In early autumn 2019, the MDZ started into trial operation. By the end of the year, all of the machine group’s applications were tested in a wide range of working situations. The MDZ passed all tests successfully - on tracks and turnouts, during maintenance and track laying, and in all-electric and diesel-electric operation. In terms of output, the two new machines performed as well as a comparable, conventional MDZ. In terms of noise emission and cost-efficiency, they outperformed the conventional machines.
In early October 2019, Plasser & Theurer’s experienced operating crew carried out a large-scale all-electric test run in Styria, close to the city of Leoben, on the tracks of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). On the very first day, the machine maintained 1,200 m of track. On the second day, the output increased to approximately 3000 m - despite numerous breaks. In this test run, the machines already showed their efficiency.
The first official operation followed in early November 2019, on ÖBBs western main line in Upper Austria. In early December, the new machines maintained tracks in Carinthia, close to the city of Villach.
A few weeks later, the machines performed well in freezing temperatures and snow in Lienz, East Tyrol, where they maintained several sections of newly laid track without difficulty.
In early 2020, several approval inspections will take place, before the machines will be put into regular operation in spring. The new E3 MDZ will not only be used in Austria, but also in Germany and Switzerland.
“On the first day of the test run in Leoben, the machines had initial difficulties, which is why the performance on that day was low. We adjusted the machine control software and made other small mechanical improvements. Already on the second day, we were able to achieve the desired performance.
Siegfried Ekker, Plasser & Theurer