Track availability

In light of the limited amount of funds available for investment and in view of lengthy planning and approval times for the construction of new rail lines, more efficient use of existing rail lines is becoming increasingly important – through greater utilization, higher travel speeds or longer trains. However, the higher the load the longer the service life of the rail infrastructure, the greater the wear and tear and the more important its permanent monitoring and maintenance become in order to avoid breakdowns. Vossloh makes two contributions to increasing the availability of the rail track: On the one hand, by developing and manufacturing increasingly durable and low-maintenance products and, on the other, by maintaining the rail network more efficiently. Vossloh covers the entire range of requirements for corrective milling and preventive grinding in switches and rail maintenance. With High Speed Grinding (HSG), VTM performance, VTM compact and the Flexis system, the company offers tailor-made solutions for every type of railroad line to extend the service life and usability of the rail infrastructure. Vossloh also offers welding services and logistics expertise ranging from rail and switch replacement to the complete renewal of track sections.

The Group combines the use of its innovative maintenance machines with the diagnosis of the condition of the infrastructure. In this area in particular, Vossloh‘s understanding of systems in conjunction with digitalization opens up considerable potential, especially for condition-based and, in the future, predictive maintenance. Trackside condition data from tracks and switches is supplemented by the diagnostic data provided by the grinding machines equipped with measuring technology. In this way, the mapl-e application combines measurement, analysis and maintenance in order to suggest suitable measures to prevent or rectify damage. The advantage is obvious: Smart maintenance is based on actual maintenance requirements instead of following fixed intervals as was previously the case. At the same time, Vossloh‘s grinding machines are designed to be incorporated into scheduled traffic. This means that routes no longer have to be closed for maintenance.

By acquiring the monitoring technology of Bonn-based RailWatch GmbH in 2023, the Vossloh Group expanded its portfolio and built up its expertise in the areas of sensor technology, computer vision and cloud computing. Vossloh also put the cloud-based platform Vossloh connect into service. The tools available there enable real-time monitoring, providing immediate insights into the performance of the rail network and the condition of the assets as well as relevant information for predictive maintenance. The platform also includes analysis and warning systems to reduce the risk of accidents and disruptions. Some of the solutions developed by Vossloh itself, such as Smart Turnout or Smart Point Machine will focus on switches, one of the most technically complex and error-prone elements of the rail system, with the aim of preventing point machine failures. The new strategic partnership agreed in 2023 with Swedish digitalization specialist Predge, which focuses on the development of a predictive model for point machines, also serves this purpose.

Vossloh connect is also open to selected partners who offer complementary products and solutions. Strainlabs, for example, contributes its expertise in the field of smart screws, and Cervello specializes in cybersecurity solutions for the rail industry.