Pairing an existing machine with a new one

BAM Rail Infra has been operating a 09-32/4S Universal Tamping Machine for a while. Last year, the company purchased a BDS 2000 Ballast Distribution System, which together with the tamping machine will form an MDZ (Mechanised Maintenance Train) in future. The work on coupling the two machines together is carried out by Deutsche Plasser service engineers.

BAM Rail Infra is one of the leading track construction companies in the Netherlands. The company has been working in co-operation with Deutsche Plasser for decades. Machines from BAM Rail Infra can be seen regularly at our Leverkusen-Opladen maintenance plant, where they are serviced or modified. The latest joint project is the coupling of a Unimat 09-32/4S from the BAM machine fleet with a new BDS 2000 Ballast Distribution System purchased from Plasser & Theurer.

Even greater efficiency with modern ballast management and coupled operation

The BDS 2000 is a ballast management system of the latest design and was specifically developed for the requirements of BAM. The integrated hopper helps to reduce the new ballast requirement and thus the cost of ballast transport. As demonstrated in investigations by the Austrian Railways ÖBB, this results in considerable savings. BAM Rail Infra wanted to utilise these benefits, too. From the start, the idea was to couple the operation of the new BDS 2000 with an existing universal tamping machine. The main reason for this was the further efficiency and savings that would be achieved by the coupled operation as an MDZ.

Deutsche Plasser present during approval

The BDS 2000 was delivered to BAM Rail Infra at the end of October 2018. Like with all machines that are deployed in the Deutsche Plasser market, a Deutsche Plasser service engineer was present for the approval of the new machine. For obvious reasons: That way we can familiarise ourselves with every machine we will have to service later on. In this case, Jochen Baumgarten took on this job. He, like all Deutsche Plasser engineers looking after new machines in the Linz factory, was professionally supported by Simon Stöbich from the Approvals Centre at Plasser & Theurer.

Now the BDS 2000 is already in operation in the Netherlands and the customer is very happy.

Preparations for coupled driving on 09-32/4S already completed

As the machine is equipped with an older P 700 control system, it was fitted with additional hardware and software components (Multiple Drive system) which are suitable for the communication with the latest control system of the BDS 2000, the PIC control.

The necessary work turned out to be highly complex as the machine is working through one worksite after another and the upgrade work had to be performed “in the field”, at short notice, in shift breaks and at suitable stabling sites. Even so, this work could be completed thanks to the flexibility of our service engineers Jochen Baumgarten, Mehmet Özdemir and Richard Grewe and thanks also to the excellent co-operation of BAM Rail Infra.

Joint driving already put in practice

The project has reached a phase where the two machines can be driven in tandem in the Netherlands. To be able to carry out the remaining work for coupled working, the approval procedure for the BDS 2000 will need to be completed and a date found and agreed when both machines can come to Leverkusen-Opladen.

We assume that this will happen in the course of this year. One thing is certain, though: the remaining work will also be carried out by Deutsche Plasser service engineers. An employee from the Plasser & Theurer Control Engineering department will also be present for professional support and to be prepared for all eventualities.