Complete rail audit of the tram network in Le Havre

The network operator Compagnie des Transports de la Porte Océane (CTPO, a Transdev subsidiary) contracted Vossloh to determine and analyze the condition of the track rail infrastructure of Le Havre's entire tram network. The latest measurement and testing technology together with high-performance analysis software were used to supply the network operator with detailed documentation. This documentation then provided the basis for evaluating individual track sections in order to further optimize the maintenance budget.

The 26km-long tram network in Le Havre was subjected to a comprehensive audit between February 9 and February 22, 2018, during which Vossloh teams from Germany and France met to carry out differentiated measuring and diagnoses of the condition of the rails and the track.

"On a day-to-day basis, the network’s quality is assured by our own maintenance technicians," said Eric Lang, Contracts and Technical Project Manager at CTPO, referring to the decision to use Vossloh's services "but after five years of operation, and in order to obtain a precise and global analysis of the rails’ condition, we have decided to work with Vossloh’s expert teams." The analysis will then allow to implement an individual and efficient maintenance strategy.

19 to 22 trams travel daily over the standard-gauge, dual-track network which comprises two tram lines and 23 stops. During the peak period, the trams operate in intervals of three minutes on the network's main section.

Precisely planned night shifts
"To be able to inspect all of the 52 kilometers of rail during the short night shifts and digitally record the rail defects or parameter deviations, we had to plan the simultaneous deployments of the teams as precisely as possible" recalls Emmanuel Ettighoffer, project manager at Vossloh, commenting on the project's precision timing. It therefore proved helpful that all the profile measuring devices and material testing equipment are manually guided and can be on-railed and off-railed quickly.

A number of different measuring procedures and techniques were used to create a complete picture of the current condition of the harbor city's rails and track. These procedures and techniques are known for delivering very accurate and reliable measurements.

Wear behavior and line condition at a glance
The data compiled was processed and evaluated by high-performance software developed by Vossloh. The results of the detailed status report confirmed the assessment made by the operator, CTPO, that the track system is in good condition. Since the infrastructure in the various track sections wears at different rates, "the close collaboration with Vossloh proved very informative. In addition to the fact-based feedback provided, we were also able to draw useful conclusions from the analysis about the wear behavior of our rails" said Eric Lang, summing up the project.

Punctuality, efficiency and comfort are important quality features and attract a high degree of acceptance among passengers. Consequently, CTPO wants to apply the newly acquired knowledge not only to optimize the maintenance cycle using the measures recommended but also to make more targeted use of the maintenance budget.

Integrative service provider for smart asset management
A needs-based rail and switch maintenance procedure rounds off Vossloh's holistic approach. In terms of a predictive maintenance strategy, minimal material removal and targeted corrective measures prove to be an ideal combination.

Thanks to a better understanding of the network and its wear behavior, asset managers now have more flexibility with regard to planning maintenance measures and also improve the long-term availability of their networks.

Contact information:
Vossloh Rail Services GmbH
Anika Oda Amort
Marketing and Communications Manager
Hannoversche Straße 10
21079 Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0)40 430 93 13 90
Email: anika.amort@vossloh.com

Vossloh Rail Services
As a business segment of the Vossloh Group, Vossloh Rail Services provides a host of services centered around rails. Its range of services covers the rail's entire lifecycle – everything from long-rail production and transport, rail maintenance and preventive care right up to the reconditioning and recycling of old rails. In combining its own technologies with efficient procedures and experienced personnel, the company is ensuring that modern railway operations are both safe and sustainable.