Turnouts are large and unwieldy but at the same time also sensitive components. In addition, the local circumstances usually provide only very little space for renewal or laying.
Specially for these difficult conditions, Plasser & Theurer developed turnout renewal machines to perform the removal and installation of complete turnouts, sections of turnouts or track panels. The structural components being laid are handled carefully. During the renewal work, it is possible to a large extent to avoid disruption of traffic on the adjacent tracks. Special attention is given to the safety of the operating staff. There are also special systems for the transport of assembled turnouts or sections of turnouts such as the WTW turnout transport wagon.
Turnouts are manufactured in the factory, assembled and adjusted precisely. Then they have to be transported to the worksite either in one piece or dismantled for later reassembly. Usually it is not possible to assemble a new turnout directly in the construction gap. In most cases this would require long track possessions and hinder rail services for too long a period. The installation of a fully assembled switch from the side is often not possible due to local hindrances such as signalling equipment, OHL masts or suchlike. The mechanised renewal and laying of turnouts takes account of these circumstances, enabling fast and above all high-quality installation.
The mechanised transport and installation of turnouts enables a wide variety of manoeuvres of the complete turnouts or assembled turnout sections. The tasks of loading and unloading, lateral transport to the track and also longitudinal transport on the track and in the worksite are performed by the turnout relaying machine. This guarantees that the precise geometry of the pre-assembled turnout is retained until it is installed. Because this initial quality of the turnout has a considerable influence on its service life.