Sprinter inspection vehicle for high-speed inspection of rails

In recent years, many countries, including Russia, have been paying special attention to the development of high-speed and ultra-high-speed traffic. However, at present the mobile systems for diagnostics of railway infrastructure facilities can not operate at the speeds above 100 km/h. It should be noted that the speed of ultrasonic inspection which ensures detection of the most hazardous rail defects is limited by 70 km/h. Increasing traffic speed and intensity requires the higher speed of diagnostic systems.

SPRINTER inspection vehicle in designed for high-speed diagnostics of rails laid in a railway track with 1520 (1524) mm gauge at speeds up to 140 km/h.

The diagnostic performance of the car provides 3 options:

- ultrasonic car-flaw detector;

- contactless electronic track recording car;

- a tool for comprehensive diagnosis (flaw-the track geometry car).

Product includes:

-system for detection of defects in rails by ultrasonic method of nondestructive inspection (dimensions, material and composition of the rails must comply with GOST R 51045-97);

-system for visual inspection non-destructive testing of rails (video);

-system for monitoring and evaluation of the main parameters of the geometry of the track and main departure tracks under load non-destructively in accordance with the Instructions on the interpretation of ribbons and assessment of rail track No. CPU-515.

-system for monitoring and evaluation additional geometric parameters of the rail track;

-system for surveillance of the condition of the infrastructure;

-system for the detection of rail crossings.

SPRINTER is fitted out with the underfloor and onboard equipment and systems which perform full inspection of rails. For the first time, NDT equipment has been mounted on the bolsterless bogies manufactured by OAO Tverskoy Vagonostroitel'nyi Zavod (Tver Carriage-building Factory).

This diagnostic equipment and systems of SPRINTER vehicle provide for full inspection of rails with two methods: optical and ultrasonic.

Optical method

To perform optical inspection, the vehicle is equipped with matrix (survey) and linear (high-resolution) video cameras.

The matrix cameras are designed for video monitoring the operation of the vehicle subsystems and for visual inspection of the condition of rails, rail joints, switches and rail/sleeper fixings. Matrix video cameras are installed in heat-insulated enclosures. The spotlights are installed to ensure an evenly illuminated image at any time of day and in any weather conditions.

The linear cameras ensure a continuous linear image capturing with synchronization from the external source via RS 422/482 interface. Thanks to the ability of the cameras to perform real-time hardware data compression to JPEG 2000 format, the data volume can be reduced from 1 GB to 200 MB per 1 kilometre of record with 1 mm increment. Universal mounting fixtures make it possible to install the cameras above the rail line perpendicularly to the rail tread for tracing surface defects, angularly to the external and internal rail head working surface for reading the marks on the rail web, above the rail fixings for detection of deviations from maintenance standards (missing bolts, unwelded rail bonds, etc.) Linear cameras make it possible to perform size measurements of the surface defects, joint gaps, etc.

Ultrasonic method

Ultrasonic inspection method is implemented using a multi-channel flaw detector «ECHO-COMPLEX-3» of the third generation. A distinctive feature of the detector is increased number of ultrasonic channels.

The operation of the ultrasonic channels is based on the ability of the ultrasonic waves to reflect from discontinuities and physically non-uniform inclusions in the inspected item. Piezoelectric transducers installed in the acoustic units of the probe systems serve as emitters and receivers of ultrasonic oscillations. Ultrasonic waves reflected from various non-uniformities in the rail metal (defects, joints, bolt holes, etc.) or from the rail base are converted through direct piezoeffect to electrical pulses which are amplified and transmitted for further conversion, processing and registration.

All NDT subsystems of the vehicle are controlled by the run server which performs centralized calculation of the track coordinate. This ensures a synchronized operation of all inspection systems.

