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Track inspection vehicles in new design

The first two track inspection vehicles featuring our new, modern cabin design will be supplied to Malaysia. Recording the track condition with high precision, the machines support effective track maintenance planning.

Modernising and adding machines to the Malayan maintenance fleet, the two vehicles are part of a machine package. In total, 33 machines will be supplied by mid-2018. In addition to the measuring vehicles, the package contains tamping machines, ballast regulators, etc.

Two measuring vehicles with different fields of application

We decided to use two machines to carry out the diverse measuring tasks. Ultrasonic testing works at low speeds (up to 60 km/h). As it would slow down other measurements, which can be carried out at far higher speeds, we decided to mount it on a separate vehicle. This makes it possible to carry out works more flexibly and independently. 

Both vehicles stand out due to their new interior and exterior design of the cabins. To make the EM80HU and the EM120T suitable for use under tropical conditions, the machines are fitted with sun protection roofs over each cabin, tinted window panes, one ventilator per operator’s seat, tropicalised electric equipment, etc. Both measuring vehicles are designed for narrow gauge tracks (1,000 mm) and powered hydrodynamically.

For the first time, the machines are equipped with environmentally friendly incinerating toilets which do not need water but burn excretions to ashes at high temperatures. 

The EM80HU successfully completed the acceptance trials on the test track in Linz and was shipped in September 2017. The EM120T will be supplied to Malaysia in the first quarter of 2018.


KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad, the railway company of Malayan states) is Malaysia’s largest railway company. Its almost 1,700 km long network covers the metre gauge lines on the Malayan peninsula.

Effective rail fault detection – EM80HU

The EM80HU is equipped with an ultrasonic testing system, a head check video monitoring system and a standard inertial measuring unit (IMU). It allows for reliable and high-precision GPS localisation, regardless of the quality of GPS reception (e.g. in tunnels and under bridges). 

At speeds of up to 60 km/h, the ultrasonic rail testing system detects faults in the rails, such as holes and cracks. The system is mounted on our well-proven telescopic axle. The sensors are located in wheel probes (two wheel probes per rail) and guided laterally centered on the middle of the rail.

The inspection vehicle is equipped with a separate workplace for analysing the ultrasonic signals. The ultrasonic data is used, among other applications, to generate a side view of the rail and the detected faults (B Scan). Pattern recognition software is used to identify and classify the faults. The Plasser data report supplies information on the current location, line and track section, as well as the rail, making it possible to compare several test runs and to relocate faults precisely.

The integrated head check video monitoring system detects fine cracks in the surface of the running edge. Based on the results obtained, grinding works can be planned in good time. This increases the rails’ service life as it prevents the rail surface from chipping off as a result of head checks.

Comprehensive track inspection – EM120T

Already on the outside, the second track inspection vehicle differs enormously. The “T” in the machine’s name stands for “twin” and denotes that the vehicle is composed of two parts. Its total length is 37 m.

The layout shows the full scale of the vehicle. Only the twin concept provides sufficient room for the comprehensive measuring equipment and the specified working areas. In addition to the drive cabins, the machine houses measuring work stations and a conference corner for six people. The heat and sound insulated engine compartment is fully separated from the interior of the cabin. The two vehicle parts are connected via a passageway fitted with a lockable swivelling door and separable gangway bellows.

The comprehensive measuring technology combines all the benefits known from Plasser & Theurer systems at measuring speeds of up to 120 km/h.

Measuring systems installed on the EM120T

  • Inertial track geometry measuring system with IMU and Dual OGMS boxes as per EN 13848
  • Rail profile measuring system
  • Clearance measuring system
  • Catenary wire geometry measuring system for measuring the contact wire position and pole detection
  • Acceleration measuring system for measuring the accelerations between the pantograph and the catenary wire
  • Track component video monitoring system 
  • Driver’s view video system
  • Catenary wire view video system for monitoring the interaction between the contact wire and the pantograph