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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way

3/15/2023



Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Technology update: Rail grinding and milling 2023


Rail Pro® Infinity’s implementation has led to improved conformity to desired rail profiles with less grinding effort, which reduces customers’ energy and fuel consumption.
Photo – Loram Maintenance of Way Inc.

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Compiled by Julie Sneider, Senior Associate Editor

Geismar North America Inc. 

With two sets of leveling rollers for maintaining a horizontal position on the rail head, Geismar’s MOD12 can ensure finishing of a corrugated section while removing a minimal amount of material.
Geismar North America Inc.

Rail corrugation is one of the most common rail defects on rail networks. To address this problem, Geismar developed the Metal Hornet MOD12 grinding machine.  

With two sets of leveling rollers for maintaining a horizontal position on the rail head, MOD12 can ensure finishing of a corrugated section while removing a minimal amount of material, Geismar officials said in an email. The fitted inclination device is designed to ensure that surface reprofiling is precise, as well as to enable an operator to easily set the grindstone height to the rail using the hand wheel. 

To meet the demands of transit and high-speed rail lines, a dedicated and sturdy grinding machine that increases the motion stability of rail vehicles and reduces structural vibration and rolling noise is critical, company officials said.  

Loram Maintenance of Way Inc. 

In 2022, Loram continued to deploy its advanced software technology Rail Pro® Infinity for production rail grinding. The software controls the position of grind stones used by Loram’s rail grinders, which allows for precise removal of damaged or fatigued metal and shaping of rails to desired profiles, company officials said.  

Rail Pro Infinity’s implementation has led to improved conformity to desired rail profiles with less grinding effort, which reduces customers’ energy and fuel consumption, they said. 

In January, Norfolk Southern Railway recognized Loram as an “Innovation” winner as part of NS’ inaugural “Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards.” Using Rail Pro Infinity, Loram was able to grind more pass miles for NS than previously achieved, with a 30% reduction in fuel consumption per finished mile.  

In December 2022, Loram acquired Digital Twin for Rail software to help railroad customers compare different track maintenance practices — including grinding — and better quantify how changes will impact their track life extension, return on investment and capital planning. 

Orgo-Thermit Inc.  

Orgo-Thermit can grind a track with its 12 stone hi-rail vehicle, which can mount and exit track in less than a minute at crossings.
Orgo-Thermit Inc.

A Goldschmidt company, Orgo-Thermit offers a complete grinding service. With its ability to analyze a track using its Eddy-current system and Trackscan Mira with up to eight probes on each rail, Orgo-Thermit can obtain a full picture of rolling contact fatigue (RCF) in a customer’s track and optimize a grinding or milling program accordingly, company officials said. 

The probes measure from the gauge corner — where most RCF originates — over the head of the rail for a complete analysis. That ensures attention is focused on the most affected areas of the railroad rather than grinding a complete system. The Eddy-current system is available as a trolley or as a mounted system. 

Orgo-Thermit can grind a track with its 12-stone hi-rail vehicle, which can mount and exit track in less than a minute at crossings. The truck is equipped with a profile measurement to support the grinding operation and guarantee a required rail profile is met.  

Using its suite of measurement and analysis tools, Orgo-Thermit can also offer a complete review before grinding or milling, as well as post-grinding or milling. 

Pandrol

Pandrol’s profile grinder and multipurpose grinder used in combination permit the grinding of rail welds while maintaining an upright standing position.
Pandrol

Precision grinding is critical to preserve the life of rail, switches and frogs. Pandrol’s Precision Frog Grinder enables the operator to mill in precise movements, company officials said.

The ability to target the area precisely and grind while standing upright keeps operators out of the way of harmful grinding dust while preserving their back and preventing fatigue. The ability to grind and blend out SSC defects before they advance to the degree of removing the frog from service can be corrected with the adaptation of Pandrol’s longer rail system.

Pandrol’s profile grinder and multipurpose grinder used in combination permit the grinding of rail welds while maintaining an upright standing position.

Plasser American 

Plasser American’s Romill Urban 3 E3 uses a hybrid drive system and is designed for longevity and efficiency.
Plasser American

Launched in 2022, Plasser American’s Romill Urban 3 E3 uses a hybrid drive system and is designed for longevity and efficiency. The hybrid machine operates on a high-capacity battery for up to three hours of emission-free operations, along with an integrated Tier 4 F diesel engine that acts as a range extender and provides quick-charge capabilities.  

The compact, three-piece design allows for access to the tightest clearance profiles of subway tunnels, quick disassembly and easy truck transportation between locations or projects, company officials said. 

While milling, the machine collects milling chips to be later recycled in a dust- and spark-free process. An adjustable cutting depth allows rail milling to remove damage and restore the rail profile in transversal and longitudinal directions. The result: the rail is left with a smooth surface that can meet the strictest transportation noise regulations, Plasser officials said.  

RailWorks Corp. 

RailWorks delivers turnkey switch and crossing rail grinding services for railroads and transit lines.
RailWorks Corp.

RailWorks delivers turnkey switch and crossing rail grinding services for railroads and transit lines. The company’s services are specifically designed for busy operating environments.  

A fundamental part of a rail maintenance program, these services not only extend rail life but also reduce wear on rolling stock, which maximizes train and fuel efficiency and improves the overall quality of the ride for passengers, company officials said. 

The machines can grind switches, guarded curve and grade crossings. Key benefits and features of the turnkey solution are independent, hydraulically powered grinding units; Jupiter II Control System; hydrostatic propulsion; full computerized control; dust collection; pneumatic braking; water spray fire control; and comfortable control cabins. 

Vossloh North America 

Vossloh’s proprietary high-speed grinding technology can prevent the onset of rolling contact fatigue.
Vossloh North America

Vossloh offers tailor-made solutions for conditioned-based rail maintenance. One of the biggest challenges many customers face is developing a maintenance strategy based on their specific networks, so Vossloh has transformed its rail maintenance machines into digital diagnostics vehicles.  

Using on-board sensors, Vossloh can measure the condition of both the rails and track during normal scheduled maintenance at speeds of up to 65 mph. The data is used to create a tailored condition-based maintenance program for the customer, company officials said. 

Vossloh’s proprietary high-speed grinding technology can prevent the onset of rolling contact fatigue. 

When corrective action is the only solution, Vossloh’s VTM-compact is a flexible, cost-efficient milling machine designed to fit the tightest clearances, company officials said. It’s designed to prevent serious defects and transverse profile deviations from causing cost-intensive rail replacement. 

With no fire or dust hazard, the machine is ideal for fire-restricted areas. The VTM-compact can be placed on track and ready for operation within a few minutes.

Email comments or questions to julie.sneider@tradepress.com.



Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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