The ÖVG Working Group Railway Technology (Track) will hold its 24th International Congress in May 2023. This time, possibilities for increasing capacity and availability will be presented and discussed in the three thematic blocks Technology, Efficiency and Environment. Reports of examples including experiences from the practical implementation of projects from all over the world will complement the scientific findings. All presentations will be simultaneously translated into several languages.
In addition, we offer young professionals the opportunity to present their current work in a separate block.
Furthermore, a demonstration at Salzburg's main train station will provide an overview of the latest technologies for increasing efficiency while taking environmental aspects into account.
In the course of the EU-funded research project "In2Track3" , I accompanied two night-time track maintenance works near Kristianstad, Sweden.
A tamping machine equipped with the latest technology was used, which can independently measure the absolute track geometry and calculate corresponding correction values for the exact positioning of the track panel. In addition, highly sensitive sensors on the tamping units record comprehensive data, which we subsequently analyse at the institute. This gives us exciting insights into the prevailing ballast condition and the achieved ballast compaction, which provides the basis for optimising planning and executing tamping works.
At the Intelligent Rail Summit in Konstanz (Germany), I did not only get the opportunity to give the participants an insight into the research project "Long-term behaviour of padded concrete sleepers on reduced ballast bed thickness", but also used the summit for deeper discussions and to network with experts from various European countries.
In November 2022, I was able to gain insights into research on all transport systems (rail, road, air, waterborne) at the Transport Research Arena in Lisbon.
With more than 2000 participants and numerous exhibitors, there were numerous opportunities for networking. Highlights can be seen on YouTube, my personal highlight was probably the third place in the TRA VISIONS Young Researcher (and the city of Lisbon). Details to my project and the great projects of my competitors can be found here.
In the course of a joint research project with Plasser & Theurer, ÖBB and SBB, I accompanied a night-time tamping operation at Wolhusen station. The target track geometry was restored in the station and the adjacent turnouts. New types of sensors on the machine measured various parameters, which we subsequently analysed and which should provide us with insights into the condition of the ballast bed and the quality of the tamping work. This will provide the basis for optimized track maintenance.
A beautiful city, sunshine, delicious food, a load of railway content and several inspiring conversations. This is how I would describe my days in Montpellier and my attendance at "The Fifth International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance".
With my talk about the condition assessment of insulated rail joints I was also able to contribute one piece of content. Thanks for the organisation of the event!
Longstanding cooperation with the Swiss Federal Railways repeatedly leads to exciting and also instructive excursions to our Swiss neighbours. In August, Matthias and I were able to show the SBB's asset management team ways of deriving the need for track renewal from measurement data of the track recording vehicle. We first analysed the data at SBB HQ and then inspected conspicuous areas on site, thus establishing a link between measurement data and reality.
The WCRR is considered the largest research congress in the rail sector. Participants from universities, railroads and industry were able to present their current research on a wide range of specialist areas and network with each other in Birmingham. Matthias Landgraf presented a research project on the decarbonization of track construction vehicles, while I was able to talk about intelligent tamping machines and the possibility of using them to record the condition of the tracks.
Quality over quantity - the Nordic Seminar on Railway Technology impresses less by the number of participants than by the quality of the presentations. We from EBW - Stefan M. ("Long Term Effects of Reduced Track Tamping Works"), Markus ("Evaluating turnouts using post-positioned measuring car data including the rail surface signal") and I ("Ballast condition assessment via tamping machine measurements") - were also able to contribute to the success of the event. The long evenings after the sessions (only after midnight did it become somewhat dark) were an excellent opportunity for a relaxed exchange with other conference participants.
A fixed point for all those involved in the construction and maintenance of railroad infrastructure is the regularly held International Exhibition for Track Technology (iaf). On the exhibition grounds, we (the entire EBW team) were able to experience innovations in the field of track construction from 140 exhibitors, ranging from further developments in track components and new types of hand tools to the latest track construction machines. The exhibition was also an excellent opportunity for personal exchange with colleagues from the industry, whether during technical discussions or at an evening get-together.