Integral diagnostic vehicles

The uniqueness of INTEGRAL diagnostic system for automatic condition assessment of railway infrastructure lies in the fact that it integrates in the framework of a single diagnostic train a multitude of various inspection subsystems providing measurement and processing of over 100 parameters of condition assessment for various facilities. Even the subsystems are mounted on different locations in the inspection vehicle their measurement results as well as all data acquired is localised to the true geographic- and track-coordinates.

The train provides an assessment of all facilities of the railway infrastructure: track and other buildings and structures, rail automation and telemetry devices, electrification and electric power supply equipment, communication devices. In fact, INTEGRAL replaces as many as 7 diagnostic vehicles, for example, the NDT vehicle, track geometry vehicle, high-speed track inspection vehicle, tunnel inspection vehicle, catenary inspection vehicle, railway automation and telemetry vehicle, radio link inspection vehicle. In addition, INTEGRAL is also equipped with a georadar roadbed inspection system and a visual defect detection system, which is unprecedented, applied on the railways of Russia and CIS countries.

Such versatile diagnostics integrated into a single train not only provides increased quality of scheduled inspections of the condition of railway infrastructure facilities, but also ensures savings on resources required for these inspections.

First of all, the application of INTEGRAL reduces traffic gaps required for inspection with dedicated mobile vehicles and optimises the train traffic schedule. This entails reduction of expenditures for personnel servicing the diagnostic equipment and a reduction in the amount of traction units allocated for inspection travels.

Due to integrated data monitoring, the reliability of failure development analysis is increased. Procedures, which submit analytical results for scheduling fault corrections, are simplified by the availability of an automated transmission of data to external systems. This transmission subsystem is implemented in the hardware and software of INTEGRAL system.

Finally, INTEGRAL provides the storage of all the inspections results from the various diagnostic systems in a single archive.INTEGRAL boosts the optimisation of the railway infrastructure's technical facilities by providing maintenance and the repair schedules.

Presently INTEGRAL diagnostic vehicles operate on several Russian railways.

VD-UMT-1 ndt vehicles

Beginning in 2009, TVEMA launched the production of a new generation of NDT vehicles series VD-UMT-1. These are all-weather vehicles, which differ from the preceding series by more comfortable space and the use of more efficient ultrasonic and magnetic inspection equipment. For the fist time, the detection of defects is carried out by three non-destructive testing methods: ultrasonic, magnetic, and optical.

VD-UMT-1 NDT vehicles are intended for routine application and provide detection and logging of rail defects by two alternative methods, ultrasonic and magnetic. The magnetic method is applicable at temperatures below minus 50°C. The vehicle was designed with the consideration that up to 70% of rail breaks occur in the winter period, when the operation of ultrasonic NDT equipment is often complicated, and at temperatures below -30°C, actually becomes impossible.

The vehicle is equipped with the NDT inspection bogie with pivoted assembly, providing permanent contact of the wheel pairs with the rails, thereby ensuring their seamless rolling at curves and switches. Positioning of the ultrasonic skid with respect to the rail head is performed by the probe system itself and not through mechanical contact with rails.This is achieved by a contactless magnetic method, which is a pioneering approach for such an application that has no equivalent in the industry.

The contact less probe system employed on VD-UMT-1 provides the following advantages:

• exclusion of mechanical contact of the tracking system with a rail, which could entail appearance of acoustic interference and reduce the life of the tracking system;

• minimizing the effect of the tracking system on the condition of rail head working surface;

• prevention of acoustical contact loss due to snow ejection in front of the probe system;

• unhampered passing of the probe system in switches of any design;

• increased inspection speed.

The vehicle is equipped with ECHO-COMPLEX-2 multi-channel NDT analyzer contributing to improved inspection reliability.

The reinforced magnetising system MARS, whose magnetic flux exceeds one and a half times that of any similar system operating on Russian and CIS railways, performs the inspection by the applied field method which provides deep magnetisation of a rail and makes it possible to detect defects at an early stage of their development at temperatures ranging from -50°C to +50°C.

