Demonstration line put into operation
Photo: Reinhard Mederer
It's a long way to Chengdu. It is therefore no wonder that Max Bögl was faced with a logistical challenge in faraway China before the commissioning of his novel local transport system. The group of companies therefore relied on maximum efficiency when transporting the prototype vehicle required for commissioning. On its way to the Middle Kingdom, the most important components of the vehicle went on different routes. The chassis and body arrived separately at their destination in Chengdu. The vehicle body first reached Shanghai by ship and from there it was transported by truck. The chassis of the TSB took a completely different route over 7,500 km. First of all, it was taken by truck from the headquarters in Sengenthal to Frankfurt Airport and from there by transport plane via Moscow to the geographical centre of the People's Republic. In mid-September, the landing gear and vehicle body were brought together directly at the demonstration track. A platform was specially erected for the assembly and later inspections, as the maintenance hangar is still under construction.
Short construction time due to sophisticated logistics
Photo: Firmengruppe Max Bögl
Before the regular demonstration driving operation can start, the route of the 3.5 km long demonstration track must also be completed. The supports for the elevated guideway are produced locally in Chengdu by the Chinese partner company Xinzhu. At the group's home headquarters in Sengenthal, the track segments are serially and efficiently industrially manufactured, equipped with add-on parts and then transported to Chengdu by train with all accessories. This enables faster assembly on site and ensures a significantly reduced construction time. Xinzhu joins the segments to form girders and places them on the supports, supported by Max Bögl employees.
Commissioning run with prototype
Photo: Firmengruppe Max Bögl / Yang Xu
A further milestone was set in Chengdu with the commissioning of an already completed, approximately 400 m long section. During the first test runs at the end of September, Max Bögl reached a speed of around 60 km/h with the TSB and was thus able to successfully demonstrate the technical possibilities of the innovative local transport system. The prototype vehicle, which has already completed 125,000 shuttle runs in Sengenthal and achieved a mileage of more than 83,000 km, was used for this ride. Once the entire route is completed, which is expected to be in early 2020, a speed of over 150 km/h will be demonstrated on the 3.5 km. The final acceptance runs will then take place with the first vehicle consisting of three sections. The test track will be located on the Xinzhu factory premises and will also be freely visible to the public. The minimum curve radius of the demonstration track is 60 m and the maximum gradient reaches ten percent to demonstrate the performance of the system in practice. The station, a maintenance hall and a switch are located on the Xinzhu factory premises and are therefore not accessible to the public. The Chinese partner company will present the project to selected groups of visitors there in the future.
Advantages over conventional technology
With a height of 1.2 m and a length of 23.5 m, the track beam of the TSB is very narrow and light. Thanks to the magnetic levitation technology, the weight of the vehicle is evenly distributed over the track. There is no need for large, firmly anchored bridges such as those known from wheel-rail systems, although in China, by way of comparison, this classic construction method has also been integrated. Compared with conventional systems, the TSB avoids the high loads at the wheel-rail contact point, which are the main cause of vibration and noise. Instead, it distributes the loads evenly into the track without contact. As a result, the TSB is very quiet and manages with significantly smaller substructures for the track. This not only saves raw materials and costs, but also offers aesthetic advantages. Magnets installed in the chassis generate magnetic fields that bring the vehicle into a constant state of suspension. To achieve this, the reinforced concrete track surrounds the chassis. To ensure that the vehicle floats constantly and without contact in the rail, the magnets are activated up to 2,000 times per second. For locomotion, a linear motor is installed in the running gear, which accelerates the Transport System Bögl up to 150 km/h.
Transport system of the future
Animation: Firmengruppe Max Bögl
The demonstration line in Chengdu illustrates the many possibilities of the new TSB for public transport. Thanks to the variable route routing with sub-segments, the Transport System Bögl can be integrated completely flexibly into new and existing infrastructure systems. Thanks to the modular track system, the well thought-out transport system can also be quickly and easily deployed in urban regions. Thanks to its fault-tolerant design, the TSB operates reliably in all weather conditions and is easy to maintain thanks to the use of rail-tested components. As a construction company with many years of experience, the Max Bögl Group has the know-how to implement large infrastructure projects - such as magnetic levitation technology - in urban regions. This allows projects to be realised quickly, resource-saving and economically.