Keeping rail operators on track – part 1


Metalworking provides an invaluable role in the maintenance, repair and manufacture of numerous railway applications, including track, wheels and wagon parts.

An increasing demand for passenger and freight rail services is seeing a rapid growth in infrastructure investment around the world.

As a global tooling manufacturer Dormer Pramet has, for many years, supported the railway segment with a wide range of cutting tools for both production and maintenance. Our customers range from state owned companies to private rail operators.

Tomáš Hantek is International Application Manager for Railway at Dormer Pramet. In part one of our railway feature, Tomáš looks at the support we can offer for rail switches, profiles, base plates and couplings machining.

Rail Switches and Profiles
An important element in any rail infrastructure is the machining of rail switches and crossings - the moveable sections that guide trains from one track to another.

A railroad switch, for example, created from new material has a standard guarantee of five years. If the switch is made from an applied material or has gone through a process of regeneration or necessary treatment (rubbing down, parts exchange etc.), this lowers its guarantee time to two years.
To ensure reliability and safety of the switches, they must be updated regularly to remain fully operational. We work with many leading manufacturers to offer both standard and custom tools to produce new railway switches, as well as the renovation of existing ones.
Our assortment encompasses train and tram switches for all major rail profiles. The 60E1 and 60E2 rail profiles, for example, are the most common, especially in Europe. The type T section rail (flat bottom rails) is suitable for medium and heavy load traffic.


Base plates and coupling machining
Another area of activity is the machining of bearing or base plates - the connecting element which ensures the rail is attached to the railway tie or sleeper. This operation requires profile milling of this part where customers demand high productivity, while at the same time, respecting specific production limitations and materials. Milling cutters and drills are ideally suited to base plates production.

Finally, a coupling or coupler is a mechanism for connecting rolling stock to a train. The design of the coupler is standard, and almost as important as the track gauge. It needs to offer flexibility and convenience for all rolling stock to be coupled together.

This approach to systematically work in partnership with producers of these parts has allowed us to further refine and develop our cutting tool offer.

For more information on Dormer Pramet’s capabilities for the railway industry, watch our video, download our railway brochure from the related links below or contact your local Dormer Pramet sales office.

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