Apart from this, high-resolution cameras of VD-UMT-1 constitute a part of the system for visual detection of defects (SVOD-2). This system automatises the tedious process of continuous optical (visual) monitoring and rules out the human factor, and thereby drastically reduces the probability of errors.

The vehicle is equipped with a state-of-the-art HVAC system, an independent power supply system, fire protection system and other life support systems providing the crew with comfortable and safe working conditions for long-term stays in a self-contained environment. Workplaces in VD-UMT-1 are designed by considering the requirements of ergonomics, operability, and safety. The vehicles are equipped with cutting-edge inspection systems. Apart from five excellently furnished crew compartments, the vehicle also has a canteen, a lavatory/shower compartment, an operator compartment, an engine and a switchboard compartment.

VD-UMT-1 NDT vehicle can be applied in any season and any time of day, in conditions of snow and rainfall, at temperatures ranging from -50°C to +50°C and air relative humidity up to 98%.

VD-UMT-2 ndt vehicles

Beginning in 2015, TVEMA launched the production of the second generation of combined NDT vehicles VD-UMT-2 series. This innovative solution has the following advanced features compared to the previous series of VD-UMT-1:

- the system based on the passenger car 61-4440 series manufactured by OAO TVZ (Tver Carriage-building Factory);

- more advanced tools and systems for comprehensive diagnostics;

- inspection speed up to 60 km/h;

- extended environmental operating range;

- improved ergonomics and comfort, considerably reduced labour costs for the maintenance personnel.

VD-UMT-2 NDT vehicle is designed for performing comprehensive diagnostics of the railway infrastructure facilities and detection of rail defects using ultrasonic, magnetic, visual measurement and optical non-destructive testing methods.

The NDT vehicle systems comprise:

- ECHO-COMPLEX-2 multi-channel NDT analyzer (flaw detection system);

- SOKOL 2 high-speed system for track geometry assessment;

- SVOD-2 system for high-speed visual defect detection.

VD-UMT-2 vehicle is also equipped with the reinforced magnetising system MARS, whose magnetic flux exceeds one and a half times that of any similar system operating on Russian and CIS railways. MARS makes it possible to discover defects at an early stage of their development at temperatures ranging from -50°C to +40°C, all of which is very helpful for equipping railways operating in severe climatic conditions.

The vehicle uses the logging system and the dedicated INTEGRAL software for logging data on the condition of the infrastructure facilities. They are designed for:

- logging of data from diagnostic equipment on the condition of the railway infrastructure facilities, the current track coordinate and the vehicle travel speed;

- archiving and storage of inspection documents for all diagnostic systems.

The outstanding features of VD-UMT-2 NDT vehicle compared to existing diagnostic systems include:

- NDT inspection bogie of new design which ensures seamless rolling at curves and switches;

- contactless magnetic tracking systems which ensures precise positioning of the ultrasonic system along the rail head centreline;

- magnetising system which provides magnetic inspection using the applied field method;

- linear video cameras equipped with backlighting system; the cameras automatise the process of continuous visual monitoring and help to detect defects on the rail tread, monitor the condition of the rail clamp; video monitoring of the permanent way;

- systems for measuring additional parameters: track geometry; surveillance video monitoring of the track condition; detection of rail intersections; multi-channel georadar system;

- ASTRA system for automated analysis of inspection data.

ASTRA SH and HW suite performs automated analysis of rail defects and additional parameters which describe the condition of inspected item, monitoring of NDT technology and rating for rails and switches in operating conditions.

VD-UMT-2 NDT vehicle is equipped with an upgraded ECHO-COMPLEX multi-channel NDT analyzer which features new programmes for automatic adjustment and logging, and provides more comfortable conditions for the work and leisure of the crew.

The NDT vehicle can be operated both as a part of a diagnostic train and as a separate locomotive in any season and any time of day in a wide ambient temperature range.

