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New developments in on-track machines for narrow gauge track

25 July 2016  •  Author(s): European Railway Review

MATISA Matériel Industriel SA has unveiled its two latest on-track machines (OTM), demonstrating new opportunities for narrow gauge track maintenance.

The B 38 C in operation on the BAM network in Switzerland

With experience in developing Swiss alpine railways for more than 100 years, engineers have built masterpieces that today, for some of the lines, belong on the UNESCO world heritage list. Some route sections, with radiuses of 45m (49.2 yd.) and gradients up to 70‰ (or over 100‰ rack gearing) combined with small clearance gauge and low axle load (160 kN), request high engineering skills and expertise. To meet these challenges MATISA has introduced two modern optimised machines to its narrow gauge fleet with the B 38 C Tamper and the R 20 RD Ballast Regulator with compaction units. Thanks to close cooperation with operators during the design and manufacturing stages, both machines are the product of extensive experience within the railway maintenance sector. In Switzerland the narrow gauge track is called the metre-gauge since it is exactly 1m from rail to rail.

B 38 C – the compact universal tamping machine

The B 38 C is a compact 4-axles tamping machine for plain line tracks and switches and crossings (S&C). As with their standard gauge sister fleet, they feature MATISA’s C-type tamping units which have proven themselves for their high quality tamping, durability and low maintenance costs (see Figure 1). The tamping units are positioned to enable operation to up to four different gauges – in other words, tracks built on a mix of standard and narrow gauges. The four integrated lifting jacks enable the B 38 C to be raised and shifted sideways for an easy load onto a trailer (see Figure 2). The machine can then be easily moved to another location with narrow gauge tracks.

The B 38 C is equipped with the latest operating system from MATISA. The driver and tamping operator have all the important information displayed on the graphical human machine interface (HMI) which is always available at a glance…

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