GERMAN infrastructure manager DB Network has agreed a contract with Vossloh to deploy the supplier’s High Speed Grinding (HSG) service on at least 13,000km of its high-performance network in 2024.

The scope of work is an increase of 1000km compared with activities underway in 2023. DB Network has also requested the extensive use of Vossloh’s digital measurement and analysis technology.

The HSG machine performs rail grinding at speeds of up to 80km/h, meaning the machine can operate in regular traffic during the night, ending the need for line closures to perform rail grinding.

The machine is also able to collect and evaluate track condition data in real-time, with relevant information and suggested actions displayed visually in a web-based application, thus providing the basis for a transition from interval to condition-based track maintenance.

DB board member for plant and maintenance management, Mr Heike Junge-Latz, says that the length of the high-performance network will triple to 9200km by 2030 and that using HSG technology is one way of further improving network reliability.

“The importance of preventive and condition-based maintenance measures cannot be overstated," says Mr Oliver Schuster, CEO of Vossloh. “They are a crucial step toward higher track availability, which in turn is a mandatory prerequisite for shifting more traffic to rail and thus supporting the achievement of ambitious climate protection targets.”


Meanwhile, Vossloh has confirmed that it successfully integrated monitoring technology developed by Bonn-based RailWatch on September 1, expanding the company’s competence in sensor technology, computer vision and cloud computing.

The acquisition also includes all RailWatch employees who will be integrated into the Vossloh Group to further develop the newly integrated monitoring systems as well as work on other digital projects throughout Vossloh.

RailWatch’s technology uses optical and acoustic sensors to identify the technical condition of freight wagons, passenger rail vehicles and locomotives. Data recorded includes information on wheel damage, brake block condition and train and vehicle numbers. A supplementary track-based measuring system enables the collection of further data, including wheel profile, weight information and axle load distribution. The collected data is processed in the cloud using Artificial Intelligence, and is made available to customers via web portal.

Vossloh says RailWatch’s technology is already installed on Germany’s most important rail freight corridors as well as at entrances to several industrial and port facilities. It adds that the monitoring technology has a 98% detection accuracy rate and supports the early detection of wear, informing maintenance practices.

Schuster says that RailWatch’s technology will provide Vossloh with crucial insights into the influence of wheel-rail contact on track condition. “The recording of specific rail vehicle condition data is the logical next step in further expanding our systemic understanding of the track,” he says.

“I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the new employees at Vossloh. Together with them, we will continue to develop the existing technology and thus create considerable additional benefits for our customers.”