Preview of the Railvolution 1/2009

Over the past 30 years, ALSTOM Transport, which currently has a 21% market share worldwide in regional rail vehicle construction, has developed numerous designs of trains for middle-distance and suburban operations. Over 3,000 have so far left the company's factories in Salzgitter, Valenciennes, Savigliano and Barcelona. ALSTOM is also the market leader in building double deck EMUs. Here we visit Valenciennes and Salzgitter.
Coradia Duplex EMUs being fitted out: Z 24554 is destined for Nord-Pas de Calais.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta
ÖBB railjet - New Dimensions In Long Distance Rail Travel
Designed to run at speeds up to 230 km/h and hauled by Taurus electric locomotives. Seven carriages, 185.8 m in length, and with seats for 408 passengers. This is railjet - ÖBB's versatile, high-tech, high speed train. On 14 December 2008 it heralded in a new era for long haul domestic and international services in Austria and central Europe.
A very important aspect of the test running realised in Austria involved evaluating the railjet's performance when negotiating tight radius curves. Three categories of curvature are usually specified for such tests - between 250 and 400 m, 400 and 600 m, and over 600 m. However, on the ÖBB network there are also some curves of less than 250 m, most of them on the Semmering line. The photo shows 1116 201 at the head of a four-car rake crossing the Payerbachgraben viaduct on 8 May 2008. On these test runs over Semmering the train ran at 5 km/h above the maximum line speed. On tests of this type two Tauruses were often employed, the one at the rear of the rake braking on the downhill run to create a constant drawbar load, as on the uphill run.
Photo: Kurt Feuerfeil
ÖBB's New Wien Matzleinsdorf Train Servicing Centre
Following EU-wide tendering during 2005, in January 2006 ÖBB Infrastruktur Bau awarded the consortium Wiener Team a contract for the planning of the new Wien Hauptbahnhof. Part of the project, which dates from 2003, involves the construction of a new passenger train maintenance, cleaning and servicing facility on the site of the former Matzleinsdorf freight terminal.
Two photos showing construction of the depot complex well advanced in September 2008.
Photo: Zechner & Zechner
LG's New Class 575 Double Deck EMUs
On 15 December 2006 the Lithuanian state operator Lietuvos Geležilenkiai awarded what was then ČKD Vagonka a contract for two three-car double deck EMUs; in October 2008 a follow-on order was placed for two more identical units. The Class 575 trains, although 1,520 mm gauge, are close cousins of ČD's growing fleet of Class 471 CityElefant suburban EMUs in terms of design and appearance. The 575s, whose class designation is based on the Czech numbering system (and will be retained by LG) will operate between Vilnius and Kaunas, a main line run of 104 km, and from Vilnius to Trakai, a much shorter run of just 28 km.
575.001 on the small circuit at the VUZ test centre in Velim on 8 August 2008.
Photo: Petr Kadeřávek
Bombardier's Push-Pull Train Control
Push-pull operation of rakes of coaching stock is becoming increasingly popular in situations where the use of EMUs or DMUs is not considered. Compared with conventional locomotive haulage it offers a number of advantages. Locomotive run-rounds are eliminated, as is the need to release train locomotives using shunters or station pilots at "cul-de-sac" termini. Point- and trackwork can be simplified, staff cuts may also be made. Moreover, existing vehicles can be fitted with state of the art push-pull technology, and their working lives thus usefully extended.
MÁV electric locomotive V43 3187 at the head of a push-pull rake, en route from Nyíregyháza to Szolnok and Budapest, on a test run, here at Törökszentmiklós on 1 December 2007. This trainset has been equipped for ZWS push-pull operation (see R 1/08, p. 7).
Photo: Ákos Grátzer
InnoTrans 2008, Part 3
InnoTrans is indeed a "Neverending Story"! In this, the third part of our report on the September 2008 event, we look at the passenger rolling stock and freight wagons that were on show, together with a number of the rail vehicle component exhibits. The fourth, final part of the report, in R 2/09, will cover several other theme areas from this huge trade fair.
While Talgo's principal exhibit was the dual-voltage, variable-gauge TRAV-CA locomotive (see R 6/08, p. 45), considerable interest was also shown in the two adjacent carriages, part of the latest generation (Series VII) of Tren-Hotel stock, for overnight services. These were designed in response to a RENFE contract worth 143 million EUR awarded in late February 2004 for ten 19-car (later 20-car) variable-gauge rakes, incorporating natural tilting, designed for a top speed of 220 km/h and intended for both domestic and international routes. So far four of these 20-car rakes have been outshopped.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta
And much more!
Cover of 1/2009

Features: Sm5-001 far from their eventual home ground, on the line between Rovaniemi and Kemi in northern Finland on 13 January 2009