Locomotives: the workhorses of the rail sector.
Whether it is a freight train with several locomotives in North America, the trans-siberian railway in Russia or an intercity train in Europe, it will always need a workhorse to pull or push it along. Locomotives are as diverse as the trains they power. Knorr-Bremse has decades of experience to offer here.
Manufacturers frequently employ a modular approach to develop customized solutions for specific customer requirements. Electric locomotives are widely used in Europe, where much of the rail network is electrified. In North America, on the other hand, diesel-electric locomotives are the norm. Multi-system locomotives combining different traction methods are the ideal solution for operators who use their locomotives flexibly for a range of applications.
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Air supply systems supply the compressed air required by the braking system and other subsystems. Their key components are screw compressors 'ScrewSupply' or oil-free compressors 'PistonSupply Eco' and adaptive control air dryer 'DrySupply Max'. Their design and performance is tailored to each locomotive’s performance class.
The bogie equipment implements the vehicle driver’s braking command – the braking force converts kinetic energy into heat. In locomotives, this is made possible by wheel-mounted brake discs 'ProDisc Wheel' and compact brake caliper units 'WheelAct'.
With its extensive friction portfolio, Knorr-Bremse can supply brake pads that have been specially developed for locomotive applications. The portfolio includes our Ultrapad sintered brake pads, including the Flexpad, and our Propad organic brake pads. Our Ultrablock organic brake blocks are available for both the UIC and AAR markets.
Controlling the braking of freight trains weighing thousands of tons places huge demands on locomotive brake control systems. Brake control systems specially developed for locomotives feature a modular design and are available for all the major global rail standards. The pantograph is raised and lowered by the pantograph control system, which also keeps it precisely positioned against the overhead lines while the vehicle is in motion.
Hauling heavy trains on slippery rails is a challenge – sanding systems allow the traction system to apply the tractive forces even under adverse environmental conditions. The systems comprise sand dosing systems, sand pipe heaters, sand level monitors, sand boxes, sand box covers and sand flow sensors.
Windscreen wiper and wash systems ensure that the locomotive driver always has a clear view. The systems comprise wiper drives, arms and blades, control units, operating controls, washer water tanks, washer pumps and rain sensors.
Train Control and Management Systems (TCMS) are the technological nerve center of modern locomotives, connecting the subsystems to each other and to the central vehicle control system. They are specifically tailored to a wide range of different customer requirements and now incorporate powerful system diagnostics tools, smart fleet management systems and the WSP3 wheel slide protection system. The TDS Defense in Depth Threat Detection Solution detects cyberthreats in their early stages.
Locomotive drivers quite naturally expect a comfortable working environment. Sophisticated and increasingly eco-friendly roof-mounted and roof-integrated HVAC systems ensure that this expectation is met.
High-performance locomotives are becoming increasingly complex, placing greater and greater demands on their power supply systems. These are designed to ensure that all the relevant power supply requirements are met. Knorr-Bremse integrates traction equipment and numerous electronic and electrical components either for locomotive platforms or as complete, customized packages from a single source.
Locomotives rely on a huge array of electro-mechanical and electrical control components. Contactors, disconnectors and resistors are designed to meet each locomotive’s individual requirements.
Coupling Systems are complex multi-purpose systems that join up rail vehicles, coupling their mechanical, pneumatic and electrical components. Knorr-Bremse’s FreightLink DAC for freight cars and HybridLink for locomotives are paving the way for the upgrade of rail freight transportation into the digital age.
Against the backdrop of globalization and urbanization, and with a view to greater energy efficiency and safety, digitalization is adding new functionalities such as camera-based environment sensing and obstacle detection (Rail Vision) that underpin the pre-eminent role of rail transportation. And Knorr-Bremse’s digital solutions are paving the way.
Every locomotive has its own unique profile and equally individual service requirements for the maintenance, overhaul and repair of its subsystems. A service package tailored to its specific requirements is thus essential.