Railway freight operation requires technical and economical solutions with low life cycle cost.
Consequently, axlebox bearings requiring minimal maintenance are needed. Axlebox bearings must be able to operate under fully loaded cars and under extreme climate conditions.
There are axlebox designs used as well as adapter style applications. Achieving very long operational time and maintenance intervals are typical requirements for freight cars.
Diesel and electrical units
In passenger transportation, more and more electric and diesel multiple units are used for long and short distance service, especially where shorter trains operating with shorter intervals are needed. In addition, there are trains composed of one or two locomotives and passenger coaches. These coaches can be designed as sleeping or restaurant cars.
The vehicles are equipped with either tapered or cylindrical roller bearing units. To achieve a lower mass and reduce energy consumption, light designs are preferred. This also influences the design of axleboxes. Because of the different bogie designs, various axlebox designs are needed to fulfil a typical customer’s specifications.
Diesel and electric locomotives
Electric and diesel locomotives haul freight and passenger cars and are the work horses of all railway operators. They are even used by some operators for high-speed operation. A locomotive is a railway vehicle without carrying any passengers or freight, that hauls the train.
Locomotives are equipped with either tapered or cylindrical roller bearing units. In some cases, open cylindrical roller bearings are used. Locomotive axleboxes are designed to be very robust and reliable.
Metro cars and light rails
Mass transit railways are becoming an important alternative to cars in the crowded streets of cities and suburban areas. Vehicles like suburban trains, metros or underground and tramways operate world-wide. Sometimes, there are very similar vehicle designs used which can be applied for suburban, metro, light rail vehicles and tramway operations. The accurate definition is, in most cases, dependent on the legal definition that can be based on railway or tramway standards.
These vehicles are equipped with either tapered or cylindrical roller bearing units. In some cases, open cylindrical roller bearings are used. To achieve a lower mass and reduce energy consumption, light designs are preferred. This challenge is also applicable to the design of axleboxes or axle bridges. These designs are tailored to the different customers’ requests.
For medium distances of several hundred kilometres or even more, high-speed railways offer an attractive, environmentally friendly alternative to aircraft and cars. In most cases, trains directly serve city centres without time consuming shuttle transfers or driving on crowded motorways and encountering any parking problems.
Achieving very high-speeds and long-distance maintenance intervals are typical requirements for high-speed trains.
In most cases, either tapered or cylindrical roller bearing units are used. Because of the high-speed, labyrinth seals are applied.