Keeping reliability and quality on track


More and more travelers use modern train services because of their ease, cost effectiveness, comfort and safety.

Increasing reliability through new tools, materials and machining techniques, as well as supporting productive and cost effective maintenance of existing infrastructure, is crucial.

Dynamic railway milling.JPGThe railway segment has been a focus for Dormer Pramet for many years, with the company offering customers a wide range of cutting tools to help with both production and maintenance. Tomáš Hantek is International Application Manager for Railway at Dormer Pramet.

"Railway wheels and rails are the most important components in any railway operation, as they represent the interface between vehicle and track. Therefore, both rail and wheel surfaces must always be of the highest quality.

"Any roughness or irregularity in surface quality can create undesirable forces, friction, vibrations and wear, developing unwanted effects on the vehicle and infrastructure. In the case of passenger vehicles, this can influence not only the comfort of the occupants, but also their safety.

"As an established partner to the rail industry in many locations around the world, Dormer Pramet supports the manufacture and re-profiling of wheels, as well as machining of axles, chassis, rail profiles and renovation, switches, base plates, mounted axles, junctions and other rolling stock components."

Rail treatment

Rail after treatment.jpg"To combat against this constant force between track and vehicle, there is a need to make sure the rail remains in a good condition. There are several reasons for rail treatment, but primarily it is an issue of operational safety. With the mechanical stresses in wheel and rail contact, cracks can appear on the surface of the rail. These have to be removed quickly before they spread and destroy the track area.

"Rail treatment can be performed in several ways. The most time-consuming involves the use of track relaying machines, which replace old rails with new. It is also possible to subject the existing rails to grinding operation, however, the disadvantage with this is that it offers a small depth of cut and can create sparks, presenting a potential fire hazard.

"An alternative option is dynamic rail milling. The re-profiling of a railway line without removing the tracks represents significant time and financial savings. It is therefore no surprise that dynamic milling of rails has become one of the most popular methods. But this 'on the-move' application requires specialised equipment to achieve optimum results.

Rail milling operation.jpg"Dynamic milling can be performed by specially designed trains, operating at a constant speed of 700 meters per hour.

"Renovation of railway infrastructure is usually done in the evening when there is less traffic on the rails. To improve safety it is advisable to avoid changing the cutter during a shift, especially at night.

"The normal distance covered when milling during a standard shift is between 3,000 and 3,500m. Dormer Pramet's rail milling inserts and cutters have a durability of more than 3,700m, meaning staff can stay on the train for the whole shift.

"Our range for the rail industry includes disk mills, cartridges and indexable inserts for dynamic rail milling. Pramet's rail milling cutters, for example, have a diameter of 600mm, a cutting speed of between 220 and 280m/min, and each cutting tooth can deal with between 3.5 - 5mm of rail length, cutting to a depth of between 0.5 and 1.5mm.

"A variety of universal and removable cassettes are also available, with each consisting of a casing which is identical for left and right hand rails, supporting both roughing and finishing applications. 

"This delivery of cutting tools specifically for dynamic rail milling applications and our aim to continuously develop new products for the industry, has allowed us to develop strong partnerships with some of the world's leading railway companies." 

For more information about our assortment of products for the railway industry, contact your local Dormer Pramet sales office.