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All Chinese high-speed overhead wire inspection vehicles drive with Voith Turbo Transmissions

5 December 2013  •  Author: Voith

The world’s currently fastest special rail vehicle for overhead wire inspections, type BR 711 CN, is now entering series production in China. With a Chinese manufacturer as a partner, the prototype of the German rail vehicle manufacturer GBM (Gleisbaumechanik Brandenburg) has now been granted a license for China. The first 26 vehicles ordered by CRC (China Railway Corporation) will be produced in cooperation with two European manufacturers. Voith will deliver two turbo transmissions for each vehicle.

China currently operates the world’s largest network for high-speed trains. The Chinese Ministry of Railways has now ordered a special rail maintenance vehicle. The vehicle must be able to carry out overhead wire inspection services and repairs as efficiently as possible during the relatively short maintenance windows.

Based on type BR 711, in operation in Germany since 2000 and fitted with a Voith T 311 turbo transmission, a prototype with the more powerful T 312 turbo transmission was built. With the support of Voith, this prototype was given a license by the Ministry. 85 such vehicles, fitted with a total of 170 turbo transmissions, will be entering service in China in the medium term.

All rail vehicle manufacturers applying for the construction of the special vehicles will be utilizing the drive platform approved by the Ministry. This directive was not least the result of years of experience with hydrodynamic Voith components in special vehicles on high-speed lines combined with maximum reliability and easy maintenance. Voith is the only manufacturer offering hydrodynamic transmission for underfloor installation in the power class up to 650 kW.

With a tested maximum speed of 176 km/h, it is currently the world’s fastest special rail vehicle for maintaining and servicing China’s high-speed lines. Two diesel engines, each rated at 588 kW, ensure maximum drive power in the service railcar measuring 24.64 meters in length and weighing 84 tons.

The front and the rear are aerodynamically shaped. In between is the car body, featuring, among other facilities, a workshop and a video station, where the overhead wires are monitored by pantographs and cameras. The roof of the special vehicle is fitted with two freely mobile work platforms, one of which can be extended as far as 18.5 meters.

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