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Changing the track gauge = expanding the field of application

In recent years, the demand for machines that can be operated on different track gauges has increased among infrastructure operators in South America and Asia.

Today, around 60 % of the railway lines throughout the world are fitted with so-called “standard gauge” tracks. Comprising 1,435 mm, this track gauge is most common in Central Europe, North America, and China among others. Yet, more than 40 other track gauges are known and mostly still used all over the world.

Variable-gauge solutions expand the machine’s field of application. For some of our machines, we offer variable-gauge wheelsets that make it possible to change over to different track gauges. For this purpose, exchangeable axles and bogies suited for standard, narrow and broad gauge are supplied. Depending on the machine model, changes to certain components are required as well: On tamping machines, this applies to measuring and tensioning trolleys, the levelling and lining units and buffers and draw gears. On ballast regulating machines, the ploughing equipment (front plough), the sweeper unit and the rail fastening brushes are converted. To be fully operated, the machine must comply with all technical requirements of the respective track gauges, such as the clearing gauge, position of the measuring axles and access steps, and offcentring of the bogies in curves.

A complete exchange of the bogie usually takes two working days and requires trained, expert personnel, a suited workshop, lifting jacks or a crane, and fork lifts or pallet trucks. The hydraulic drive engines are repositioned during the changeover. The position of all hose and cable lines for electromechanics, pneumatics, hydraulics and the laser direction-finding system, sight, etc. have to be adjusted. Then, the machine settings are adjusted and a test run is carried out on the track with the desired gauge.

A changeover is also possible for dynamic track stabilisers from the DGS series (as done on the Iberian Peninsula). During this process not only the bogies and the measuring trolley but also the stabilising units are exchanged for the respective track gauge.

A changeover is also possible for dynamic track stabilisers from the DGS series (as done on the Iberian Peninsula). During this process not only the bogies and the measuring trolley but also the stabilising units are exchanged for the respective track gauge.

Plasser 08-16 SH

Cyclic action single-sleeper levelling, lifting, lining and tamping machine with Split Head technology for plain track and turnouts

  • Four single-sleeper tamping units with four tines each
  • Cradle-mounted axle at the front, hydrostatically powered bogie at the rear
  • Track gauges e.g. 1,000 mm/1,435 mm/1,676 mm
  • Hydrostatic drive on both axles of the bogie

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PBR 400

Universal ballast distributing and profiling machine

  • Shoulder ploughs
  • Front plough, hydraulically height-adjustable
  • Sweeper unit for tracks
  • Track gauges e.g. 1,000 mm/1,435 mm/1,676 mm
  • Hydrostatic drive on both axles
  • Turntable for changing the direction of travel

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