High-speed Grinding Technology deployed in France for the first time
The operating company Tisséo is commissioning Vossloh to carry out preventive maintenance on Toulouse’s tram network. The three-year framework agreement signed also contains two extension options each for one year. The first grinding deployments took place in the summer of 2017.
Toulouse’s Tisséo is the first French operator to entrust the maintenance of its tram tracks to Vossloh’s High Speed Grinding (HSG) procedure. Vossloh machined Toulouse’s entire tram network in only eight nights from late June to early July, 2017. Tisséo was impressed with the innovative HSG technology and the service package that accompanied the deployment, particularly due to the fact that the rails were ground at an unprecedented average speed of over 20 km/h.
Jean-Louis Huillet, who is responsible for tram system infrastructure at Tisséo, was very satisfied with the results and revealed what he expects for the years to come: “We contracted Vossloh after receiving a very attractive proposal in response to our public invitation to tender. This offer allows us to grind our entire network regularly and in the coming years we expect to see an improvement in the rail surface and a reduction in noise emissions.”
Grinding rails reduces excessive noise
As in many cities, reducing the noise produced by trams is also a major challenge in Toulouse. The grinding work was able to achieve a significant improvement in the noise level and passenger comfort throughout the entire network.
Thanks to its routing and condition, the 34-km network commissioned in 2010 is excellently suited to the implementation of a preventive maintenance strategy. Measurements of the rail surface taken beforehand made it possible to analyse the different zones requiring machining and determine the number of passes the HSG-city would need to make in order to ensure the longest possible future service life.
Some of Germany’s largest tram networks have been relying on HSG technology since 2013, and cities such as Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark or Beijing, Guangzhou and Harbin in China are using this procedure to optimize their maintenance.
Konstantin von Diest, Managing Director of Vossloh High Speed Grinding GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vossloh Rail Services GmbH, comments on the first deployment of HSG technology in France: “We see the success of the grinding work in Toulouse as an important milestone that is sending a signal to all of France. The interest shown is immense, also among other French commuter railway operators, with whom we are already in negotiations.”
Framework agreement with extension option
On the basis of the first campaign’s convincing results, further grinding deployments have been planned for the entire tram network in the years to come. Tisséo has the option of extending the three-year framework agreement twice by one year each time.