Alstom awarded an innovation trophy for bi-modal damper

Alstom announced on Tuesday that it was awarded an innovation trophy for the development of its bi-modal damper at the SIFER railway salon, held in Lille from March 24 to 26.

The hydraulic bi-modal damper, developed in 2013 by Alstom Transport and conceived at Alstom’s DISPEN, was created to reduce maintenance costs and at the same time increase passenger comfort. The damper reduces damage to the wheels via the specific internal management of oil flows, which limits friction between the wheel and the rail on curves.

“The tests carried out on two TGV Lyria trains in collaboration with SNCF’s Material Engineering Centre have demonstrated a 20 percent reduction in attrition on the wheels,” Cyril Renault, director of DISPEN, said. “This reduces maintenance costs as a result: fewer interventions on infrastructure and less frequent wheel re-profiling, which reduce train downtime.”

The bi-modal damper is 100 percent mechanical and specifically adapted for winding tacks. It works completely independently, without external control. It’s the same size as a classic damper and can be replaced without any adaption to the train.

These dampers equip all bogies used on Alstom trains; they are also sold to operators.

The savings the bi-modal generates in wheel and rail maintenance allow for a rapid return on investments for operators.

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