First in France

29 August 2017


Since 2014, EURAILSCOUT's UFM160 multifunction measurement machine is used to record the geometry of the track. Initially towed by two locomotives, this machine has been running self-propelled since June 2016. Initially, six-monthly maintenance operations were carried out in the Netherlands at the STRUKTON workshops in Zutphen. This required a transfer from France decreasing availability. At the end of 2015, it was decided to find sites in France where maintenance could be carried out. Several suppliers have been contacted, so the 2 winter and summer maintenance operations were carried out at the Center d'Essais Ferroviaires (CEF - ALSTOM) in Valenciennes. During these maintenance, the mechanical components, the electrical and air conditioning systems, the braking and safety systems and the measurement systems are checked, revised and replaced if necessary by STRUKTON Rail teams assisted by subcontractors who do all intervention during 3 weeks on the French site.

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The summer maintenance in 2017 provided multitude of tasks, including a reprofiling of the axles as a result of the measurements and checks carried out. As early as January 2017, in order to avoid a transfer to the Zutphen workshop where the mobiturn STRUKTON Rail is used for the reprofiling of EURAILSCOUT machines, a meeting was held to schedule the realization in France with exceptional mobiturn movement. For logistical and technical questions, in particular the lifting capacity of the machine, the choice of site was based on the RAMFER workshop (subsidiary of COLAS-RAIL) located in Grenay (69). In order to minimize the use time and allow all the preliminary tasks to be carried out, the intervention for reprofiling was scheduled on the Weekend of 5 and 6 August 2017. Security, safety and programming aspects were managed by Eurailscout France in association with RAMFER.

The mobiturn was loaded on a truck semitrailer in Zutphen to be delivered on Friday, August 4th in the afternoon to the RAMFER workshops. A 25t crane was necessary to ensure the safe unloading of the mobiturn elements and installation on the workshop track.

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After precise positioning of the 8 lifting system (capacity of 25t each), the UFM160 and its 167 tons could be lifted about 1,70 meter to allow the mobiturn to pass under the machine. This delicate operation was perfectly carried out by the RAMFER technicians piloting the synchronized lifting of the 2 parts of the UFM160 positioned on a pit of 110 m length. RAMFER has 12 lifting synchronized systems in this workshop dating from 2014.

First in France on a special machine (yellow machine classified), the reprofiling of the 8 axles with mobiturn was made in a private workshop. Skills and experience of the STRUKTON Rail and EURAILSCOUT Inspection & Analysis technicians ensured that everything went smoothly and on time. After assembly of the mobiturn elements on Sunday afternoon, it was recharged on Monday morning to return to STRUKTON Rail's workshops. The reports and measurements carried out after reprofiling by the mobiturn enabled the measuring technicians to parameterize the measurement systems to take account of the new dimensions of the wheel diameters during the 3rd week of maintenance.

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After 3 weeks of immobilization for summer maintenance, the UFM160 leaves  the RAMFER workshop to carry out the calibration and validation tests in order to resume production on the French Railway Network.