ON NOVEMBER 11 Swiss Federal Railways will take delivery of a 160 km/h track, overhead line and tunnel infrastructure diagnosis and inspection vehicle designed and built by Mer Mec.

The self-propelled vehicle is to be used to measure rail profile and corrugation, track and overhead line geometry and contact wire wear. Video inspection systems will automatically recognise faults such as damaged sleepers and fasteners, ballast pits and missing fastenings, as well as rail defects such as cracking, abrasion, shelling and broken welds.

Applied to tunnels, the video techniques will allow evaluation of the deviation of a fixed location from a theoretical 3D profile, the position of contact wires and securing bolts, tunnel clearances, gauge profiles and the location of fixed equipment.

The inspection vehicle and its onboard hardware and software were developed in-house by Mer Mec to meet SBB’s specific requirements. According to Donato Pepe, the Italian firm’s Chief Operations Manager, the vehicle required ’46000 hours of CAD, 70000 different drawn components, 300000 software code lines, 57 computing units, 153 lasers, 19 displays and 6000 pages of documentation’.

Mer Mec, Italy