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InnoTrans 2002 report

01 Nov 2002

Over 30000 trade visitors converged on the InnoTrans event at the end of September in Berlin, attracted by 1045 exhibitors from 30 countries. Numerous contracts and acquisitions were announced, and hundreds of new products were on display. In this special report from Berlin we offer a selection of industry news.

Modular locos handed over

On September 25 Vossloh Schienenfahrzeugtechnik formally handed over its first G1000BB modular diesel loco to Connex Cargo AG at InnoTrans. A second unit is destined for delivery to FS subsidiary Sefer, for use on the Brenner corridor. This will be the first to have a left-hand driving position, which VSFT hopes will fit the design for use in France. The next three will join the Locomotion Capital leasing fleet. 

Also on show in Berlin was the first of the larger G1700BB, which VSFT is supplying to LTE Logistik- und Transport GmbH, a subsidiary of Austria's Graz - Kflacher Eisenbahn. Operators in Germany and Austria have ordered examples of both classes. 

Meanwhile, VSFT is building another three Class 461000 diesels for Fret SNCF, to join six already on lease from Locomotion Capital. Fret SNCF has also called tenders for a further 15 locos, with an option for 25. VSFT is about to start work on 59 Class Am 843 locos for Swiss Federal Railways, which will have Caterpillar engines from Zeppelin AG.

On the same day, Siemens Transportation Systems celebrated the handover of the second of 100 Class 189 multi-system electric locos to DB Cargo (RG 9.02 p540). According to Siemens TS Vice-President Friedrich Smaxwill, the 189 is 'the first multi-system loco on the market that can operate in 15 countries'. Three pre-series locos are currently undergoing commissioning tests, and will enter revenue service in April. Series deliveries are expected to run from May 2003 until December 2005. The first locos are expected to run between Germany and the Netherlands.

1 000th GSM-R base station 

ON September 24, representatives from German Railway, DB Telekom GmbH and Nortel Networks inaugurated the 1000th GSM-R digital radio base station for the DB network, located at Pfaffenhofen in Bavaria. According to DB Telematik's Managing Director, Development, Norbert Becker, by the end of next year coverage will reach 2600 base stations and 25000 route-km. The Federal Railway Office (EBA) has now permitted DB to begin operations using only digital radio; the first line in Europe to rely on GSM-R alone is the Kln - Frankfurt Neubaustrecke which began revenue service on August 1.

Cummins launches 2600 kW diesel 

With a throaty roar, Cummins Engine Co kicked off the first morning at InnoTrans 2002 by unveiling its latest high-speed diesel engine. The 18-cylinder QSK78-L is rated at 2600 kW (3500 hp). It is intended for use in four-axle passenger locomotives weighing up to 80 tonnes, offering a top speed of 200km/h. It can also be used to power 100 tonne freight locos at up to 120km/h. The engine is designed to run for up to 4000h between servicing, offering 'virtually maintenance-free operation', according to the General Manager of Cummins Rail, David Moore. A 100000h life cycle is based on overhauls every 25000h. Six low-inertia Holset turbochargers offer fast response across the power range, contributing to a torque of 13770Nm at 1500 rev/min. With high-pressure injection and Celect smart electronic engine monitoring, the QSK78-L releases virtually no visible smoke. It meets the low-emission criteria of both the UIC OR624 and EPA MOH Tier 1 specifications. Fuel consumption is as low as 196g/kWh.

  • Bombardier announced on September 24 that it had won a i53m order from Transitio in Sweden for 10 more two-car Regina EMUs. Orders for the wide-bodied design now total 65 sets, including this unit for Vrmlandstrafik, which is one of three entering service this year between Kristinehamn, Karlstad and Charlottenberg
  • Among freight wagons attracting interest was this 80m3 bogie cement hopper from the Wittenberg works of Feldbinder Spezialfahrzeugwerke. One of 120 being built for SNCF, it has a payload of 7075 tonnes and runs on Y25Lsdi bogies.
  • The Austrian Federal Railways display included several new wagons assembled in its own works. This Tadnpss for carrying salt was built at Jedlersdorf
  • On September 24 Alstom unveiled a full-size mock-up of its Coradia Duplex regional train for Swedish Railways. The first of 113 cars formed into 43 two-car and three-car Class X40 EMUs is due to be delivered in autumn 2003 under a contract worth i300m
  • This Bombardier-built Itino diesel set for Erfurter Industriebahn attracted interest in the outdoor display.

Roughness monitoring unit

DANISH noise and vibration consultancy degaard & Danneskiold-Samse has developed a wheel and rail roughness measuring system, which complies with the draft standard prEN ISO 3095:2001. This replaces the former ISO standard that a section of track should be in 'good condition' by detailed measurement of rail surface roughness at 12 sample locations.

