WA company Vector Lifting, in partnership with the China Steel Machinery Company and Teco Industries from Taiwan, has recently completed its largest and most ambitious project to date.
Les Capelli, MD of Victor Lifting, said the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) project has been the first international, and by far the most challenging railway project undertaken by the company.
“The significance of the project required the establishment of an additional specialist design and administration office dedicated to just this one job, in addition to the project management office set up in Taiwan,” Capelli explained.
Equipment supplied to the THSRC ranged from simple bogie stands to underfloor lifting system (ULS) and included a bogie drop table; bogie load test system; disassembly hoist; mobile jacks; bogie and wheel set turntables, and wheel set and axle rotating devices.
“Projects of this nature and complexity don’t get awarded to WA firms that often,” Capelli said.
“Our reputation globally as specialist railway lifting engineering experts has certainly been enhanced with the completion and successful commissioning of the project and has attracted world interest and acclaim for its innovative features,” he added.
Taiwan’s high speed railway connects the major cities of Taipei in the North and Kaohsiung in the South, a distance of 345km.
Because Taiwan has a high incidence of earthquakes, all elements of the supplied equipment were designed to withstand a significant earthquake.
The cantilevered ULS provides enough elevation to enable bogies to pass under the raised railcar bodies along the full length of the track. This operation is carried out on a single ULS track without the need of intermediate turntables or an adjacent track. Up to 24 bogey sets can be replaced simultaneously.
As well as being able to lift a complete EMU train set, the ULS can be configured to elevate a combination of individual railcars as well as groups of railcars. For example, operators can lift six individual railcars or four individual railcars and a group of three.
A number of different combination lifts are available. When lifting the whole train set, the ULS is controlled from a central main control console. In addition, twelve local control consoles are available for use when lifting different combinations of railcars.
The actual ULS comprises 24 individual hoisting systems each with two lifting screw spindles. A PLC ensures the accurate synchronisation of all 48 spindles in order to maintain an even lift.
The PLC programming is made even more complex because of the various combinations of lifts that can be selected.
In order to maintain a safer working environment, the hoists are all concealed below ground when the system is not in use.