28th iaf in Münster: Many world premieres, satisfied guests

28th iaf in Münster: Many world premieres, satisfied guests

28th iaf in Münster: Many world premieres, satisfied guests

Sunshine shone on the exhibition center of Halle Münsterland, sunshine also dominated the facial expressions of the thousands of trade visitors from 72 countries. The 28th iaf in Münster/Westphalia was a complete success, summed up Dr. Siegfried Krause, organizer of the trade fair.

Dr. Siegfried Krause,  Managing Director of VDEI Service GmbH: “We are very pleasantly surprised that so many trade visitors from all over the world have remained loyal to the iaf and used the days of the fair to find out about the latest developments in the industry to inform. A positive side effect of the Corona-related postponement: The companies had a year more time than usual to develop new products and solutions – and you notice that.”

Of course, the long track construction trains on display were impressive. But smaller special machines also met with great interest. In addition to engineers, operating personnel also used the trade fair to get their own impression of the latest innovations in the field of railway construction machines. It’s a good thing that the stands often said: touching is allowed! For example at Geismar: Interested parties could personally test the handling of the battery-operated Barracuda rail grinding machine (see photo above). “The activion® range of battery-powered machines, thanks to its size and unique interchangeable battery system, offers a practical, versatile and effective solution to the health and environmental issues of railway work,” the manufacturer explained.

At the Goldschmidt stand, customers were also able to operate the devices personally. All photos: Hermann Schmidtendorf

In cooperation with the Polish partner KZN Bieżanów Group, Geismar also presented a combination of tipping wagon and PWP gantry crane, which enables the safe transport and handling of pre-assembled switch panels. With this system, large switches can be transported, unloaded and laid with pinpoint accuracy. Poland was a special partner country at this iaf – this cooperation between Geismar and KZN Bieżanów was also a good example of the efficiency of Polish industry.

Interested parties were also able to test the exhibited machines themselves at the Goldschmidt stand. So we met an apparently senior representative of Deutsche Bahn who, after completing the test work, asked his practitioner in detail about the usability in his own company. The result was apparently positive. “This is a newly developed lightweight grinding machine,” CARGO-MANAGER journal learned from a Goldschmidt expert. “It only weighs 50 kilograms and has some nice features like lighting for working at night.” The grinder is part of a set that includes an automatic preheater, thermite welding equipment and shearing device.

VDEI sponsorship award, job exchange, career networking

As the organizer of the iaf, the Association of German Railway Engineers (VDEI) also endeavors to maximize the benefit of the event for young engineers. There is also a VDEI sponsorship prize worth 3,000 euros.

Research pays off – also thanks to the VDEI sponsorship award.

The award this time goes to Dr. Chongjie Kang for his doctoral thesis on “Verification of rail resistance taking into account track-structure interaction”. This work was awarded 17 out of a possible 18 points by the independent jurors. The award winner thanked him via video link – he only found out about the planned award ceremony after he had already started a trip abroad. It’s a good thing that there are modern communication channels these days! A job exchange on which companies in the railway industry advertised about 40 jobs also had practical benefits. These were also posted on the website: www.iaf-messe.com/de/jobboerse. There were specialist lectures and expert rounds, but also a career point at the VDEI booth. There, experienced engineers, all members of the association, reported on their professional career and their specialist area. At the same time, it was shown how the VDEI can positively influence an engineer’s career. The 29th iaf will take place from May 20th to 22nd, 2025 – again in Münster, of course.

ALTPRO: From Croatia to China

The author of these lines had already been able to interview representatives of the Croatian railway manufacturer Altpro in 2014 at the Berlin railway fair Innotrans for the Polish partner railway TV Kolejwizja. In the meantime, the company’s range of products has expanded – and so has the group of customer countries.

High-tech from Croatia: an axle counter from Altpro.

“We are now also successful in China – with an axle counter for monorail trains,” Sales Manager Tin Viduka reported happily to the CARGO-MANAGER journal. “We introduced a completely new development for this purpose, because previous solutions were significantly less reliable.”

Interesting: The German train protection system Indusi – I60 – is still the official national system in various countries such as Serbia. Therefore, such equipment is part of the standard offer at Altpro. Are not all countries now talking about the European ETCS system? we asked the manager. “That’s right,” he countered. “But that will only affect main lines for a long time to come. The previous national solutions will remain in place for a long time. That is why we are now trying to get EBA approval for Germany, combined with our offer of an Indusi/PZB 90 solution.”

