Case Study Rail Technologies

Mobile Top-of-Rail application system for The Shuohuang Railway

Shuohuang Railway, within the Shenhua Group, completed its evaluation of our mobile Top-of-Rail (TOR) application system in 2017.

The project

Mat Holland is Head of Engineering at L.B. Foster Rail Technologies. Here he talks about how our inspirational engineering solutions are effecting cost savings and enhancing in-service performance for the Shenhua Group.

“Mobile application systems, such as KELTRACK® On Board (KOB™), previously known as ‘Autopilot’, offer our customers an alternative approach for applying TOR friction modifiers to the railhead, compared to traditional trackside systems.

“On occasion, our customers do not have the existing infrastructure to support track side TOR solutions. In these cases, an on-board solution is imperative to address friction management needs. Whichever approach, the benefits are the same; managing friction between the wheel tread and the railhead.

“Field testing from the Chinese Academy of Railways Sciences (CARS) demonstrated up to five per cent energy savings through the application of the KOB™ technology on the Shuohuang heavy haul coal line, as well as a 20 -40 per cent reduction in track damaging lateral forces.

“We were also excited that CARS confirmed following train sets not equipped with KOB™ also derived improved performance benefits through the presence of residual friction modifier on the railhead. This is something we also observed in earlier KOB™ field tests.”

This advanced technology is customizable and can be installed on any freight wagon, locomotive, or passenger vehicle and applies KELTRACK® friction modifiers to the wheel/rail interface.

Automated system

The KOB™ system is completely automated; GPS controls adjust product application to optimise the friction levels at the wheel/rail interface. This flexible control technology can also incorporate geo-fencing, as well as normal operating inputs, to create a customised application strategy.

The KOB™ system also includes L.B. Foster’s Remote Performance Monitoring (RPM) technology. This remotely manages application equipment by monitoring and reporting uptime, maintenance concerns and refilling requirements. The technology also facilitates advanced maintenance and filling programs by predicting when the equipment is arriving at the maintenance site, so refilling can be completed within typical yard dwell times keeping your rail operations on schedule.