We hear it a lot, even when rail traffic isn't exactly burgeoning: Track time is at a premium for maintenance-of-way work. That keeps rail officials' expectations for MOW equipment at a premium, too. They want machines that get the work done quickly, efficiently, effectively. Every time.
Rail grinding equipment suppliers have obliged. They continue to refine their wares — whether it's meant developing something new (Vossloh North America's high-performance milling system, Harsco Rail's Dynamic Pattern Generation, plus real-time monitoring) or something new to the U.S. market (Modern Tack Machinery commissioned its first hi-rail mobile grinding truck).
Other suppliers are addressing specific issues associated with the grinding process, including noise reduction — see Plasser American Corp.'s GWM Rail Grinding Machines. Meanwhile, Loram Maintenance of Way Inc. offers specialty and high-production machines, and Railtech Matweld also has a compact, lightweight unit to bring to the rail-grinding discussion. For details, read the rail-grinding product/equipment update published in our August issue.
What's next (or could be next) in the rail-grinding technology evolution? What would you like to see, whether you're a railroader, supplier or investor? We'd like to see (read) what you're thinking. Share your thoughts in the space below.