Railcare, a Swedish manufacturer of machines that keep railways safe and clean, has presented a battery-powered rail maintenance vehicle equipped with self-propelled vacuum pumps, hydraulics, and control cabins. While the vehicle is emission-free, its innovative equipment enables the vehicle to be used to vacuum away stones, trash and other obstacles from the tracks, melt snow, as well as function as a towing vehicle for, among other things, ballast wagons during track work.
The unveiling was carried out at Railcare’s head office in Skelleftehamn, Sweden, by Minister of Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth, Minister of Employment Eva Nordmark, and Västerbotten’s County Governor Helene Hellmark Knutsson.
“I am proud that we are the first to produce a maintenance machine for the railway that is emission-free and with the same high performance as our other machines. It is a unique product where we at Railcare can contribute to a more sustainable future”, Daniel Öholm CEO of Railcare Group AB said.
The multi-purpose vehicle is the first of its kind and there are no other battery-powered maintenance machines for the railway of this size. The capacity is equivalent to thirty electric cars and one of the biggest advantages of battery operation is that the noise levels are significantly reduced.
“It is exciting that we are the leaders in the development of battery-powered maintenance machines for the railway. Our customers around the world have a huge demand for this type of solution. Especially in city centers, tunnels, and mines where exhaust fumes and noise levels are a big environmental problem. This machine will be a game-changer for the entire railway industry “, Daniel Öholm mentioned.
The battery-powered rail maintenance vehicle was developed in partnership with Northvolt, a Swedish battery developer and manufacturer and Epiroc, a Swedish mining equipment supplier.
Epiroc has developed a battery-electric technology platform that is modular and scalable, with batteries supplied by Northvolt. Although the battery system is designed primarily with the mining industry in mind it is also well suited for other types of machines that operate in tough environments and are traditionally powered by diesel engines. As a result, Epiroc is providing its electric driveline technology to Railcare.
“Railcare’s launch of a battery-electric railway maintenance vehicle is a vital step forward in the global effort to reduce CO2 emissions,” Helena Hedblom, the CEO of Epiroc said.
Railcare has announced its intention to develop a vehicle equipped with its own power source in 2019.