Summer check in the ÖBB workshops

09. 05. 2019

What do pavement cafés, heat waves and leak detectors have to do with the Rail Cargo Group?

How can you tell that summer is on its way? Simple: by the numerous pavement cafes that suddenly spring up overnight. And our summer services.

Because all ÖBB rail air conditioning systems are thoroughly tested and cleaned in good time for the beginning of the warmest months of the year.

This is the case for 1,400 systems fitted in our short and long distance trains. ÖBB-Technical Services (ÖBB-TS) will have carried out all checks by the 31st of May. ÖBB-TS is an indispensable partner for railway companies throughout the whole of Europe. They provide outstanding maintenance and further development of all rail vehicles – regardless whether freight wagon, passenger carriage or locomotive.

Major heatwaves aren’t just an enormous challenge for us as human beings

Air conditioning systems are pushed to their limit too. Because of this, ÖBB-TS places great importance on the optimal maintenance of its air conditioning systems. The focus is on preventative measures that stop faults arising in the first place. Such as a thorough cleaning process. The reason behind this is, that thorough cleaning of the capacitors prevents components from overheating and therefore also prevents system failure. Because, if air is no longer able to flow freely, leaves and dust can quickly put a unit out of action.

A summer check includes cleaning the condenser, checking the refrigerant level and switching points of the refrigeration circuit, the regeneration of the refrigerant as well as ensuring the unit’s proper air circulation.

The ÖBB workshops are also equipped with special recycling stations. These are fitted with several filter driers for finer filtration of the refrigerant, which ensures a better cooling performance. The stations also test the systems for leaks. If a drop in pressure is identified, highly sensitive leak detectors are used, which even trace leaks of only three grams of refrigerant per year. TS technicians need around a day to complete a summer check, which is largely done as part of scheduled maintenance. At the end of the day, all this effort pays off. Because at ÖBB, if there is any sweating to be done, it’s only in the workshops. And not on the trains.