Plasser & Theurer - Articles and news items
At the Outdoor display area of InnoTrans 2014, Plasser & Theurer are exhibiting their GMT2 self-propelled track-recording car for Deutsche Bahn…
Dr. Bernhard Lichtberger, Head of Research & Testing Department and Technical Director, Plasser & Theurer
Editorial board / 16 December 2009 /
Dr. Bernhard Lichtberger studied Technical Physics at the Kepler University in Linz, graduation as Dipl.-Ing. in 1984. He was with VOEST ALPINE up to 1987 in industrial plant construction and as project manager for the automation of a steelworks in Kaohshiung, Taiwan.
Track maintenance machines today are designed as standard railway vehicles and are subject to approval and certification according to EU directives. However, their main purpose is not transport on rail, but track maintenance work, track laying or track renewal. The enormous and continually rising expenditure surrounding machine certification which the EU regulations stipulate (presently around 5% of the price of the machine) are illustrated by the certification procedures laid down by the Federal Railway Authority (EBA) in Bonn.
Ballast consolidation in the sleeper cribs raises the resistance to lateral displacement by approximately 7%. Sleeper-end consolidation raises the resistance to lateral displacement by 4%1. The Dynamic Track Stabilizer is the most effective method of raising the resistance to lateral displacement. It increases the resistance to lateral displacement by 30-40%. Tamping lowers the RLD by around 40%, ballast bed cleaning lowers it by about 50%. Soufflage (stone blowing as a newer mechanised technique) reduces the RLD by 50-65%.
One of the greatest achievements of railway engineers at the end of the 1960’s was the invention of long welded track. Up to that time the rails were laid in lengths and linked together by joints. The gap at the rail joint became smaller or larger depending upon the temperature. Vehicles travelling over the joint exerted a strong interactive force, producing high stress on the vehicle itself and a plastic deformation of the track in the area of the joint. A jointed track is subjected to heavy strain and therefore requires a great deal of maintenance…
Whenever the speed or capacity of a line is increased or a new line is built, the application of appropriate track maintenance and upgrading procedures is very important to enable optimal and efficient use of the lines. In addition to that, a high level of comfort and safety has to be maintained on high-capacity lines. […]
Network Rail’s first new high output ballast cleaning system from Plasser & Theurer, delivered to time and budget last summer, has begun work on the Great Western main line which links London to Bristol and South Wales. It is the first of a series of new high output track renewal machines, with a total value of £90 million.