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MG11: Advancing Rail Maintenance by Mobile Milling

2 August 2023 | 

In collaboration with Wiener Linien, we have been exploring how a combination of mobile rail milling and investment in premium rail steels can contribute to reducing rail maintenance effort and moving from a reactive to a more preventive rail maintenance strategy in metro systems.

voestalpine Railway System has deployed its MG 11 compact mobile milling machine on the Vienna metro network

Metro networks are getting busier, due to growing urban populations in cities. Together with increasing train frequencies the available time for maintenance decreases. A high initial quality is the basis for a long service life, but it is worth mentioning that maintenance is at least as important as product selection when it comes to optimizing rail life.

In collaboration with Wiener Linien, we have conducted successful trials using our 400 UHC HSH super premium rails (R400HT) in combination with the mobile rail milling process by MG 11.

The MG 11 is particularly suited for work on metros due to its compact design, which fits into the smallest metro tunnels in the world. By milling a flexible material removal between 0.3 mm and 1.0 mm per pass is possible – measured in the middle of the rail running surface. In addition to pure rail milling, turnouts can also be milled continuously without any tool change. This enables continuity after milling through the entire rail string.

The Vienna project has shown that a combination of 400 UHC HSH rails and milling using the MG 11 machine can contribute to increasing network availability and decrease whole-life maintenance costs.

Environmental benefits

The MG 11 milling process stands out for its safe and environmentally friendly approach. In contrast to rail grinding methods, the milling residues are completely collected in the chip container and recycled as pure steel scrap. Furthermore the milling process is almost spark-free, hence fire hazard in tunnels is reduced to a minimum. The MG11 ensures a significant reduction in exhaust and dust emissions. As a result, an acceptable working environment is enabled even in poorly ventilated tunnels.