This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine Issue 3 2023.
For four years, Gmeinder Getriebe has been under the wing of Wikov Industry, which has included another manufacturer of gearboxes for rail vehicles – Wikov MGI – for more than 20 years. This strategic partnership offers many synergistic effects, but in one way it really stands out. Close co-operation under a common owner makes Wikov MGI and Gmeinder Getriebe a top-quality supplier with the widest portfolio of tram gearboxes and drives in the world.
The low-floor tram market is specific in that it is still relatively new, although the first low-floor tram entered service in the early 1990s. It may seem that 30 years is a long time, but fully low-floor trams did not see a more massive deployment until after 2000. The fact that it is still a new market is also evident in the fact that there are still a large number of tram manufacturers in the world compared to, for example, metro unit manufacturers. However, consolidation is gradually taking place, introducing temporary uncertainty into the component supply chain. From a gearbox and drive supplier’s point of view, this is clearly visible. Being well prepared and having a place to go for its proven solution is half the battle for a supplier. The Wikov MGI + Gmeinder Getriebe duo is one such supplier nowadays.
Today, Wikov MGI and Gmeinder Getriebe have a market-proven comprehensive line of gearboxes and drives for low-floor trams, both for bogies with an axle and with independent-running wheels, with gearbox power from 50 to 180kW.
There are currently, let’s say, four groups of bogie types used in the world in terms of drive designs. The first is the use of a conventional axle, which ensures a transverse mechanical connection between the wheels. The second group is a bogie without an axle, but still with a transverse mechanical connection of the wheels, thanks to a special connecting shaft. The third group is a bogie with independent-running wheels without an axle, where wheel connection is ensured by electronic control – solutions with gearboxes or direct drive are offered here. The fourth group is a single-axle bogie with a portal frame.
The first group – i.e. with a conventional axle – is the most commonly used concept today, and a number of tram manufacturers are returning to it due to the relative simplicity of the drive. We can offer designs both for the longitudinal assembly of the drive outside the bogie frame, and for variants where the drive is located inside the bogie with the engine mounted laterally.
Railway-News magazine Issue 3, September 2022: Wikov - American Trams Get Their Heart from the Czech Republic.
Wikov were able to assess Hexagon's tram gearbox radiated noise and make changes to the design to improve the NVH performance.
On September 13, 2023, Wikov successfully acquired a 100% stake in Wessex Precision Machining Limited in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Four diesel-electric multiple unit trains from Indonesian company PT INKA are currently undergoing rigorous testing.
Wikov has joined forces with Hexagon, in this case study, to develop a tram gearbox that minimises noise emission.
Wikov would like to thank everyone who recently attended Hannover Messe 2022 and came over to their stand.
Wikov would like to invite you to Hannover Messe, held from 30th May to 2nd June 2022, in Hannover, Germany.
Wikov will be once again present at Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) from 2nd - 5th May in Houston, USA.
Wikov thank everyone who visited their stand at Eurasia Rail in Istanbul, Turkey and RAIL LIVE in Madrid, Spain.
Join Wikov as they attend Eurasia Rail 2021 at TÜYAP Fair and Congress Centre, Istanbul from 25 - 27 November 2021.
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