Monday, October 19, 2009

Siemens automation systems control Europe's largest marshaling yard

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Siemens Mobility is to equip the marshaling yard at Maschen, Germany, the largest freight hub in Europe, with new control technology. Siemens has been awarded the order by DB Netz AG to upgrade a total of 88 classification tracks with the MSR 32 classification control system by mid-2013. The modernization of the control system will increase the safety and reliability in train make-up. The first classification tracks are due to go into service as early as August next year. The order is worth 18 million euros (about $27 million).

The Maschen marshaling yard at the gates of Hamburg is the main hub for freight traffic of the seaports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven as well as toward Scandinavia. Here the cars of regional, national and international freight trains are split and made up into new trains for the next leg of their journey. In order to provide for the increasing importance of freight transportation at the seaports, marshaling equipment from the seventies is to be upgraded to the state of the art as part of comprehensive construction measures.

The modification of the classification yard will be carried out while normal operation continues. Siemens will be modernizing 48 classification tracks and the classification zone of the South-North (MSN) hump yard and 40 classification tracks of the North-South (MNS) hump yard. The MSR 32 control system deployed by Siemens controls the radio-operated locomotives, the routing of rolling stock and their speed at the master, intermediate and group retarders and, by means of the haulage systems, makes up the cars ready for coupling in the classification tracks. The routing control sets the switches for all the cuts from the hump to the classification tracks fully automatically. A continuous computation of the variable hump speed and cut monitoring enables the risk of any bumping or catch-ups to be avoided.

During the modernization phase the control system from Siemens must be able to control both the old and new classification systems.