From next year, Hamburg-based VTG will migrate from the time-based maintenance regime applied to date, to a mileage-based approach.
Using real-time data gathered and analysed via VTG Connect, VTG will exploit the full mileage potential of freight wagons by performing maintenance only when it is needed.
“We always want to give our customers the optimal combination of safety, flexibility and availability across wagon hire and related services,” said Sven Wellbrock, COO Europe and chief safety officer at VTG AG.
“Our entire European fleet is fitted with telematics systems that are fundamental to the development of and transition to this new maintenance regime. As a result, customers’ will enjoy even greater wagon availability to accommodate their wishes.”
Amendments to Germany’s Railway Construction and Operation (EBO) regulations in 2018 paved the way to the new approach. VTG said it will be the first European wagon owner to implement it across its fleet.
Mileage-based maintenance makes revision intervals more flexible and increases wagon availability, as greater use can be made of mobile revision and needs-based revision intervals based on actual performance.
All revision work will nevertheless still be performed in compliance with the VPI European Maintenance Guide (VPI-EMG). “We will obviously keep to the proven technical rulebook,” said Frank Sadowski, head of technical support and safety at VTG Rail Europe.
“But at the same time, the underlying change of mindset will sow the seeds of a new maintenance culture. We are not altering the maintenance guidelines: We are simply applying real-time information to systems that already work.”