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Keeping reliability and quality on track

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

It is therefore a matter of course for manufacturers of rail and train components to ensure that quality products and services continue to be delivered to the industry every day.

The 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.

Railway wheels and rails are the most important components in any 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 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.

Dynamic milling can be performed by specially designed trains, operating at a constant speed of 700 meters per hour. To re-profile the rails, two milling units are used. The first roughens the surface, the second one finishes it, and the two units act on both rails simultaneously.

It is standard practice that during the re-profiling of rails, insert indexing due to wear is done on board the train performing the milling. To reduce down time, operators often change the whole milling cutter, and to do this, they must leave the train.

However, renovation of railway infrastructure is usually done at night when there is less traffic. 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.

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.

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