Thanks to state-of-the-art diagnostic systems, VD-UMT-1 NDT vehicle provides comprehensive analysis of inspection results.

Analysis and monitoring of the rail track rating data by ASTRA SW and HW suite acquired during VD-UMT-1 NDT vehicle operation helps to proceed from logging of existing failures to forecasting pre-failure conditions of rails in accordance with URRAN methodology, and to planning of required repair and maintenance works.

Decart ndt/track geomerty vehicles

DECART diagnostic vehicle, produced by TVEMA since 2009, is manufactured on the basis of the model 61-4179 all-metal four-axle compartment passenger car produced by OAO TVZ (Tver Carriage-building Factory). It differs from the preceding generation of VD series inspection vehicles by offering more comfortable operating compartment and the crew leisure compartments. The vehicle is equipped with a state-of-the-art HVAC system, an independent power supply system, fire protection system and other life support systems perfectly complying with the respective world standards on thermal, vibration and noise protection.All this makes it ideal for comfortable and safe work and crew leisure. DECART is designed and built with due consideration of requirements to ergonomics, operability, and safety. The leisure compartment is furnished with all necessary household equipment for long-term stays of the crew in a self-contained environment.

DECART NDT/track geometry vehicle is intended for in travel, continuous inspection and assessment of the condition of the railway track. DECART vehicle is equipped with an automated system for decoding and processing track measurement data and a system for visual detection of rail and permanent way component defects.It can simultaneously analyse NDT data and track geometry. The vehicle provides diagnostics of railway tracks with 1520 (1524) gauge, detecting all defects and at the same time monitoring and assessing rail track geometry of the main and side tracks under load. The track material and composition should comply with the normative regulations.

In the track geometry inspection mode the maximum speed of DECART vehicle is 100 km/h, while in NDT/track geometry inspection mode – 70 km/h.

DECART can be applied in any season and any time of day in conditions of snow and rainfall, at temperatures ranging from -40°C to +45°C and air relative humidity up to 98%.

Employing DECART NDT/track geometry vehicle on the domestic railways should make it possible to reduce the operating costs of track and rail inspection by 20%-30% thanks to reduced expenditures on servicing personnel and locomotive operators.

Multifunction railcars MFV

MFV railcars are manufactured using special materials and coatings, ensuring operational comfort for work crews, while not compromising operating economy.

The digital control panel in the driver cab allows for the elimination of copper conductors with aging insulation. Innovative software and integration with traffic control systems dramatically improves operational safety. An instrument compartment and workshops are provided for the work group, and comfortable lounges, a canteen and a shower compartment equipped with suitable proper furniture and appliances contribute to the crew's comfortable leisure.

The railcar is equipped with a micro-climate control system and automated fire-fighting system respectively for the engine and the premises. The railcar's systems and equipment, including the MTU diesel generator, cause very low noise and vibration in any part of the railcar at travel speeds up to 120 km/h. An MTU Power Pack serves for the electric traction motors of the railcar and for the power supply of all power consumers on board.

TVEMA offers several versions of MFV railcar.

The diagnostic vehicle is to serve as a platform for the installation of any combination of various inspection and measurement systems. These are: systems for track geometry measurement, systems for ultrasonic and eddy-current testing, 3D laser scanning systems, GPR, etc. Various options for the railcar's layout are offered to facilitate the selection of the proper railcar configuration for each particular task.

System of secondary diagnostics and urgent repair is designed for reliable confirmation and repair of infrastructure facility malfunctions, which have been detected. To transport the mobile repair crews the system has a passenger room with 15 seats. To support crew operations, it has a workshop compartment equipped with necessary manual measuring equipment.

The inspection railcar is equipped with video inspection and monitoring systems, as well as with other equipment required for inspections, which are conducted by officials of the railway companies. The railcar ensures the most comfortable conditions for operations.

