 4·4 km spiral used to gain height to cross the ship canal on a combined rail and transporter bridge. The cost of the works in the Flensburg and Rendsburg areas is still to be calculated, but the local authorities are to explore options to develop the scheme. The reduced journey times would be competitive with Aarhus – Hamburg car journeys, which Atkins says take around 3 h 20 min. Atkins estimates that ridership between Jylland and Hamburg could increase by 500 000 journeys/year, doubling current traffic, and regional passenger journeys could grow by 60%.last_img read more

Transmashholding sales up 18%

first_imgRUSSIA: Rolling stock manufacturer Transmashholding has reported sales of 154bn roubles for 2013, up 18% on the 130bn roubles previous year.The highest growth was in the freight sector, with deliveries of diesel shunting locomotives up 90% and mainline freight diesel locomotive sales up 66%. Metrowagonmash’s prototype DPM DMU is undergoing certification at the Shcherbinka test facility ahead of dynamic testing on Northern Caucasus Railway’s Belorechensk line. The TMH subsidiary intends to offer 120 and 160 km/h variants of the DMU, which features a Stadler power module based on the Swiss firm’s GTW family. Transmashholding locomotive deliveries 20122013 DieselFreight sections170283 Passenger locos3042 Shunting locos 194 ElectricFreight sections351434 Passenger locos4150last_img

Not just the ticket

first_imgTICKETS: A second screen showing real-time passenger information and advertisements is incorporated into 70 FareGo Sales ST|40 ticket vending machines which Scheidt & Bachmann has supplied to Bayerische Oberlandbahn. The TVMs also have a touch-screen interface for buying tickets, an ‘eco mode’ to reduce energy consumption and a glass and metal casing developed in conjunction with the German regional operator. Meanwhile, Parkeon has rolled out software which enables the provision of passenger information on TVMs at stations in northern England. ‘Passengers at a number of our smaller stations don’t have access to physical customer information screens and it can be difficult for them to access the most up-to-date train running information’, said Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Northern Rail. ‘We know how important this is to them and we’re now offering even more ways to keep informed.’last_img

Singapore sovereign wealth fund takes stake in Railpool

first_imgRAILPOOL: Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has taken a 49% stake in München-based electric locomotive leasing company Railpool, joining funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.Railpool is ‘a high quality business with a strong track record and a proven business model’, said Stuart Baldwin, Head of Infrastructure at GIC. Founded in 2008, it currently leases 140 locomotives to various European operators and has another 40 on order.Railpool said the deal would enable it to enter into new business areas and selectively make acquisitions. ‘We are confident that we are now ideally positioned to capture the full potential the rolling stock leasing market offers’, said CEO Torsten Lehnert. ‘Oaktree gave us the possibility to upgrade our operations and successfully grow our business while the additional investment of GIC is now securing the continuation of locomotive fleet expansion as well as investing in other growth markets.’last_img