Plasser & Theurer machine (3)

INNOTRANS: ’Future track technology — now’ will be Plasser & Theurer’s slogan for InnoTrans 2024, where the track construction equipment and maintenance machine supplier will be aiming to answer three questions.

These are: how can we react to the challenges posed by climate change as quickly as possible and in a sustainable way? How can the cost-effectiveness of track construction and maintenance continue to increase? And how can the shortage of skilled staff be addressed?

Plasser & Theurer will be highlighting the reduction in emissions and operating costs offered by its machines with hybrid drive systems.

It will also be showcasing the higher infrastructure availability which can be achieved using its latest equipment and by the digitalisation of maintenance processes; a single inspection vehicle was able to measure 61 turnouts at St Pölten in Austria in one night. Its TampingAssistant automatically positions, configures and controls tamping units with the help of AI, with the operator only needing to confirm its suggestions and monitor the process. This allows even inexperienced operators to deliver high-quality tamping results. TampingControl provides data on the quality of the superstructure and tamping process in real time, optimising the filling and compaction process, while TampingReport provides digital documentation of the entire process.

Plasser & Theurer is offering several solutions to the lack of skilled staff. One is to create more attractive workspaces on its machines; the E3 offers comfortably furnished crew areas and cabs with digital controls. Another approach is to automate processes, making it easier to complete tasks with fewer staff. Simulators allow new operators and career changers joining the rail industry to practice operating machines in a secure environment, so they can begin working quicker.