COMPOSITES specialist Stratiforme is working for Alstom on the front end design of the AGV demonstration train (RG 12.05 p763). The company expects to deliver the nose components for the 350 km/h trainset by early 2007.

Stratiforme is currently supplying nose cones and other components for SNCF's TGV fleet. It provides the stairs for TGV Duplex sets and coloured interior panelling and moulded components such as washbasins for the TGV Réseau sets currently being refurbished to form the TGV Est fleet.

Now being outshopped from the company's works in Bersée near Lille are front ends for the Circle Line cars for the Singapore metro, for Austrian Talent EMUs and for TER2NNG regional trainsets being built for SNCF by Alstom and Bombardier in Valenciennes. Locomotive front ends are also being supplied directly to Renfe.

In the Procab research programme that has been approved under the I-trans initiative (p331), Stratiforme is looking to develop composites that could be used as part of the driver's console to ensure good protection for the driver in the event of a collision. Structural composites that could allow significant weight savings are the subject of investigation in the Ultimat research programme; Stratiforme and sister company Compreforme work closely with universities and other research organisations in the development of composite materials that meet increasingly demanding standards for fire-resistance, smoke emissions and toxicity.

Stratiforme's Commercial Director Michel Golla sees major opportunities in the train refurbishment business, and the company is at present negotiating as part of a consortium to supply components for a contract to refurbish stainless steel coaches for Algerian National Railways.

Stratiforme, France

Market surge buoys wheel maker

FRENCH supplier Valdunes has won the contract to supply wheels for power cars and trailers for Alstom's AGV demonstration train.

Development & Sales Manager Daniel Cappelle said that the wheels will be different from those supplied for existing TGVs, but would not be drawn on specifics; the axles supplied by Valdunes for the double-deck Duplex fleet are hollow to keep down unsprung weight.

At the moment the company is riding high on a booming market, with export contracts including freight wagon wheels for the USA and Brazil. The company specialises in 'ultra-clean steel' wheels for high-axleload heavy-haul applications, but it also manufactures a wide range of other wheels, axles and complete wheelsets. Among the most recent wheels to be produced are 'polybloc' three-part wheels for the Valenciennes trams that are due to carry their first fare-paying passengers this month.

The Valenciennes plant is currently working with three shifts Mondays to Saturdays, producing both unfinished and fully-finished wheels.

Valdunes, France

Russian converter

THIS MONTH the All-Russia Railway Research Institute will complete certification of the first PSN80 U1 static converter produced by the LLC Transconverter joint venture of Transmash Holding and Siemens AG.

Designed to replace rotary converters providing auxiliary electric power on 3 kV EMUs, the underfloor static converter will enable air-conditioning to be installed in each carriage of the ED4MK trains produced by Demikhovsky Engineering Plant.

The PSN80 U1 contains an input contactor and filter to protect against input voltage spikes. Two input inverters using IGBTs with galvanic separation feed, via a group of single-phase rectifiers, a three-phase inverter giving a 380V 50Hz output. The microprocessor-based control system includes built-in diagnostics.

Transmashholding, Russia

  • Diamond Safety Rail Track has been developed by Kenneth Taylor of Castle International Projects. A prototype was assembled by James Fox and David Cunningham at Strathclyde University, and last month discussions were held with a Czech manufacturer with a view to the production and installation of a trial length of the track. Stabilisers beneath the rail help hold the track in position on curves, and according to Taylor the Diamond Safety Rail Track concept will reduce noise and vibration compared to existing slab track designs. Castle International is now inviting industrial partners to assist with further development.
    Castle International Projects Ltd, UK

High-speed circuit breaker

SWISS electric component specialist Sécheron launched a new DC circuit breaker at Expo Ferroviaria in Torino last month, targeted specifically at 1·5 kV and 3 kV dual-system applications.

Based on the existing UR40-64 model, the UR40DV is designed for roof-mounting or underfloor applications on both locomotives and multiple-units. Interrupting 70kA short circuits to meet IEC 60077-3 standards, it will limit arcing voltages to below 1·8 and 3·6 kV respectively.

Sécheron is also launching a new roof switch for multi-system EMUs. The RS25.10 is suitable for all four principal traction voltages, and will be available for a range of different applications, including system selection, pantograph disconnection and earthing.

Sécheron, Switzerland