Washing trains with solar energy
As the Polish railway operators invest in the new fleet, they increasingly focus on the construction of new washing facilities. Some companies, such as Koleje Mazowieckie, implement energy-saving technologies in this area.
Koleje Mazowieckie, the second-largest railway company in Poland, operates only one train wash in Tłuszcz, 40 kilometres northeast from Warsaw, but it plans to add four new facilities in the future. Two of them will be located directly in Warsaw, at Grochów and Ochota stations where the maintenance and operational departments of the company are situated. Two other points will be placed in Sochaczew and Radom in Masovian Voivodeship. Koleje Mazowieckie is still thinking over the exact dates when these installations will be built but it highlights that the mentioned plans are real.
Sun and rain
The existing washing facility in Tłuszcz, it has two important features: energy and water supply systems. “Energy is obtained, among other things, from solar panels installed on the roof of the building. In addition, the wash has a modern boiler room. From March to October, the water is heated only by solar panels and there is no need to switch on the boiler,” Koleje Mazowieckie reports to RailTech.
As for the water supply, it is fully independent of the municipal water supply and sewage systems. The company obtains water from its own well and roof rainwater, which is pretreated with special filters. The train wash in Tłuszcz has been working since September 2015. It was constructed by Koleje Mazowieckie with its own funds for 18.7 million zlotys (more than 4.2 million euros).
According to Koleje Mazowieckie, its train wash in Tłuszcz is able to clean up to 20 vehicles per day. The facility is available for the entire company’s fleet that varies from the 19-metre to 100-metre trainsets throughout the year. The washing process is provided with the help of brush special brushes installed on the washing panels. They adapt to the dimensions of each type of rolling stock and change the angle of inclination.
In addition, there are dedicated extendable platforms to effectively wash the train roof. “Just below the building roof, there is a special chain installed in order to supply electricity and water. It can be rolled up over a distance of 100 metres. This is the first such application in Poland”, the company adds.
Fleet of Koleje Mazowieckie
The train fleet of Koleje Mazowieckie consists of over 300 vehicles. It includes several types of rolling stock: electric and diesel multiple units as well as push-pull trainsets with double-decker carriages. The vast majority of the company’s fleet are electric trains of type EN57, a popular train in Poland. It was produced by local manufacturer Pafawag (now it is a part of Bombardier Transportation) in 1962–1993. Koleje Mazowieckie upgraded all these vehicles in the 2000s. In recent years, the company prefer to purchase the new rolling stock such as Stadler Flirt, Pesa Elf or Newag Impuls units.