This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) manufacturing and/or rebuilding locomotives, locomotive frames and parts; (2) manufacturing railroad, street, and rapid transit cars and car equipment for operation on rails for freight and passenger service; and (3) manufacturing rail layers, ballast distributors, rail tamping equipment and other railway track maintenance equipment.
Rail Giant Alstom Turns to Nexa3D’s NXE 400Pro to 3D Print Replacement Footrests
Alstom, one of the largest railway companies in the world, faced trouble with finding replacement parts first hand when outdated footrests threatened to sideline many of its fleets. The company needed a way to fix its trains quickly, and do so in a cost effective manner. Alstom’s solution? 3D printing. The business sought Lorenzo Gasparoni, its 3D printing and 3D scanning product leader in Italy, to establish additive manufacturing (AM) practices to help keep its aging trains operational while reducing the time needed to service the carriages.
Alstom is no stranger to 3D printing and had previously partnered with BASF Replique and Stratasys to use AM to solve sourcing issues in the past. This time, however, it wanted to stay internal to its manufacturing and service center in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy, and needed Lorenzo Gasparoni for the job. The two have been in working together since 2019, but, in mid-2022, a new project arose: the use of 3D printing to produce hundreds of footrests to replace older counterparts.
Autonomous battery-powered rail cars could steal shipments from truckers
Parallel Systems has emerged from stealth mode with a prototype vehicle that promises to bring advances in autonomy and battery technology to the relatively staid world of freight railroads. In the process, they hope to not just electrify existing routes but also bring freight rail service to places that don’t have it today.
Whether their bet pays off will hinge on whether freight railroads and their customers will buy into a new way of operating. Parallel Systems isn’t just taking an existing freight train and swapping its diesel-electric locomotive for a battery version. Instead, it’s taking the traction motors and distributing them to every car on the train. It’s how many electric passenger trains operate, but it’s a system that has been slow to migrate to the freight world.
This is why railway communications needs great network design
A solid network design is the foundation to deliver on stringent performance requirements associated with mission-critical railway communications and to deliver on consumer expectations, which remain unchanged regardless of being at home or sitting on a train moving at 500km/h.
Network design has the potential to identify the optimal site locations to deliver the target performance at the best TCO, but its complexity cannot be overlooked. While cell planning tools exist, operating them for the right outcome is not trivial and requires highly skilled experts connected to a global knowledge base to keep up to date with the latest industry developments and realize the potential of 5G-based FRMCS.
How did one of the world's largest robots end up here?
The autonomous train, consisting of three locomotives and carrying around 28,000 tonnes of iron ore, travelled over 280 kilometres from our mining operations in Tom Price to the port of Cape Lambert. It was monitored remotely by operators from our Operations Centre in Perth more than 1,500 kilometres away. Our AutoHaul™ team at the Operations Centre in Perth continued to hone the technology, running thousands of hours of tests. The AutoHaul™ project was made fully operational in June 2019, making it the world’s first fully autonomous, long distance, heavy-haul rail network.
“The time-saving benefit is enormous because the train network is a core part of the mining operation. If we can prevent those stoppages, we can keep the network ticking over, allowing more ore to be transported to the ports and shipped off more efficiently,” says Lido. “The other major benefit is safety,” he continues. “We are removing the need to transport drivers 1.5 million kilometres each year to and from trains as they change their shift. This high-risk activity is something that driverless trains will largely reduce.”