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TÜV SÜD Rail has been providing support in the authorisation for the operation of three hotel trainsets to operate on the Moscow-Berlin route from 2012 to 2016. Furthermore, EC certification of the complete train concerning European technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) and the production of expert reports covering national requirements in Germany were included. In addition, TÜV SÜD Rail test centre was responsible for handling and performing the complete spectrum of necessary vehicle tests for authorisation. The project was successfully finished with the authorisation for placing in service (´Inbetriebnahmegenehmigung´) by the German Federal Rail Authority (Eisenbahn-Bundesamt, EBA) in time to enable the scheduled start of operation in December 2016.
The train, developed and produced by well-known rail vehicle manufacturer PATENTES TALGO S.L.U., is currently being operated on the route from Moscow to Berlin via Belarus and Poland – a total length of approximately 1865 km. During the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup in Russia, the train will be operated as a night train. A total of three complete trains has been produced and designed for maximum speeds of 200 km/h. The locomotive-hauled trains have a total length of over 260 metres, comprising 20 non-separable units plus a locomotive.
As the hotel train travels over European standard gauge (1435 mm) tracks as well as Russian wide-gauge rails (1520 mm), regauging of the chassis is necessary en route. A special feature of the hotel train is its automatic regauging, made possible by wheel sets with automatic variable gauge system. Regauging takes place up to 20 km/h on permanently installed regauging installations in Brest, at the border between Belarus and Poland. In contrast to the past, when the bogies of the rail cars had to be laboriously exchanged, automatic regauging is a major advancement in technological progress, saving time and enhancing passenger convenience. The hotel train also features passive tilt technology, electromagnetic braking and single axles with idler wheels.
TÜV SÜD Rail can provide its customers with a full range of services from a single source, from assessments and vehicle testing to component testing and support in the process of obtaining authorisation for placing into service (Inbetriebnahmegenehmigung or IBG), granted in Germany by the Federal Rail Authority (EBA). TÜV SÜD Rail GmbH acts as a one-stop service provider with a well-established network.
In addition to the support in the approval process for Germany and the issue of and assistance with documents required for approval such as proof of evidence, expert reports and single dossiers throughout all specialist areas in accordance with the Administrative Act governing the authorisation for placing into service of rail vehicles (VV IBG) and performed by experts with National Safety Authority (e.g. EBA in Germany) accreditation, TÜV SÜD Rail is providing assistance with the process of obtaining the authorisation for operation in Poland.
Testing operations concerning European technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) are the responsibility of the Notifed Body, TÜV SÜD Nederland B.V. (former Railcert), a wholly owned subsidiary of TÜV SÜD Rail. At the proprietary testing facilities at Görlitz and Halle/Saale the required tests on braking technology, safety against derailment, running dynamics, aerodynamics, acoustics and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) were conducted. Extensive running and dynamic tests were executed on the trainset. TÜV SÜD Rail specialists equipped the hotel train with complex measurement and sensor technology and organised as well as executed these tests on special circular test circuits in the Czech Republic, Poland as well as test railway network routes in Austria.
On behalf of TÜV SÜD Rail a three-member project management team, consisting of Anton Linssen, Dr. Jennifer Paulin and Uwe Rönsch were responsible for the project delivery. Due to the broad language skills and competencies of the involved members, both Talgo and TÜV SÜD Rail were able to maintain a fluent communication in a pan-European team.