Geological railcar is the vehicle for comprehensive probing and diagnostics of the ballast bed and roadbed of the railway track. It is equipped with a telescopic crane, which is mounted on the cargo platform, with a drilling rig and a set of drilling tools.

The passenger/cargo railcar is intended for comfortable transportation to the work site of large track repair crews numbering up to 50 persons. The railcar is equipped with household utilities for catering and hygienic needs. Further equipment is: a cargo platform where a telescopic crane is installed, detachable implements and tools for hoisting and track management purposes.

MFV railcars are currently successfully operated on several Russian railways.

Diesel railcar for delivery teams on infrastructure JSC «RUSSIAN RAILWAY» «PIONEER»

Diesel railcar «PIONEER» is intended for delivery of the travel teams of up to 50 people and the necessary technological equipment and tools to work on the infrastructure of JSC «RZD».

The railcar is a coupling of two sections – the passenger (non-motorized) and career-technical (motor) with Electromechanical transmission.

«PIONEER» is equipped with a mounting device and electric cranes for loading and unloading of technological equipment and tools and has places for storage and connection of the power supply.

On the railcar are:

- 2nd power power plant to supply both their own needs railcars and mechanisms to ensure its movement;

- two remote controls;

- brake and pneumatic equipment;

- water supply system;

- electrical equipment;

- system safety;

- technological equipment;

- security system climate;

- heating system.

Passenger section includes the following facilities:

- the cabin crew with seats of at least 44 people;

- the cockpit controls;

- kitchen unit;

- the locker room-drying room;

- the bathroom.

Office-technical section includes the following facilities:

- the cockpit controls;

- storage for travelling tool with attachments and electric cranes for loading and unloading, and equipment to conduct emergency operations (grinding and drilling machines, vices, bench).;

-two diesel generator compartment;

- the bathroom.

The warehouse has 2 electric cranes with a lifting capacity of at least 2500 N (250 kgf) each, which provide movement of equipment and tools for the section and giving them from the racks to cargo boxes, with the possibility of discharge. The departure of each tap outside the outer wall section of motor cars - not less than 1000 mm. In the transport position, each tap is fixed inside the warehouse and did not obstruct neighboring passenger pillion.

Power power plant motor cars is a diesel generator. It facilitates the movement of railcars with preset speeds and power supply equipment in a warehouse for the storage of track instrument, as well as technological tools and personal needs of the railcars.

The supply of railcars is as follows:

a) power circuits – power from the power plant;

b) auxiliary AC and DC:

- battery;

- power from the power plant;

- from an external source of three-phase AC voltage 380 V (at the Parking).

In the railcar created the most comfortable and safe conditions for transportation travel and work crews. This «PIONEER» is equipped with modern heating and air conditioning, Autonomous energy supply system, fire systems and individual security, and other life support systems.

«PIONEER» is able to move at speeds of over 100 km/hour and can work at any time of the day when exposed to precipitation as rain and sleet in the range of ambient temperatures from - 40 to + 40 °C and relative humidity 80 % at + 15 °C.

MTKP ndt/track geometry railcars

Since 2003, TVEMA has been manufacturing the rail cars of MTKP series which include two automated systems - NDT and track geometry.

The first system (comprises ECHO-COMPLEX NDT analyzer and CRUISE-M NDT logging system) provides ultrasonic and magnetic diagnostics for rail types R50, R65, R75 laid in a railway track. Magnetic inspection is performed using the applied field method, while the ultrasonic inspection is performed using pulse-echo and reflection/shadow methods with contact ultrasonic coupling.

MTKP railcars provide the NDT inspection of the rails with the surface quality according to GOST 18576-85 in the following speed ranges: 5 to 70 km/h for the operation of ultrasonic diagnostic equipment; and 5 to 80 km/h for the operation of magnetic inspection equipment.

Track geometry equipment provides control and evaluation of the rail track geometry on main lines and receiving-and-departure tracks. To maximize the precision and reliability of the inspection results, the geometry vehicle features a range of the following solutions.