Suchanek train collection: an exciting journey through time

A spacious stand with exhibits that are not for sale made it possible to jump back into the past. There, Detlev Suchanek, Managing Director of the GRT Global Rail Academy and Media GmbH, gave a public insight into his sensational collection of railway history for the first time. Suchanek has a degree in history and was the publishing manager at the well-known publishing house for railway publications dvv for many years. But for five years he has been building up a collection that currently includes around 350 books and around 200 graphics and lithographs. The collector wants nothing less than to give an overall view of the beginnings of the railways in several countries. He’s well on his way to that.

Exhibits from the Suchanek Collection. Saxony is getting a railway line, Bavaria already has one – we’ll drink a beer from the railway mug to that!

After all, where else can you find a previously unpublished original document by Charles Blacker Vignoles (1793-1875) with comments on the railway system in France from 1842. The rarity was signed by Vignoles on the last text sheet. In addition, the document contains table pages that he himself created by hand. Other focal points of the collection are German and Japanese railway history as well as sheet music from pieces of music that were composed to mark the opening of railway lines.

Cologne has its Museum Ludwig for modern art. The author of these lines had the honor of working with the namesake and art collector Dr. Peter Ludwig to conduct a detailed interview and was impressed by the broad art historical horizon of the patron. Of course, chocolate was served during the interview, after all, the collector earned his money with the goodies containing cocoa.

Modernity in black and white: This Matisa tamping machine from 1945 achieved an output of up to 200 meters per hour.

Railway history collector Detlef Suchanek also stands out with his profound knowledge and passionate commitment.

Perhaps one day there will be a publicly accessible Suchanek museum for railway history? At the iaf, the Matisa company also recalled its beginnings. It exhibited what it said was “the first tamping machine on the market” from its own production in 1945, perfectly restored. So history is modern. One may dream…

Welding robots from Kaiser and Kawasaki

It looks chic, the welding robot from Kaiser and Kawasaki.

Welding took place at the Kaiser Oberbau-Schweiß-technik stand. But a robot did the work there. “This welding unit is a cooperation between the companies Kaiser, TBi Industries, Kemppi and Kawasaki Robotics,” CARGO-MANAGER journal learned at the booth. The catalog states: “Kawasaki Robotics K-ARC Basic & Flex offer a complete and modular robotic solution for arc welding in your production. Everything you need is in one compact cell. Suitable for MIG and MAG welding, flexible and powered by a Kawasaki Robotics BA006N arc welding robot and other high quality components.”







Rail grinding machine HSG-city from Vossloh

The company Sporveien Oslo AS is responsible for the maintenance of the city’s tram and metro rail infrastructure with a length of around 130 kilometers. Heavy investments are currently being made in the metro and other aspects of public transport in the Norwegian metropolis. The aim is to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction, maximum reliability and security, and increased network capacity. Therefore, Oslo also needs a modern solution for the maintenance of the rail network.

Sporveien found this in the HSG-city grinding machine from Vossloh Rail Services. The machine should be in operation for 1,500 hours a year. The purchase contract was sealed at the iaf in Münster. It also provides for the delivery of spare parts packages and consumables by Vossloh. Marcel Taubert, Managing Director of Vossloh Rail Services: “We are happy to win a new customer for our preventive grinding process in Sporveien. At the beginning of 2023 we will deliver the 30th HSG-city – a success story that we are proud of and which at the same time underlines our contribution to ‘enabling green mobility'”.

Vossloh Rail Services handed over this HSG-city grinding machine to the municipal company Sporveien Oslo.

HSG-city is already in use in Düsseldorf and Rostock, in Beijing and Copenhagen. The 24 passively driven grindstones work almost silently, and in combination with the high working speed of 25-60 km/h, HSG-city is only perceived as another train passing through. With a material removal of 0.01 mm per pass, approx. 20 km of track can be ground non-stop without grinding grooves and facets. As a result, a densely traveled route network can also be maintained without operational disruptions. In the ideal case, the service life of the rails can even be doubled through preventive grinding. And on the subway in Shenzhen/China three HSG-city in the hybrid version are now demonstrating that they can even work completely emission-free by being coupled to an electric traction vehicle.

Hermann Schmidtendorf, Editor-in-Chief

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