The Goldschmidt BRB 32B – a New Generation of Road-Rail Inspection Vehicle
In Italy, RFI operates and maintains the public railway infrastructure. The maintenance of railway bridges, as part of the infrastructure, is particularly important and this also requires inspecting these bridges. Railway bridges can be classified based on the following factors:
In RFI’s maintenance plan, a professional inspection is required to ensure the safety and permanent usability of these structures in order to operate trains according to schedule.
There are 20,000 RFI railway bridges of all kinds and around 40 percent of the total are arch bridges. The different designs naturally have material-specific properties, which must be considered during the inspection made by the RFI specialists.
RFI personnel make on-site visits to bridges as specified by UIC code 778. Scheduled visits and visits at short notice are provided for as required and are now carried out in different ways, e.g. by AWP (Aerial Work Platform), or on foot etc. to ensure that the operator is at “contact distance” from the structure being inspected.
In recent years the requirements to maintain and inspect bridges have reached a high level of intensity and accuracy in order to ensure the proper operation and safety of the railways.
It became obvious that RFI must find answers to the increased demands to ensure their fulfilment. A solution was needed.
The requirements are as follows:
The Goldschmidt Group is a global solution provider in the railway business. The Goldschmidt companies SRS (Sweden) and Thermit Italiana (Italy) are very wellknown as reliable business partners, providing innovative products and smart rail solutions to their customers.
In 2018, RFI approached potential suppliers in Europe with their request to improve the inspection of railway bridges. In the end, RFI were convinced by Goldschmidt’s offer. Their innovative products in the segment of road-rail bridge inspection vehicles were able to fulfil the high-end requirements from RFI and even more.
SRS and Thermit Italiana established a partnership with the Italian partner Barin S.r.l., market leader in the manufacture of telescopic booms. This cooperation resulted in the development of a new generation of technologically advanced road-rail bridge inspection vehicles in a short time which meet the technical specifications of RFI.
In Q3 of 2019, the first vehicle was delivered to RFI. In Q4, the RFI staff were trained. After the successful validation and acceptance, the roadrail vehicle entered service.
The Goldschmidt BRB 32B fulfils the state-of-the-art technical requirements to maintain and inspect railway bridges in the best way possible.
The key performance elements of this vehicle are:
The high technological standard of the product allows RFI to greatly increase the effectiveness and efficiency of inspections on railway bridges. The system reduces the time it takes for operators to reach the bridge and enables inspections on both sides of the bridge while remaining on the same track.
The success of this project was connected to the close collaboration between the parties. This included SRS with its technical expertise based on long-term experience of all kinds of road-rail vehicles, Thermit Italiana with its understanding of the Italian market, and Barin with its high-performance telescopic arm. All this, including the excellent co-operation between Goldschmidt and RFI, has made it possible to develop the product successfully.
Six more vehicles will be delivered to RFI in the course of the year.
This article was originally published by Goldschmidt.
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