Firstly, the values of the gauge and the rail thread height are received through four independent measurements at 16 mm depth from the level of the rail heads (13 mm below the rail tread, taking account of the cant).

Secondly, the position of the horizon line in the transverse plane of the track is measured by two high-precision sensors of essentially different types. Finally, the horizontal and vertical camber of the rail threads is measured based on a high-precision symmetrical four-point chord measurement scheme simultaneously in two internal chord points.

The onboard computer system of the railcar prepares and maintains the Track Passport Database necessary for provision of the system with the data on the track condition. The system ensures the real-time control of the track geometry vehicle operation during the process of inspection and evaluation of the rail track geometry parameters. The system also provides control and automated processing of the acquired information to detect the deviations of the rail track geometry from the maintenance standards and perform their quantitative and qualitative real-time evaluation (according to the "Guidelines for the analysis of the NDT data and evaluation of the rail track condition No. TsP-515").

MTKP monitoring and measuring system provides the storage of the acquired information and generation of the reporting documentation (PU-32, etc.) for further analysis and for scheduling work in current maintenance and repair of the track.

At customer's request MTKP railcar can be supplied in one of the two offered variants: with the wheelbase 8.4 m (short) and 12 m (long). The long wheelbase variant features the sleeping compartment for the crew and more comfortable work environment.

Currently, 12 MTKP railcars operate at 8 Russian railways and industrial plants.

Atlant automation and tlemetry laboratory vehicles

ATLANT laboratory vehicle equipped with the measuring and computer system (IVK) is designed for on-the-fly diagnostics and automated evaluation of the condition of the railway automation and telemetry devices.

During the inspection run, IVK system ensures automated evaluation of the condition of ALSN, ALS-EN, SAUT and KTSM devices, as well as of audio frequency track circuits. The system performs automated measurement and inspection of their operational parameters. It measures, processes, and analyses the acquired information using video monitoring data for the condition of the signalling facilities and recordings of train radio communications, referenced to the geographical coordinated (GPS/GLONASS). The acquired data can be sent to a fixed computer workstation for further analysis and transmission to the common information area of ОАО RZD. This stand-alone system can be installed in any automation and telemetry laboratory based on the model 61-4179 passenger car produced by OAO Tverskoy Vagonostroitel'nyi Zavod (Tver Carriage-building Factory) or a similar carriage, as well as on any type of the self-propelled vehicle.

ATLANT helps to achieve several important goals. Firstly, it is the increased efficiency and quality of scheduled and operational inspections of the railway automation and telemetry devices. Secondly, it is the increased number of controlled parameters and the development of the standards for new logged parameters and evaluation criteria for the technical condition of automation and telemetry devices. Thirdly, it is the increased precision of measurements.

The inspection of the automation and telemetry devices performed with ATLANT helps to detect and evaluate the faults which affect the railway traffic safety and deviations from the standards, perform rating and accounting of these devices and register changes in their technical condition, as well as evaluate the performance of the operating divisions. Such comprehensive monitoring of the railway automation and telemetry devices makes it possible to forecast changes in their technical condition. This, in turn, means more efficient planning of repair works for timely elimination of the faults detected in the operation of these devices.

ATLANT has successfully passed tests on several railways of ОАО RZD (Russian Railways) and has been approved for operation both with an individual locomotive or within passenger trains on all railways.

The operation of ATLANT is regulated by the Rules of technical operation of railways of the Russian Federation, Guidelines for signalling, Guidelines for train movements and shunting operations, and other existing guidelines, regulations, orders and instructions of ОАО RZD.

Laboratory vehicle for overhead line inspection «VIKS-T»

In 2014, TVEMA started production of a new generation of laboratory vehicle for high-speed railway catenary testing. This vehicle is intended for complex evaluation of overhead line condition on electrified railways using both direct and alternating current and has measurement and diagnostic systems installed. This laboratory provides inspection of all main and additional parameters of catenary and has the means of thermal vision diagnostics of catenary elements as well as ultraviolet vision inspection of isolators. All measurements of wires and pantograph are performed in contactless mode and signals from sensors are processed by computer system of the laboratory.

