THE INFRARAIL 2003 exhibition will be held at the G-MEX centre in Manchester from September 16 to 18. Every aspect of infrastructure work will be on show, from civil engineering to fare collection and staff recruitment.

Aimed at all companies involved in the rail infrastructure market, Infrarail will be of interest to businesses working in the urban and light rail sectors as well as main line railways. Apart from the large international civil engineering, track design, electrification, signalling and telecommunications firms, the exhibition attracts many specialised organisations providing diverse equipment and expertise in the UK and elsewhere.

A former railway station, G-MEX was the site of the first Infrarail exhibition, which was held in 1994. The most recent show, held at Wembley in 2001, attracted around 250 exhibitors, and 4269 visitors from 42 countries.

Trade Partners UK will be holding a European Networking Day during the exhibition, providing an opportunity for UK suppliers to meet European buyers, and on September 16 Capita Learning & Development will be staging its ’A Rail Network in Transition’ conference on the theme of safety.

Exhibition organisers

Mack-Brooks Exhibitions LtdForum Place, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 0RN, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1707 278200

Bridge bash detector

STRAINSTALL will be showing the latest version of Bridge StrikeAlert at Infrarail. Bridge StrikeAlert identifies the forces and sequence of impact when a road vehicle collides with a bridge, a frequent source of costly delays while the damage is assessed.

StrikeAlert incorporates sensors to identify which bridge deck has been struck and the severity of the impact. The information is presented in a simple format, enabling rapid decisions to be made. An optional camera can allow staff to see the type of vehicle involved in a bridge strike, and whether it has become stuck under the bridge.

Also on display at the exhibition will be a points force measuring pin, which provides a means to monitor point operation force as a tool for improved asset management or as a warning of potential failures. Strainstall will also be demonstrating its wide range of experience in bridge and tunnel structural assessment.

Ultra-long rails

THE FOCUS of Voestalpine’s stand will be on long unwelded rails. These can be supplied in lengths of up to 120m, and now account for half of the firm’s rail deliveries.

Voestalpine manufactures fine pearlitic head-hardened rail, which offers resistance against abrasive wear, corrugation and rolling contact fatigue. Hardened grooved rail is available for street-running tramways.

Last year the company opened a second long rail storage area to aid in just-in-time deliveries to its major customers.

Oil checks

DINGO helps engineers manage data produced by oil condition monitoring equipment, and will be demonstrated on the Scientifics stand.

Engine, gearbox and transformer oil analysis data from Scientifics Laboratories is captured using Dingo, and then manipulated into an easy to use format. The results can be accessed over the internet, with any contamination, wear or water ingress problems flagged for urgent attention.

Wide sleepers

GERMAN infrastructure specialist Pfleiderer Track Systems will be providing details of its innovative wide-sleepered track at Infrarail. Intended as an intermediate technology between classic ballasted track and the various non-ballasted trackforms, this is designed for operation with higher axleloads and at speeds of 200 km/h or more.

Laid on a conventional bed, but with no cribs between them, the wide sleepers are provided with highly-elastic intermediate layers. Offering 80% more supporting surface area than a conventional sleeper, they reduce the vertical stresses on the ballast and subgrade.

The sleepers completely cover the ballast surface, and provision is made for rainwater to drain away to the sides of the track.

According to Pfleiderer, the wide-sleepered track is particularly suited to sections of line with reduced subgrade stiffness, as no extra ballast is required during track renewal. The track can be tamped using a modified tamping machine working outside the ends of each sleeper, although the design is intended to allow longer intervals between maintenance. This in turn improves availability of the track, reduces life-cycle costs and ensures a rapid return on the initial investment.

Clothing range

PRAYBOURNE will be launching a range of protective clothing, equipment bags and accessories at Infrarail.

Garments from the company’s Pulsar and Pulsarneon brands will be augmented by clothing from other specialist manufacturers. The product range includes trousers, fleeces, gloves, fire-retardant and thermal underwear and specialist footwear. Foul weather garments include designs incorporating Pulsarneon battery-powered light cords, to help increase the visibility of track workers at night. n

Maintenance machines

ROBEL Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH will be presenting three machines for track maintenance, ergonomically designed for easy use.

The Type 34.01 clipping machine is designed for rapid clipping and unclipping of Pandrol Fastclips, but also features a rotational tool which performs wrenching operations on screws and bolts.

The 13.48 railhead profile grinding machine is used to grind welded joints or build up welds and to deburr flat-bottomed rail. It can be used in conjunction with the Type 13.61 switch grinding and deburring machine, which has a