Swiss start-up trials active steering technology for trams and trains
Zurich-based start-up Traila has unveiled a prototype active steering system for trains and trams. Using this system, the company aims to reduce noise, wear and harmful fine dust emissions.
The presentation of the system was held alongside local operator VBZ, technology company ABB and railway engineering firm Prose. In a nutshell, active steering system can anticipate the course of the rails using a variety of sensors, and align the wheels accordingly. This as opposed to passive systems, whereby wheels passively follow the tracks.
Actively aligning the wheelsets should reduce the characteristic friction noise trams make, for example, when they turn corners. If this friction can be lowered, emissions of fine dust might also be reduced, as well as the wear caused by abrasion on wheels and tracks. This, then, should result in lower maintenance costs. Finally, reducing friction noice will also make rail transport quieter, much to the benefit of those living in urban areas.
The sensor-based active steering system is currently being trialed through simulations using an old T2000 VBZ tram. The patenting process for the technology is also ongoing. Traila aims to have the system market-ready by 2025.
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