Linsinger presents first hydrogen milling train for emission-free track maintenance

Austrian company Linsinger has developed the world’s first hydrogen-powered milling train. The Rail Milling Train MG11 Hydrogen can be used for maintenance of the tracks of metros and trams. It was presented in a virtual conference in November and will be available by mid-2021.

The new milling train developed by Linsinger is a hydrogen-powered version of their regular MG11, which is fueled by diesel. According to Linsinger, it is the worlds’ smallest milling train, and the only vehicle in its class that fits in the London underground. A development test of the new train is conducted by TÜV Süd Rail GmbH, who also carries out the risk analysis in cooperation with Linsinger.

Replacing damaged rail is expensive and time-consuming. A rail milling train renews track by grinding away the damaged top layer of steel on the railtracks. It has wheels with hundreds of cutting tips, which spin to shave off small pieces of rail. A polishing head then ensures the renewed rail has a smooth surface.

Hydrogen storage

The hydrogen storage tanks are installed inside of the machine and therefore optimally positioned in terms of safety. These composite material containers consist of a plastic core which is wrapped with carbon fibres. The design allows hydrogen to be stored under high operational pressure and for years of use. The refuelling takes up 30 minutes per tank.

The schematics of the Linsinger MG11 hydrogen milling train

In a fuel cell the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen results in the generation of electricity and water, and no other exhaust emissions are generated. While milling there are no sparks and dust emitted according to Linsinger and the chips by-product can be collected and recycled.

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Author: Esther Geerts

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