The liberalisation of the rail market is underway across Europe. More and more new entrants – from rail carriers and rolling stock owners to logistics businesses – are joining incumbent companies on the market as the competition continues to grow in both rail freight and maintenance services. Slovenian rail freight market is seeing an increasing number of rail freight carriers and also locomotive and freight wagon owners, who rent their rolling stock out to carriers without own fleet or with limited fleet capacity.
For the cargo to reach its final destination safely and in good time, the vehicles making up a train must be in good running order. To make sure your fleet stays on track, quality preventative maintenance is required along with unscheduled heavy repairs at depot and on-site light repairs. At SŽ – VIT, we recognise the need for technical support on a daily basis in freight wagon servicing and locomotive maintenance. Drawing upon 170 years of experience of maintaining Slovenske železnice’s fleet, we have developed our business to cover the full range of heavy repair and overhaul services – together with the inspections and repairs offered initially – which underpin good preventative maintenance.
Maintenance is supplied from a number of in-house locations across the network, with a focus on the busiest sections. Freight wagons are serviced at depots in Koper, Divača, Zalog, Dobova, Ptuj and Tezno, while shops at Divača, Maribor and Ljubljana also specialize in maintenance of diesel and electrical locomotives. Light repairs to restore a wagon’s fitness to run can be done on-site without the need to break up the train, while heavy repairs and overhauls are carried out at our depot in Dobova, and in Ljubljana and Maribor for electrical and diesel locomotives, respectively. We also specialise in wheelset maintenance, which is delivered at our depot in Ptuj. Our workshops are fully ECM certified, while the depots in Ptuj and Dobova also have VPI certification.
Freight wagon maintenance
Maintenance services supplied at depots vary by wagon type, service life, designated loads, and the type of unloading and shunting. They typically include brake system repairs, replacement of brake blocks, and repairs of damage on axles and other components, such as footsteps, side walls, tank wagon valves and cracks anywhere on the vehicle body. Each case is handled individually, with repairs assessed together with the client following an inspection of the wagon’s condition. We have experience working with a wide range of wagon series and types, including tank wagons (except gas cars), and have an in-house accredited inspection body for pressurised equipment, which conducts pressure tests on tank wagons in compliance with RID regulations.
In addition to inspections and repairs, rolling stock also requires regular overhauls to stay in running order. Our depot in Dobova specialises in overhauls according to the VPI or other maintenance instructions requested by the client. We do work for established rolling stock owners and hence know that trust can make or break a business. To demonstrate the quality of our services, our shops hold certifications in welding, non-destructive testing, inspections of pressurised equipment and ECM.
On-site services include inspection of wagon technical condition and accessories to make sure the vehicles making up the train are fit to run, and so able to meet the relevant safety and quality requirements. Our maintenance portfolio comprises:
- Technical wagon inspections at designated facilities,
- On-site technical inspections and servicing on client request,
- Minor wagon repairs without breaking up the train,
- Minor repairs – securing the load without breaking up the train,
- On-site repairs to restore fitness to run,
- Wagon coupling and uncoupling,
- Complete brake testing (A) at in-house and on-site locations,
- Partial brake testing (B, C, D, BC, and BD),
- Brake testing with a fixed air compressor,
- Out-of-gauge loads inspection and accompanying,
- Consultancy and presence at loading.
Experience you can rely on
Our depots in Ljubljana, Maribor and Divača use specialized equipment to supply maintenance for both electrical and diesel locomotives, and our skills continue to grow with each unit serviced. We are always looking to design new maintenance solutions to suit our clients’ needs. The experience gained from years of working with Slovenske železnice’s fleet has also shown to be invaluable in seeking out new customers. Apart from operators and locomotive owners active on Slovenian rail network, we serve rail undertakings which specifically seek out our services despite operating on other networks.
Our specialist team of technicians is able to deliver preventative and corrective maintenance for a range of different locomotives, in particular Siemens, Alstom, General Motors, Macosa, Đuro Đaković, Vossloh and CZ Loko. Most of our experience with new generations of electrical locomotives comes from maintaining Siemens Taurus and Siements Vectron, which are common across Europe. We offer a full-range support for Taurus maintenance including inspection and repair on one side and overhauls on the other, while mostly focusing on inspections for the newest Vectron multisystem electrical locomotives.
After years of improving our know-how and modernizing the equipment, we have recently expanded the services supplied for ES 64 F4 electrical locomotives from inspections to overhauls. For diesel locomotives, we offer inspections of Siemens Hercules (ER20), Vossloh G6 and CZ Loko EffiShunter shunting locomotives. Additionally to inspections of all locomotive types, we also inspect cab radios and fire extinguishers and recondition wheelsets when installed.
We continue building on the services we supply independently and design new solutions to best respond to market needs. Our wheelset maintenance depot at Ptuj can replace monobloc wheels on powered wheelsets for ES 64 U4, which are fully inspected and any worn or damaged components swapped out and new monoblocs shrink fitted on the wheelset. At present there are plans underway to expand this line of service to the powered components of other types of electrical locomotives.
Special attention is also paid to older rolling stock, in particular diesel locomotives, with retrofit programmes purposely designed to extend the serviceable life of components. Locomotives can be modernized or completely refurbished and supplied with new technology diesel engines.
Safe wheelsets equal safe vehicles
International clients know us best for our wheelset maintenance and production, which we deliver throughout Europe. Our depot in Ptuj is specialised for assembly and re-conditioning of wheelsets on vehicles ranging from freight wagons to the newest electrical units. While the majority of wheelsets are reconditioned according to the VPI (IL, IS0, IS1, IS2 and IS3), there has been a notable increase in demand to produce new wheelsets in line with the TSI (BA 303, 004, 314, ULT23 and ULT25). We also service tyred wheelsets on vehicles which are not fitted with monoblocs yet.
VIT keeps your vehicles FIT.
Photo by: Miško Kranjec