The world’s largest battery-powered railway maintenance machine, in its most advantageous environment
The battery-powered MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) is a maintenance machine for the railway that is currently working in perhaps its most advantageous environment – in a railway tunnel on the Citybanan – Stockholm.
The MPV is a versatile working vehicle for railway maintenance, it is powered by a large battery bank. In the current project, Trafikverket has hired Railcare to vacuum Citybanan from the small particles and metal dust that arises during braking and collects in the tunnel.
– Since the machine is battery-powered and does not generate any emissions it has greatly facilitated the planning phase, says Adam Sundin, Operations Manager at Railcare AB.
Citybanan, with its approximately six-kilometre-long railway tunnel under Stockholm’s inner city, is used for commuter train traffic. It has a double line track, a service and rescue tunnel and two underground stations; Stockholm City and Stockholm Odenplan. It is in one of these tunnels that the MPV is now being used. Adam says:
– As Citybanan is classified as a complex area, it comes with a lot of requirements. Gasoline should not be used in the tunnel, along with tools and machines that can develop smoke, planning is made more difficult. Since the MPV is battery operated, we have not needed to plan for any of this.
With 18 trains per hour on the Citybanan, each deceleration becomes a strain on the area and the stations are where most of the dust collects. Trafikverket takes regular air quality measurements and from its most recent test, slightly too large amounts of dust were measured. Since the track has built-in platforms, the passengers’ travel environment is not affected, however, the working environment for the contractors who perform ongoing maintenance in the tunnel is. Railcare’s project is to vacuum Citybanan to ensure air quality for the working environment.
A battery bank that provides opportunities
With the help of vacuum technology, the MPV works like a large vacuum cleaner. Battery operation has facilitated the work on the Citybanan, but the machine of course is also advantageous on the railway above ground. Then vacuum technology is used for, for example, cable management, ballast replacement or drainage. The battery bank itself can also operate other maintenance machines on the railway. Something that can create completely new opportunities for the industry.
Railcare operators working with the new MPV only see the benefits.
– It is a newly built machine, so we have new cabins. But the absolute best thing is the quiet working environment and that it is completely quiet whilst idle, says Kjell Dahlquist and concludes:
– When we are then back from the shift, we just plug in the connector so that it is charged and ready for the next shift.