Intelligent lubrication system starts live trials on trains

The first live trials of an Intelligent Wheel Flange Lubrication system developed by Rowe Hankins will begin in March on a Merseyrail 507 electric multiple unit.

The development came about as a result of a problem with wheel flange wear that occurred in 2007 that caused an increased rate of wheel profiling and wheel set replacement that caused a reduction in vehicle availability and disruption in services. The cause was a reduction in the effectiveness of track based lubrication systems.

The new system relies on a control system that memories the route and by means of speed and distance sensors and a curve detection devices, can pinpoint the location severity and duration of curves. Detection of a sharp curve causes pulses of lubrication to be applied to the wheel flanges as the train enters and goes through the curve, Detection of the direction of the curve allows proportionately greater lubrication to be applied to the outer wheel of a wheel set.

Speaking for Rowe Hankins, product manager Eddy Wroblewski explained that, “The iWFL system has had many hundreds of miles of trials on the Praxis Engineering test site at Long Marston and uses REBS components that have been extensively used for decades throughout Europe. This is the first live trial on the public UK network and we confidently anticipate that the initial promise of the system will be fully realised.”

For more information:

Tom Shelley

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