SIGNAL+DRAHT | Issue 11/2003

Introduction of Ebiswitch in the Netherlands

November 2003 | Henk Scholten, J.D.P. Ruiter

The rail traffic network of the Netherlands rail infra provider ProRail is one of the most densely utilised in Europe. Switch point defects are at the top of the list of weak points in the infrastructure. For decades ProRail had only one version of a point machine used for all versions of points. A new type was required, fitted for use with ongoing automatic track tamping machinery. Based on calculations on life cycle costs on both the existing and the newly developed types, a tender was called. Study of offers resulted in the acceptance of an existing Bombardier type. A pilot with a number of switches gave a good view into wider applications. Some weak points were discovered and some practical maintenance experience was gained. These facts have encouraged a more comprehensive approach to the application of the point machine with the added benefit of wider use with other point versions.