DB and Vossloh extend preventive rail maintenance agreement

preventive rail maintenance Vossloh and DB Netz AG have extended their existing framework agreement for preventive rail maintenance covering a volume of at least 12,000 km in the coming year.

Vossloh will in particular maintain the highly utilised lines of the German rail network, the so-called high-performance network, using high-speed-grinding (HSG) technology. In addition, a digital component has been added to the contract. A smart HSG train equipped with extensive measurement and analysis technology will be used to record important track condition data during operation.

“With this consistent use of HSG technology, DB Netz AG is underlining its claim to meet the increasing loads on the network with innovative solutions. On our high-performance network, the traffic friendly rail maintenance provided by HSG will make a valuable contribution to greater reliability and growth,” Volker Hentschel, Member of the Management Board of DB Netz AG responsible for Asset and Maintenance Management said.

The HSG technology is used for preventive rail maintenance and is based on a unique grinding process worldwide. Vossloh’s maintenance machines can be operated at speeds of up to 80 km/h on mainline lines and up to 60 km/h on urban transport lines. They are equipped with state-of-the-art sensor technology, some of which was developed in-house, and can simultaneously record condition data of the rail track during grinding without the need for track closures. The condition data is collected in real time, evaluated by means of algorithms and can be visualized in a web-based application including concrete recommendations for action. The grinding program can be individually adapted to the respective track condition. Regular use of the smart HSG machines thus not only effectively prevents rail defects and significantly extends rail service life, but also forms the basis for predictive maintenance of the rail track as the data history grows.

“Greater availability of tracks is a key prerequisite for shifting more traffic to rail. In view of the increasing utilization of networks, preventive and, in perspective, predictive maintenance technologies are gaining massive importance,” Oliver Schuster, CEO of Vossloh AG, said.

DB recently announced the strengthening of the high-performance network by 2030. The current highly utilised route connections comprise a total of 3,500 route kilometers and are the focus of the framework agreement signed with Vossloh. Deutsche Bahn expects the highly loaded network to grow to over 9,000 route kilometers by the end of 2030.

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