Equipment installed on the laboratory vehicle can perform measurements and diagnostics at any time of the day year round even during precipitation like snow, rain, hail or fog if the visibility distance is above ten meters.

Two workplaces provide control over diagnostic equipment: one is located in the operating compartment and the other one is in the observation tower.

Observation tower with windows equipped with heating and cleaning system provides the operator with 360° view and armored glass ensures his safety in case of a pantograph crash.

Advanced specialized software with high levels of automation in data processing and evaluation increases the productivity and reduces costs. Score rating of the catenary and report creation is performed automatically and the operator is only required to inspect the results provided by the software.

Laboratory vehicle can operate as a part of a regular train or with a dedicated locomotive. This allows flexible adjustment of operation to the needs of a specific railway without affecting the traffic schedule.

VIKS-T is equipped with a modern climatic system, autonomous power supply, fire extinguishing system and other life support systems, providing comfort and safety to the crew in both work and rest. Along with comfortable compartments, the vehicle has kitchen-dining area, shower and ergonomic workplaces.

Multi-purpose laboratory vehicles

Multi-purpose laboratory vehicles are intended for various field measurements and tests of the railway infrastructure facilities, as well as inspection and evaluation of their condition.

A typical laboratory vehicle is manufactured by TVEMA mainly on the basis of the model 61-4179 compartment passenger car produced by OAO TVZ (Tver Carriage-building Factory). The standard internal layout includes the work compartment, the kitchen area, crew compartments and a workshop. Outside, depending on the purpose of the vehicle, the laboratory can differ from a regular carriage by observation windows (located on the sides of the work compartment for the track inspection; on the roof for catenary inspection), video cameras and spotlights, various inspection bogies which are located in the underfloor space.

All diagnostic laboratory vehicles manufactured by TVEMA are equipped with a state-of-the-art HVAC system, an independent power supply system, a fire alarm system and other utility systems, which comply completely with corresponding standards of heat, vibration and noise insulation. This provides an ideal solution for comfortable and safe work and long-term stays of the crew in a self-contained environment. Workplaces are designed with due consideration of requirements to ergonomics, operability, and safety. The vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art measuring instrumentation, computers, and a wide range of instrumental devices for adjustments and repair. All this helps to perform works of any level of complexity in the field environment.

TVEMA equips the laboratory vehicles with the cutting-edge, high quality equipment from the world's leading manufacturers. This includes: oscillographs, control devices, soldering stations, electrical mounting systems, repair kits for the most widespread systems operated on the railways of Russia and CIS countries, and state-of-the-art power consumption control systems and diesel generators.

On customer's request, various options of additional equipment are available for the standard laboratory vehicles.

At present, more than 80 multi-purpose laboratory vehicles produced by TVEMA are operated on the railways of Russia and CIS countries. They include: brake testing laboratories, catenary inspection laboratory, NDT/track geometry equipment repair laboratory, bridge testing laboratory, radio communication laboratory, signalling facilities and communication laboratory, etc.

In 2010, TVEMA supplied 3 workshop vehicles for the railways of Libya.

Traction testing laboratories

In 2010, by the order of the Directorate for Traction of ОАО RZD, TVEMA launched the production of traction power laboratories (TPL) based on the dedicated carriages.

TPL is designed to perform preliminary, acceptance, and performance tests of the newly designed or commercially produced locomotives which mass and speed changed due to upgrade or repair. The evaluation is performed to establish conformity of locomotives to electric, thermotechnical and braking parameters, sanitary, hygienic and environmental requirements, as well as to occupational health and safety regulations.

Based on the traction, energy and braking tests, the locomotives are subjected to performance tests to establish their conformity to the requirements of existing rules and regulations.

