As players in the railway industry, it is important to realise what makes us stand out compared with other modes of transport and to become aware of these advantages. Today, e-mobility and automatic operation are key topics, but railways have been offering these innovations for decades. In 2015, automated metros transported around one billion passengers in European cities.

The railway system runs according to timetables, making trains the most punctual means of transport. Business travellers all over the word rely on the railway as the most dependable mode of transport. Moreover, the railway is safe, and it goes without saying that it is ecologically and economically sustainable, but the industry must prove and implement these strengths time and again.

Johannes Max TheurerThe growing world population has led to an increasing need for mobility. Urbanisation presents a challenge to the capacity of the available infrastructure, while pressure on costs continues to increase. Only further developments can ensure and strengthen competitiveness, so let us set the course now.

Infrastructure stakeholders like us must live up to this responsibility.

Throughout the rail industry, research in cutting-edge technologies is on the increase, while the ecological framework makes sustainable solutions necessary.

To operate track-maintenance machines cost-efficiently, their full potential needs to be unlocked. Our contribution to this is hybrid technology, and three hybrid machines have already been put into service.

The Dynamic Tamping Express 09-4X E3, our most powerful tamping machine, and the BDS 2000 E3 ballast distribution system with variable storage capacity, have been in operation since 2015 on the main and secondary lines of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). The hybrid drive has proven its efficiency in track construction and maintenance and for travel between work sites.

The Unimat 09-32/4S Dynamic E3 was the first hybrid machine to be handed over to a contracting company, and it was presented to Krebs Gleisbau at InnoTrans in September 2016. It has already been put into operation on the Swiss Federal Railways’ (SBB) network.

At the IAF International Exhibition for Track Technology, which takes place on May 30-June 1 in Münster, Germany, we will introduce our latest developments: new drive solutions and a new generation of ecological track maintenance machines.

This is how we are contributing to the future of the sustainable railway system. I believe that ecological factors must be taken into account when laying and maintaining track. Our aim is to continue research in this field and to manufacture our machines based on our findings.