The consortium formed by Azvi, Tria and OGI, in collaboration with Adif, has successfully completed the first 50,000 km (Phase I) of the In-Services Tests of the OGI variable-gauge freight Axles as specified by the ETH, Technical Specifications for Accreditation of Railway Material: Wagons.
This first 50,000 km phase was undertaken on 1,668 mm Iberian width tracks, on lines 310 Stretch: Aranjuez-Cuenca and 300 Stretch: Alcázar de San Juan-La Encina, at the maximum permitted speed and full load. The tracks, authorizations, and necessary logistic support was provided by Adif, and, for the traction, engines belonging to Traccion Rail, Grupo Azvi´s railway operator were used.
The OGI Axles, developed and manufactured by Azvi, Tria and OGI, had also completed, previous to the start of the Trial Services, Laboratory and On Track Tests.
The bench fatigue trials involved the application of 10 million fatigue cycles both horizontal and vertical, with loads of up to 38 tons per axle. The tests were carried out in CETEST in Beasain, a multinational company certified by the accreditation of railway material.
On Track Tests were carried out on the gauge changer which was developed and built by the Azvi-Tria joint venture, and is located in Adif´s Assembly Base in La Gineta, Albacete.
The 500 changes specified by the ETH, were successfully completed in June 2017 with the correct functioning of the changer and the two axles. Taking into account the adjustments to the changer and the different manoeuvres, more than 800 changes were actually carried out with an average performance of 100 daily changes.
Currently, Phase II of the In-Service Tests is being carried out. This consists of 50,000 kilometres on Iberian width track (1,668 mm) and, at least 20%, on UIC or international width (1,435 mm), including a minimum of 50 gauge changes, at maximum load and permitted speed. The second phase is expected to be completed in February 2018.
Once the 100,000 kilometres corresponding to Phase I and II of the In-Service Tests have been completed, the OGI axles will obtain Authorizations for Service and Circulation and they will be able to run commercial services at the maximum speed authorized, to carry out the 150,000 kilometres corresponding to the third and final phase of these tests.
With their final accreditation, the OGI Axles will solve the problem of the existence of railway tracks with different widths which slow freight traffic down considerably both in Spain and on the great Cross-border Railway Axes.