Social awareness on the effect of transport on the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions and global warming are producing a transition from more polluting transports (flights, cars etc) to more energy-efficient rail transport. In addition, there is also a political requirement following the new regulations towards zero carbon emission targets that will accelerate this shift. The expected increase in number of passengers and higher traffic frequency demands robust and environmentally friendly solutions that allow for passenger growth without compromising safety nor increasing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). One of the highest MRO costs are related to grinding and replacing wheels and rails being out of tolerance due to high wear rates and rolling contact fatigue (RCF). An optimized lubricant and lubricant delivery system will minimize wear, suppress RCF crack growth, reduce the energy consumption, lower the noise in residential areas and improve the air quality by diminishing release of metal debris.
WINTER project will focus on optimizing the lubricant and lubricant supply system of four Norwegian regions covering railways, lightweight trains, and metro with challenging wear, friction and lubrication conditions. By addressing some of the most challenging regions in Norway, the results obtained in the project are expected to be applicable for other regions.
Since the starting of the project the data requirements have been described and specified. Additionally it has been agreed the type of worn and degraded samples that are needed to be studied and analyzed. These basic understanding of the degradation mechanisms will establish the grounds for fine tuning the lubricants formulation.
Social awareness on the effect of transport on the greenhouse gases emissions and global warming is producing a transition from more polluting transports (flights, cars/bus) to more energy-efficient rail transport. Indeed, the number of train passengers in Norway has increased by 50% since 2004 and by 3.4% in 2019 up to 80 million. These figures are also similar for metro and light rail.
The increase in number of passengers, demands robust, reliable and environmentally friendly solutions that allow for passenger growth without compromising safety nor increasing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). The WINTER project will therefore optimise lubricants and lubricant delivery systems for the Norwegian rail system. Improved friction management of the wheel-rail system will lead to a reduction of wheel and rail damage and thus decreased energy consumption, increased safety, reduced MRO costs, noise reduction in residential areas and improved air quality by diminishing metal debris and lubricant released to the environment.
The products will be designed for the special conditions in different geographical regions that cover railways, lightweight trains, and metro that all have challenging wear, friction and lubrication conditions. This includes The Flåm Railway, Oslo Holmenkollen line and Trondheim´s Gråkallbanen tram line. By addressing some of the most challenging regions in Norway, the results obtained in the project are also expected to be applicable for other regions.
The new products will be developed and tested in close cooperation with and between central companies in the Norwegian railway sector including Flåm Utvikling, Vy, Bane NOR, Sporveien, Boreal Bane, Norske tog, ELBA, Fuchs and R&D organisations (SINTEF & NTNU). The project is owned and managed by ELBA which is one of the main lubricant supply equipment in Norway and TransQ approved as supplier in the railway sector.