HANOVER, Germany—Continental A.G. developed an air spring system that enables maintenance and response vehicles to travel rapidly between rail maintenance and construction sites.
The system, in use in China, enables workers to maintain, service and expand the country's high-speed rail network, according to a Continental release.
The air spring systems will help China meet quality, reliability, operating safety and availability standards for overhead wiring on high-speed rail lines, according to the release.
Continental, which has manufactured primary springs used in work vehicles for decades, developed and supplied the air spring system to allow work vehicles to travel quickly between locations. The air spring system has secondary suspension between the bogie and the main frame, which allows the vehicles to travel at speeds of up to 99 mph, said Jorg Frohn, head of product development for air spring systems for rail transport applications at Continental.
The system absorbs vibrations and shocks, making uneven sections of track smoother for passengers, and work vehicles include an on-board workshop that can be used during the journey, which can go up to a distance of about 1,600 miles.
The vehicles are used to service the rail network and its overhead wiring. Continental delivered its systems for rapid-response service vehicles for the Chinese rail network near the end of 2014, said Gunther Sengeis, key account manager for air spring systems at Continental. The vehicles can be used universally across the network, with applications from servicing and maintenance to inspection and safety checks.
The work vehicles are part of a development called the China Railway High-Speed plan, launched in 2004 and aimed at expanding the country's rail network from about 12,000 miles to 19,000 miles by 2020. China is planning on building four east-west and north-south corridors accommodating trains running between 155 mph to 217 mph, connecting 80 percent of all large cities.