Tested on the KĂžbenhavn S-bane, the rail measuring unit TRM01 is carried on a 1200mm long frame weighing 22kg, which can easily be slipped over the rail and positioned using gauging screws. A measuring head carrying three transducers scans along the rail in 80sec, downloading data into a portable interface box. Including set up and removal, a 1m test section can be measured in 2min, between the passage of trains.

Wheel surface measurements are conducted using a similar frame, designated RRM01, which scans the surface as the wheel rotates at low speed. The RDP01 software package provides easy data processing and export to other standard packages. Roughness can be displayed in a number of graphical formats, including analysis by wide and narrow wavelength bands. Combining the wheel and rail results can allow the overall roughness and noise emission to be minimised.

  • A fine view of the outdoor exhibits was obtainable from the roof of an overhead line inspection car built by Gleisbaumechanik of Brandenburg. One of 22 being supplied to DB, the BR711.1 unit is powered by two water-cooled MAN 12-cylinder diesel engines with Voith T311 transmissions to give a maximum speed of 160km/h. Fitted with conventional train radio and GSM-R, the vehicle can also be used for bridge inspections thanks to the long reach of the platform - maximum working height is 55m above rail top. For overhead line inspection the WBL85 pantograph and its movements are recorded by a video camera (left). A range of OLE parameters is measured, and any significant deviation can be checked by on-board staff.

Crashworthy buffers

ON SEPTEMBER 23 Germany's Federal Railway Office approved a new design of crashworthy buffer developed by EST Eisenbahn SystemTechnik. The unit is designed to absorb up to 300 kJ per buffer, yet occupies no more space than a standard UIC buffer. It also has a standard mounting, requiring no adaptation of the headstocks or underframe. Two versions are available: R1 for passenger service and G1 for freight operation.

Each 620mm long buffer is fitted with a Durel elastomeric spring from Eisenbahnlaufwerke Halle, and meets full UIC standards. However, once subjected to an impact greater than 1500kN, the outer half of the buffer shank shears in a controlled fashion and rolls back around the head. At maximum absorption, the unit will compress to around half its original length.The new buffer weighs just 125kg compared to 155kg for a typical standard unit, which makes it easy to change in the event of a crash. 

The buffers have yellow painted markers which indicate when the design tolerances have been exceeded and they must be replaced. A simple lock bolt prevents the compression forces from being accidently released.

As part of the approvals process, several prototype buffers were tested by Railmotive at Grlitz. In a final test on September 19, two passenger coaches ballasted up to 80 tonnes were each fitted with the new buffers, and then brought together at a speed of 386km/h. The performance was as predicted, and two of the compressed buffers were recovered for show at InnoTrans in Berlin. 

EST plans to develop an enhanced version for passenger applications which would absorb up to 700kJ per car end.

InnoTrans News in Brief

  • Sperry Rail Services and Pethoplan GmbH have established a partnership to build and operate this rail inspection vehicle on the German network. Mounted on a road-rail chassis, the vehicle can inspect rail at 40km/h using ultrasonic or eddy-current probes. Cost of use is around i110 per km of track.
  • Hans-Jrgen Jabs, Chairman of Alstom LHB GmbH, announced at InnoTrans that the company is building a 15km test track at Salzgitter. Due to be finished by summer 2003, it will be wired to accept several voltages, and also fitted with a third rail supply.
  • Finnish interior door specialist Pimatic has won a contract to supply doors for the X40 double-deck EMUs being built for SJ of Sweden by Alstom Transport. Pimatic is also supplying interior doors to Talgo for use in Spain.
  • Svendborg Brakes of Denmark is developing an innovative SWET brake for railway rolling stock, which combines dry friction and wet braking technologies in a single unit. Under a k15m programme partially funded by the EU, a prototype capable of absorbing 30MJ is to be tested on a static rig early next year.
  • Icomera is to install its Gateway broadband information system on two Swedish trains this month for trials in revenue service. Offering real-time internet access 10 times faster than a mobile phone, the satellite and GSM-based equipment can also provide timetable, train running and reservations information.
  • On September 15 Vossloh System-Technik Malm AB commissioned an Alister electronic interlocking at Gemla in Sweden. Developed jointly with Banverket using modular architecture and industrial hardware and software, the interlocking meets Safety Intergrity Level 4 of the Cenelec standards.
  • Burleburger Schaumstoffwerk has introduced a microcellular polymer for vibration insulation, which can be used for ballast mats, rail or sleeper pads. Regufoam can also be laid beneath a floating slab or wrapped around the outside of a tunnel lining.
  • Pfleiderer has won a contract for Rheda 2000 slab track on around 200 track-km of the HSL-Zuid line in the Netherlands. It is also supplying the same design for use on the southern half of the Nrnberg - Ingolstadt high speed line in Germany.
  • Hitachi has won an order to supply 62 cars for a linear-motored metro line in Fukuoka. The cars will use the company's A-Train design, and linear motor technology as on Tokyo Line 12. Featured on the Hitachi stand in Berlin was a computer-designed, machine-made aluminium curved panel for the nose of a Series 700 Shinkansen trainset.