Environmental protection at ÖBB Train Tech  
We are sustainable. We make sustainable mobility possible.

Today, more than ever, environmental protection means protecting our own livelihoods.
Only in a clean environment do we feel good. Only in an intact environment can the quality of life develop. As part of the ÖBB Group, the largest environmentally friendly mobility provider in Austria, we see it as our duty to promote the protection of our livelihoods and thus the preservation of quality of life as important corporate goals. All binding obligations are fulfilled through our environmental management system. Protecting the environment is very important to us, which is why we are constantly improving in this area.

Our environmental guidelines at a glance:

  • We ensure sustainable mobility and climate protection.
  • We safely, economically and ecologically maintenance and repair rail vehicles.
  • We use resources sparingly.
  • We safely store hazardous substances.
  • We pay great attention to waste separation and waste avoidance.
  • We support biodiversity and nature conservation.

Here is an excerpt of the projects we successfully implemented at ÖBB Train Tech.

We use resources sparingly.

Repair instead of throwing away

Did you know? More than 90% of all components of modern rail vehicles can be repaired again. Whether it is powerful engines, wheelsets weighing several tonnes or delicate valves: refurbishing the various components in our workshops is also good business. More than 200 customers from 20 European countries get their parts repaired by our professionals.

At the same time, this concept is also an enormous ecological gain. Not only do we avoid large amounts of waste, but we also conserve valuable raw materials; and implement a recycling economy that focuses on three things: less waste and more reuse and recycling. By the way: In the prior year, more than 700,000 components were refurbished in the Train Tech workshops.

(Resource management/sustainability)

The two-metre part made in the 3D printer

Measuring almost two metres in length, the dashboard cover of a Taurus locomotive is the largest part made by the 3D printer that has been installed in our vehicles to date. It corresponds to the highest fire protection classification and consists of three parts that are screwed together. This part hardly ever breaks. Accordingly, there are no more spare parts and no more forms to laminate it. Our goal is to create an understanding of the possibilities that additive manufacturing can offer. 3D printing is much more than manufacturing prototypes these days.

(Innovation, technology, sustainable sourcing)

State-of-the-art maintenance concepts

Maintenance, when it does not bother the passengers

Only a vision a year ago, a reality today. With shutdown maintenance, the company and the workshop move closer together. This means maintenance when we do not need the trains for our passengers. A customised IT system coordinates timetable and servicing in the best possible way. Vehicle controllers can book the available inspection time frames at the click of a mouse. In the workshops, you immediately know which work has to be done in which time frame.

The shutdowns include both the workload in the workshops and the delivery and return of the vehicles. Thus, all areas involved contribute to the success. In other words, with this system, we are only successful together. We are thus not only following the general trend towards increased maintenance during shutdown periods but also an economic goal: the highest possible operational readiness of the trains.

(Innovation & technology)

Innovation and technology

DigiRail is the name of the servicing of the future

Have you ever heard of Condition Based Maintenance? With the DigiRail project, we present a great example of what we mean by this.
Summarised in one sentence: We can detect damage with DigiRail before they occur. A health tracker for locomotives, so to speak. We now build what many people wear on their wrists into the Taurus locomotives of the 10/1116 series.

DigiRail is a telematics system that collects, measures, stores and analyses vehicle data in virtually real-time. In this way, we gain important input from operations to improve the operational readiness of the vehicles and operational processes.

At its heart is the DigiRail-Box, a powerful industrial computer with sophisticated software developed in-house, into which technicians have incorporated the experience of 20 years of Taurus servicing and their IT expertise.

Detailed analyses

Our data scientists create detailed analyses based on the raw data, which we can use to identify trends or developing damage before critical values are reached. This is done either through quick repairs in the workshop or immediate recommendations for action to the locomotive dispatcher. With this, we are taking the servicing of the red bulls to a new level. 14 locomotives are already on the road with the DigiRail box. Now all 332 locomotives will be equipped with this technology.

(Innovation & technology)

Innovative Wheelset

Wheel measurement at 230 km/h

Wheelsets are extremely sensitive. Out-of-roundness of a few hundredths of a millimetre can have a big impact. We now use a service from INFRA to optimise our maintenance. There are infrastructure facilities throughout Austria that measure a lot of data while a train passes over them: for us, for example, the shape of the wheels. A clear case for our data scientists: they analyse the data and create a projection of how long individual wheelsets can be used. To allocate the axles, we have equipped all Railjets and Cityjets as well as many Taurus locomotives and 1,000 freight wagons with RFID chips.

Award for innovative wheelset

Within the framework of international cooperation, our technicians are working on the freight wagon wheelset of the future. For the "European Standard Freight Axle" developed from this, they won the UIC Standardisation Award 2021 as a team. The new wheelset axle scores points with its new design increased strength and reduced material stress. The advantage: You can choose between several maintenance models. It sounds very technical - to bring it down to a simple denominator, it means perfect maintenance at lower costs.

This is only the first step, however. In the meantime, we are already working on the fitting wheel disc. Here, too, the design is optimised to handle thermal and mechanical loads better. The first tests with the new wheelset are planned for the coming year.

(Innovation & technology)

Innovative measuring system

The brakes of rail vehicles are crucial for quality and safety in rail traffic. Train Tech technicians have started a project to initially determine the braking force directly on the wheel and brake disc.

(Innovation & technology)

Razor-thin measuring sensors

The result is impressive. Together with NET Automation, we have developed razor-thin measuring sensors for which a distance of half a millimetre between the brake disc and the brake sole is sufficient. The system is suitable for different vehicle types, regardless of passenger or freight wagons or disc or block brake. The force path is recorded simultaneously at up to 25 measuring points in real-time, and data transmission occurs wirelessly. Trial operations have been running since 2021 and the results are very promising.

(Innovation & technology)

Climate protection using the most modern halls and facilities

Everything sealed, completely without electricity

The hall cannot be so big that a train does not still look out towards the gate. For example, in the case of an axle replacement, where the train has to be positioned on the axle recess - and the rest often gets a whiff of fresh air. The solution: a flexible residual surface seal. Most systems inflate to fill the gap between the hall and the vehicle. The catch: as long as this plant is active, you constantly pump energy into it.

No electricity - no energy costs

In Bludenz, we have now taken a different path. There, the seal is pulled together with a vacuum generator. When the train is in position, the dock shelter is switched off. The material expands and seals the gap. The highlight: where no electricity flows, there are no energy costs. This saves up to 95% of the energy.

(Climate protection/health/safety/security/innovation & technology)

New ways of work

A robot for the Cityjets

After more than 150 trains, we are ringing in a new round at the Werk Jedlersdorf. Our technicians are now installing all the windows on the last 24 trains, 42 per train. The assembly of the components, which weigh up to 100 kilos, is carried out with spectacular technical support.

(Innovation & technology/health/safety/security)

Gentle and powerful cleaning

Particularly cool is a new cleaning process for the Railjet locomotives. Instead of using conventional high-pressure cleaners, the filigree locomotive coolers are now cleaned with special high-performance nozzles. These bring 3,000 litres of compressed air and half a litre of water per minute to supersonic speed and clean the radiators efficiently and gently without any cleaning agents. And the environment is happy too.

Supplemented by more powerful radiators and additional suction holes for the cooling air, the Railjet locomotives are now also designed to withstand temperatures of more than 35 degrees. And always stay cool even in the hottest weather!

(Innovation & technology/climate protection)