It must be the time of year for exhibitions. This issue of The Rail Engineer looks back at SIFER (Lille, France, 26-28 March), will be handed out at Railtex (London, England, 30 April-2 May) and looks forward to iaf (Münster, Germany, 28-30 May).

iaf? What’s that?

The 26th Internationale Ausstellung Fahrwegtechnik (iaf), or International Exhibition for Track Technology, has over 200 exhibitors from 21 countries in a large exhibition area in the indoor and outdoor area of Halle Münsterland. With around 25,000 attendees, iaf is the world’s largest fair in the field of track technology.

Promoted by the VDEI (Verband Deutscher Eisenbahn-Ingenieure – the German Society of Railway Engineers), iaf takes place only once every four years. It is THE place to see big yellow machines up close as well as the plethora of smaller machines and devices that make a railway engineer’s life easier.

Some of the exhibitors may be unknown to British visitors, but others will be very familiar. This is the show that the major track equipment suppliers favour, even over the well-known InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin.

Three aspects of Plasser & Theurer Plasser & Theurer needs no introduction. Under the slogan “Quality cuts costs”, there will be 16 heavy-duty machines on display from its current production range, including some world firsts. This year the focus of Plasser & Theurer’s presentation will be on three main topics.

First of these is the continuous-action maintenance of switches and crossings. Two new ballast cleaning machines will be on display. The URM 700 is the first machine to be able to perform nonstop maintenance of turnouts as it has infinite adjustment of the excavating width. The ZRM 350 has a two-way design, enabling it to travel on rail or on the ballast formation using crawler tracks. It also carries equipment for supplying new ballast and placing it in layers.

Tamping of S&C is not neglected. The Unimat 09-475/4S N-Dynamic is an all-in-one machine for tracks and turnouts. For the first time, all the functions Stopfsimulatorneeded for the maintenance of turnouts are combined in one machine: placement of ballast, ploughing, profiling, tamping,

stabilising and sweeping. Together with another new machine, the Unimat 09-4×4/4S, a continuous-action one-sleeper tamping machine with three-rail lifting and four-rail tamping, this series of universal tamping machines now has new operator-friendly controls.

Secondly, Plasser & Theurer is devoting special attention to mobile rail treatment, specifically its new welding robot – the APT 1500 RL. This road-rail welding lorry gives a perfect weld every time as alignment is fully automatic and all of the processes are measured and documented.

The third focus will be Plasser & Theurer’s worldwide service network. The company has up-to-date training facilities and iaf will see the world premiere of the new 09-3D mobile tamping simulator.

ROBEL for mobile maintenance

German track equipment specialist ROBEL will be exhibiting both new and well- established machinery.

The 34.02 clipping machine, which was introduced at last year’s InnoTrans, is one of the highlights and will feature the new work and energy modules announced in Berlin. Work modules for FE-Clips and for the installation and removal of E-Clips will be shown while new energy modules with either a more powerful petrol engine or a diesel engine will also be on show.

Owing to its modular design, the new machine can be transported more easily and is more manageable than similar machines. Any 34.02 clipping machine consists of three basic components: work module, transverse travelling gear and power. As each of the various modules weigh around 70 kg, they can be transported more easily than conventional clipping machines which can come in at up to 200 kg. The power packs have been designed for easy stackability and the transverse travelling gear can be easily separated from the work module, leaving three compact elements that take up as little space as possible.

In addition to the clipping machine and its new modules, iaf will see the world premiere of several other new hand-operated machines. These will also be in a modular design with work and energy modules that may be combined freely. The company has chosen a new form of energy supply that has proven itself during the period of testing.

ROBEL will also show its Mobile Maintenance System 69.70 (MMS). This maintenance train is an enhancement of the proven Mobile Maintenance Unit (MMU) that was first shown at iaf 2003 and consists of the ROBEL 69.50 MMU as a working unit (WU), a ROBEL 69.45 intermediate wagon (IW) and a ROBEL 69.40 traction and supply unit (TSU). This results in an all-in-one train system which can replace the more common train formation of an MMU with a flat wagon.

Close by, visitors will find the MMU compact 69.60, which is probably the first track construction machine in the world with two work areas positioned above each other. Based on a ‘classical’ MMU or MMS, ROBEL has developed a machine that is particularly suited for maintenance in urban tunnels as well as by welding teams.

On first glance, the compact design is the outstanding feature of this machine. Located behind a driver’s cab, which is based on the company’s track vehicles, are two work areas. The upper area houses the staff facilities, thROBEL 6960_220312_54 [online]e lower area contains the open work area towards the track already known from the MMU. The side walls protecting the workers can also be extended sideways. At the end of the machine is a small work room used to prepare and support work on the track.

ROBEL also introduces its service portfolio at the trade fair. This includes the reconditioning of accessories and vehicles as well as post-

accident repair and overhauls. In addition, the repair of entire machines and wheelsets can be carried out as well as the checking
and overhauling of safety-critical areas and damage and accident assessments. Deutsche Bahn rates ROBEL as a Q1 supplier and the company also has an ÖBB workshop approval as well as a British RISAS certificate for the refurbishment and production of wheelsets. These facilities have been certified according to ISO 9001:2008.

Greenwood – high precision profiling

With 20 years of international experience, the Danish company Greenwood Engineering A/S is the world-leading manufacturer of high precision, full contact profiling equipment for the global railway sector. Its MiniProf measuring systems are simple, handheld tools for monitoring the cross sectional profile of wheels, rails and brakes.

Initially developed in 1992, and with more than 1500 end-users globally, the MiniProf brand is well established in the worldwide rail industry. Key to this success is the
ability to make extremely accurate profile measurements and calculations which enable the user to monitor and analyse the conditions of wheels, rails and brakes.

MiniProf is also available in a TwinHead configuration to obtain the maximum accuracy when joint profiles are measured simultaneously. Based on high-resolution technology and direct contact measurements, the MiniProf system gives the best accuracy available on the world market and generates exact and reliable measurements without being affected by oil, dirt or reflected light.

Constructed from titanium, MiniProf uses fixed reference points in the measured profile to ensure consistency and repeatability in the measurements. It comes with its own software and can be adapted to fit almost all kinds of profiles.

SRS Rail Systems International goes ChineseBalfour Beatty Seilzug Tunnellänge [online]

The British road-rail vehicle specialist, well known for its heavy lorries which undertake a variety of roles in railway maintenance, will be showing off its latest international collaboration.

Qingdao is a beautiful Chinese seaside city with a population of about 7.5 million and a reputation for wonderful beer, but there is much more. Four years ago, Qingdao hosted the Olympic Sailing competitions and, last year, one of the World’s fastest trains on conventional track was rolled out at the Chinese State Railways Sifang Limited’s factory. This ultra high speed train has already run at 500kph.

Now CSR Sifang, working together with SRS Rail System International Limited, has manufactured a new road-rail vehicle. Based on the established principle of converting a popular commercial truck, the new vehicle employs the very latest technology and carries the latest equipment. CSR Sifang and SRS Rail System International will market the Sifang SRS vehicles world wide.

Windhoff’s trains and attachments

Windhoff Bahn-und Anlagentechnik GmbH is currently constructing the high-output train which Network Rail will use in the electrification of the Great Western and other main lines. At iaf, Windhoff will present two sections of this train for Network Rail.

The company will also show five attachments for performing track construction work using an excavator. These will be: ballast broom, tamping unit, sleeper layer, mulcher and sleeper exchanger.