TPL is used to test the haulage modes of the passenger and freight trains weighing up to 5000 tonnes, to verify the quality of the power supply for the locomotive fleet, to evaluate the condition and efficiency of the braking equipment, air parameters in the braking system of locomotives, and to establish conformity of the actual braking distance to the existing rules and regulations of ОАО RZD.

TPL is also used to verify and evaluate dynamic forces in the train in the course of travel. These include the levels of tractive and braking forces based on the conditions of coupling strength and stability of the carriages on the rail track, and the wheel-rail adhesion. Finally, the heat of the traction and auxiliary machines, converter installations and power supply equipment is tested.

The traction power laboratory makes it possible to perform comparative evaluation of various characteristics. For instance, rated and actual consumption of fuel and power resources for the traction of the train; sand or lubricant consumption rate and its influence on the tractive resistance of the train, consumption of fuel and power resources for its traction, and tribological characteristics of the locomotive flange/rail contact (sliding, etc.)

Moreover, TPL is used to evaluate the energy efficiency parameters, the thermotechnical condition of in-line locomotives, and the operation of their microprocessor-based control systems and safety systems.

The testing of the rolling stock using TPL ensures timely correction of deviations from the traction and power characteristics of a locomotive detected during testing, thereby substantially reducing operating expenses. This is true for the maintenance and repair of the power supply equipment of locomotives and the railway traffic facilities, as well as the depreciation deductions on renovation from the fixed assets value of these facilities. On top of that, the traction power resources of the trains and the labour costs for the locomotive crews are saved.

Finally, TPL testing helps to reduce capital costs both for the maintenance of the locomotive fleet and the purchase of new railway traffic technical facilities.

TVEMA is planning to launch the production of traction power laboratories for testing the latest generation of a high-speed traction rolling stock.

Diagnostic systems for metros

In the early 2000's, TVEMA at the request of the Moscow Metro started the development of mobile diagnostic equipment (NDT vehicle and geometry vehicle) of a new generation metro based on cutting-edge, innovative technologies. Engineers and designers of TVEMA took into consideration the fact that the Moscow Metro is the oldest and the largest in this country. Therefore, the keystone in designing diagnostic equipment for this metro was ensuring its reliability and long life.

TVEMA has completed the development of novel diagnostic systems providing inspection of all subway infrastructure facilities: rail track geometry, automation and telemetry devices, signalling and catenary facilities, clearance profiles, etc.

Taking into account the needs of the Moscow and St. Petersburg Metros, TVEMA has developed track geometry vehicles, NDT vehicles, and SYNERGY diagnostic train which is the metro analogue of INTEGRAL diagnostic train operated on the railways of Russia.

SYNERGY features well-reputed TVEMA diagnostic systems for: NDT inspection of rails, measurement of railway track geometry, visual inspection of the permanent way, scanning of clearance profile. TVEMA also offers new, dedicated metro systems for recognition of electronic marks and measurement of conductor rail parameters.

Escort vehicles for dedicated rolling stock

Under the PTKB TsP project, TVEMA launched the production of escort vehicles for dedicated railway rolling stock (e.g. hopper-batchers, dump cars, etc.). The solution is based on the reworked diesel carriage of the refrigerator section manufactured by ZAO Bryanskiy Mashinostroitel'niy Zavod (Bryansk Machine Building Plant).

The internal layout and equipment of the amenity premises of the escort vehicle have been designed and implemented by the Company specialists and fully comply with existing international standards for heat, vibration and noise insulation. This makes it the ideal vehicle for a comfortable and safe accommodation of the crew. The vehicle is equipped with all necessary life-support systems: heating system running on solid/diesel fuel and power supply 380 V; water supply system which provides necessary stock of cold and hot water; power supply system; ventilation and air-conditioning systems; fire alarm system and automatic fire detection and fire-fighting system for the power pack.