WORKING with Dortmunder Stadtwerke and Duewag, Siemens Verkehrstechnik has developed a 10m GRP centre section for a Stadtbahn B80C/6 car. The objective is to reduce weight by around 25%, leading to energy savings and lower life-cycle costs.

Test Car 343 is the last of 12 to receive a centre section, which on the other 11 is fabricated from steel; the extra section takes them from six-axle to eight-axle cars. The cars form part of a batch of 54 delivered by Duewag and Adtranz between 1986 and 1994. A further 10 new B 80C/8 all-steel cars have been ordered, bringing the Dortmund B80C fleet to 64, of which 22 are lengthened. Adtranz supplied the chopper equipment and the DC monomotors.

Heart of the integral centre section on Car 343 are so-called C-modules of GRP sandwich design (GRP/foam/GRP) fabricated using a vacuum-based injection method. The C-modules are glued together in the centre and to the adjacent modules using a male-female connection. The modules are successively integrated in four square GRP-pipes placed in the floor and roof (pultrodates) which form the longitudinal stays. These square pipes are themselves glued into the steel car ends that carry the articulations. The C-modules are complemented by door and window modules, connected to the other modules in the same way.

A high pressure glueing process is used. The resin is of the epoxy type with a patented ZFE Siemens 1996 additive, which increases the resistance of the sandwich construction against fire. Nordrhein-Westfalen’s Technical Supervision Office (TAB-NRW) has granted Dortmund a provisional permit to run the car in the city’s tunnels.

Aluminium and stainless steel plates are laminated into the side walls to allow seats and equipment to be fastened to the centre section. The end parts of the roof at the side incorporate steel inserts which are earthed.

Before entering service, the car underwent tests at the Nordrhein-Westfalen Technical University’s Railway Research Institute (IFS-RWTH) in Aachen to simulate a 30-year life cycle. The real test of day-to-day service has now begun. Passengers will not see any difference between the steel and GRP bodies, but the GRP section may be quieter.

The project was funded using provisions of the Community Transport law (GVFG) and technology development grants from the Land of Nordrhein-Westfalen, with a further contribution from the EU. o

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Siemens-Duewag 104

IFS-RWTH Aachen 105

CAPTION: Right: The B80C/8 car for Dortmund is 36·85m long, 2·65m wide and weighs 50·5 tonnes. It offers 80 seats of which 24 are in the GRP centre section

CAPTION: The GRP centre section is assembled from modules supported by pipes in the roof and floor