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EURO RAIL EXPERTISE


ROBEL tells RTM about its mobile maintenance solutions in use across Europe and their potential applications elsewhere.


W


ork on the track, outside on the line – and yet in a protected environ-


ment. Under cover, yet mobile. Quickly on site, yet without the expense of operational safeguards. With all the necessary machin- ery and equipment to hand, but virtually noiseless. This technology is possible and already in use by several European opera- tors. It will soon be rolled out in other parts of the world.


The ‘mobile maintenance unit’ (MMU) is a mobile covered workshop for track main- tenance that combines a number of advan- tages. Since its introduction in 2003, the MMU has triggered a technological evolu- tion in track maintenance, redefi ning ma- chine-supported work on the track. It came into being on the initiative of the Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB and was developed by ROBEL. Industry inspectors and other experts confi rm that it is a far safer, more ergonomic and economically effi cient alter- native. Now comes the next step: the ‘mo- bile maintenance system’ (MMS).


The MMU is a covered work area that moves along the track, surrounding both the site and crew on three sides. Look-out measures and the closure of adjacent tracks are superfl uous. There is plenty of room: once the unit reaches the site, the protec- tive side walls can be extended outwards to form 17.4 x 3 metre, well-lit “room without fl oors” for all weathers. The resulting area gives direct access to rails, sleepers and fas- tenings – on the straight, in the curve and over the switches.


58 | rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 11 No more noise


Staff working inside and residents living near the line benefi t from greatly reduced emissions when work is in progress. In fact, almost nothing can be heard outside the unit where work takes place virtually under workshop conditions. Tests show that the noise of a rail grinding machine, working in an MMU, is reduced by half. It is mainly electrical equipment that is used, but also hydraulic and pneumatic machinery.


With the addition of a wagon for supplies and a new ‘traction and supply unit’ (TSU), the MMU is transformed into an autono- mous maintenance system. This mainte- nance train is linked from end to end, al- lowing easy passage for staff; no one has to leave the safety of the vehicle any more.


The maintenance system can even be driv- en with remote control by an operator from inside without another person manning one of the two end driver’s cabs. This saves on staff and time, but not on safety. Even when extended, the MMU/MMS can move slowly, enabling continuous working with- out interference or interruption, for exam- ple on rail fi xtures and fastenings.


Power


The intermediate wagon and power vehi- cle are specially tailored for use with the MMU. The power generators for electricity and compressed air, the workshop, mate- rials and tools store, WC, and mess room


The spectrum of possible uses is constantly growing, and new maintenance concepts are being devised.


FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit www.robel.info


with kitchenette are aimed at maintenance operations. The result is a push-pull unit with two control heads and wide passages between all vehicles.


Both side walls of the intermediate wagon have a 2.5m-wide opening for loading and unloading. The fold-down gate also acts as a hydraulic loading lift, which can be low- ered to the ground on lateral guide rails. Inside is a crane.


The equipment of the traction and supply unit allows extended worksite operations without interruption, but with added com- fort for work crews and more effi ciency for everyone.


In Austria, the extension of the MMU into a maintenance system has already been tested in several rail infrastructure areas. Planning is underway to adapt existing MMUs with the addition of intermediate wagon and traction unit. A maintenance train with integrated craneway will be supplied to Norway, where it will be used in extreme climatic conditions. It can also be used for urban rapid transit railways. A new development, the two-storey control wagon for tunnel maintenance, is already at the design stage.


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