Modular and flexible switch machines: how they work

A switch or turnout is a device that allows a train to move from one track to another. At the switch, the tracks are composed of a fixed and a movable rail. The movable rails, known as “point blades” rest against the fixed “stock rails”. The switch machines allow the movement of these mechanisms.

These solutions can be positioned outside the track, at the tips of the point blades, or on the sleeper, as is the case for the models developed by Wegh Group.

Models developed by Wegh Group

As a manufacturer we offer two main models:

MET (Electric Sleeper Switch)

This is an innovative machine for operating railway switches. Its strengths include electro-hydraulic activation and a modular layout. All the components of the drive unit are enclosed in a steel support, which can be easily lifted thanks to two handles.  Maintenance is facilitated and guaranteed by the modular design, which allows replacement without removing the entire machine from the track.

METRA (Electric Sleeper Switch with Actuator)

It is a system for the movement of railway switches, consisting of two manoeuvring points: the second point allows the detection of obstacles between the point blade and the stock rail, in addition to checking the geometry of the switch. METRA is equipped with patented solutions to avoid fretting and to optimise the forces and absorption during the switch.

Quality and reliability are the hallmarks of our product range. We’ve been making train journeys safe in numerous countries for over 60 years.

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

  • In-sleeper machine
  • Electro-hydraulic activation
  • Modular layout (activation unit easy to remove)
  • External clamp-lock system (under rail)

 

RAILWAY SWITCHES

  • Radius from 150 m to 500 m
  • Superstructure 60E1
  • Gauge 1435 mm

 

LINE SPEED

  • 200 km/h, straight track
  • 60 km/h, curved track

 

INSTALLATION

  • Either right or left
  • Either on a flat or raised surface
  • With standard or 1/20 tilted rail mounts

 

CONFIGURATIONS

  • Trailable
  • Untrailable
  • Trailable/untrailable, with electromagnet control
  • Untrailable, with ultimate strength (mechanical fuse)

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Material of metal sleeper
Corten 15 mm

Weight
680 kg

Weight of activation unit (removable)
35 kg

Input voltage
144 V cc

Absorbed current during manoeuvre
5÷7 A

Electric controls
blade type

Clutching device
hydraulic

Number of manoeuvring tie-rods
2

Number of control tie-rods
2

Total manoeuvring time
1,5 s

Opening clearance of point blade as measured at MET axis
160 mm

Gap between point blade and stock rail for certain electric control acquisition
(on MET axis)

<= 2 mm

Gap between point blade and stock rail for certain electric control non-acquisition
(on MET axis)
>= 4 mm

Load for electric control loss during trailing
(trailable MET)
600 kg +/- 10%

Load for mechanical unlock during trailing
(trailable MET)
1 t +/- 10%

Max. clamp-lock load
7,5 t

Clamp-lock overlapping stroke
40 mm

Temperature range
-25°C ÷ +70°C

Clutching load (max. trailing force)
550 kg +/- 10%

Pendulum sledgehammer hit for unlocking clamp-lock
> 75 kgm

Technical availability
98%

Mean time between two maintenance cycles
10000 h

Mean time to repair
70 min

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

  • Raggio da 150 m a 500 m
  • In-sleeper tip activation point (MET)
  • Upon-sleeper heel activation point (actuator)
  • Electro-hydraulic activation
  • Modular layout (activation unit easy to remove)
  • External clamp-lock system (under rail)
  • Obstacle detection between point blade and stock rail
  • Control of opening gap of point blade at switch heel

 

RAILWAY SWITCHES

  • Radius from 150 m to 500 m
  • Superstructure 60E1
  • Gauge 1435 mm

 

LINE SPEED

  • 200 km/h, straight track
  • 60 km/h, curved track

 

INSTALLATION

  • Either right or left
  • Either on a flat or raised surface
  • With standard or 1/20 tilted rail mounts

 

CONFIGURATIONS

  • Trailable
  • Untrailable
  • Trailable/untrailable, with electromagnet control
  • Untrailable, with ultimate strength (mechanical fuse)

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Material of metal sleeper
Corten 15 mm

Weight of MET (in-sleeper tip activation point)
680 kg

Weight of actuator (upon-sleeper heel activation point)
130 kg

Weight of activation unit (removable)
35 kg

Input voltage
144 V cc

Absorbed current during manoeuvre
5÷7 A

Electric controls
blade type

Clutching device
hydraulic

Number of manoeuvring tie-rods (MET + actuator)
2+2

Number of control tie-rods (MET + actuator)
2+2

Total manoeuvre time
2.8 s

Opening clearance of point blade as measured at MET axis
160 mm

Opening clearance of point blade as measured at switch heel
66 mm

Gap between point blade and stock rail for certain electric control acquisition
<= 2 mm
(on MET axis)

Gap between point blade and stock rail for certain electric control non-acquisition
>= 4 mm
(on MET axis)

Gap between point blade and stock rail for certain electric control non-acquisition
>= 8 mm
(along entire switch length)

Load for electric control loss during trailing (trailable Metra)
600 kg +/- 10%

Load for mechanical unlock during trailing (trailable Metra)
1 t +/- 10%

Max. clamp-lock load
7,5 t

Clamp-lock overlapping stroke
40 mm

Temperature range
-25°C ÷ +70°C

Clutching load (max. trailing force)
550 kg +/- 10%

Pendulum sledgehammer hit for unlocking clamp-lock
> 75 kgm

Technical availability
98%

Mean time between two maintenance cycles
10000 h

Mean time to repair
70 min

To learn about the peculiarities of and find information on all the projects we have implemented in our history, consult the References page.

R&D is a key function to which significant resources are allocated.