HELD in Wien on June 2, the 44th Permanent Way Convention of the Association of German Railway Engineers was staged in conjunction with a three-day exhibition of track maintenance machinery and other permanent way technology. Opened by Deputy General Manger of Austrian Federal Railways Dipl-Ing Helmut Hainitz, the show occupied 5000m of track and filled the covered goods depot in the city’s Nordwestbahnhof.

Several North American suppliers were present for the first time, and visitors from railways worldwide were in evidence. An AHM800R-P track and formation renewal train from Plasser & Theurer for Polish State Railways paid for by an EBRD loan was among the largest machines, with a relaying train from Matisa attracting similar attention. A Pandrol Jackson stoneblower drew plenty of visitors too, and an order for more units for Britain’s Railtrack is likely; Hellenic Railways has also expressed strong interest. Among other machines available for inspection were a range of Speno grinding units, a Swedish Rail System road-rail catenary inspection vehicle, a Kirow high capacity crane, rail handlers and other machines by Vaia Car of Italy, and Atlas Weyhausen excavators. Numerous suppliers such as R Bance demonstrated portable equipment.

Exhibitors included rail, sleeper and fastening manufacturers, and companies such as Butzbacher Weichenbau and VAE had complete turnouts on display. The French Sycafer group had a display area with member companies Cogifer, Railtech, Sateba, Stedef and Travaux du Sud Ouest all present.

Fastening specialist Pandrol marked the manufacture of its billionth clip at a ceremony on June 1. The celebrity was displayed along with the original clip dating from 1965. The company reported strong interest in the Verse non-destructive rail temperature measurement system developed with Vortok International and AEA Technology Rail.

Rival company Vossloh’s products included the latest System 300 fastenings which will be installed on the K