RFI presents new diagnostic wagon for infrastructure maintenance

source: RFI

A new diagnostic carriage that Italian infrastructure manager RFI revealed, will have the task of monitoring the main conventional lines. The Aldebaran 2.0 can monitor the state of the infrastructure (rails, power line and telecommunications) and acquire the information necessary to ensure high efficiency and safety of the network. Following the testing, the new monitoring carriage is now in the certification phase.

Aldebaran 2.0 is the latest innovative diagnostic vehicle of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI). Equipped with diagnostic systems from the Armament, Energy and Telecommunications sectors, it is capable of carrying out assessments on the state of the infrastructure.

The mobile diagnostic service allows operators to collect information on the state of the railway infrastructure throughout the country. It supports the scheduling of routine maintenance in order to optimise time and costs interventions. It also supports in the identification and timely elimination of anomalies which can cause delays.


The Aledabarn 2.0 carriage is equipped with modern detection systems. The 2.0 numbering derives from the technological evolution that was introduced with the adoption of second generation diagnostic systems. The vehicle has manned systems, with the possibility of switching to remote management mode. This means with the validation of the measurements on the ground rather than on board. The rooms inside the carriage, intended for diagnostic operators, have been suitably insulated, panelled and made comfortable.

Taking into account the context of the pandemic, it ensures the possibility for operators to access the measurements and data in real time directly from home. Anywhere with a computer, they can view the measurements made by the carriage, analyse and validate them and then communicate the results to the maintenance teams.

Diagnostic fleet

The arrival of Aldebaran 2.0 is part of the broader project for the renewal of the diagnostic fleet of the RFI Business Plan. The infrastructure manager will invest approximately 585 million euros for this. Also planned are the the supply of five new bimodal diagnostic trains, the construction of three K12 diagnostic wagons and the supply of seven new trains for testing of the rails by means of ultrasonic measurements and tunnel diagnostics. In addition, fifteen new bimodal diagnostic trucks will be acquired, and the Diamante 2.0 and Aiace 2.0 diagnostic wagons will be revamped.

The Aldebaran 2.0 diagnostics wagon, photo: RFI
The colours of the Aldebaran 2.0 are the same as those used for all the other trains in the RFI diagnostic fleet: ultramarine blue and signal yellow.

An acronym for Air Lines Data Equipment for Basic Acquisition on Railways Network, Aldebaran owes its name to the orange giant star belonging to the constellation of Taurus with the same name. The star has always been considered lucky and bearer of wealth and honours.


Important outfitting work  of the Aldebaran 2.0 vehicle was carried out by SO.ING, which worked with the companies MerMec and CWI for the diagnostic technologies and RFI’s national rolling stock workshops for the vehicle component. The staff of the ONMO (National Workshop of Mezzi d’Opera) of Catanzaro and of the ONAI (National Workshop of Industrial Activities) of Carini worked in close synergy to complete the installation.

At the end of the phase in the workshop, SO.ING started the testing phase. The carriage was transferred to the Florence Osmannoro experimental center where it was subjected to tests and checks aimed at complying with the type approval requirements. Italcertifer, identified as the Conformity Assessment Body (OVC), has completed the preparatory activities for the release of the assessment reports in recent months.

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor RailTech.com

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