Railcare, a Swedish manufacturer of machines that keep railways safe and clean, has launched a battery-powered version of its Multi-Purpose Vehicle for rail maintenance applications. The new machine can be used to vacuum away stones, trash and other obstacles from the tracks, melt snow, as well as function as a towing vehicle for, among other things, ballast wagons during track work.
Epiroc, which is at the forefront of electric underground mining equipment, has developed a battery-electric technology platform that is modular and scalable, with batteries supplied by Northvolt. Although the battery system is designed primarily with the mining industry in mind it is also well suited for other types of machines that operate in tough environments and are traditionally powered by diesel engines. As a result, Epiroc is providing its electric driveline technology to Railcare. Epiroc first annoucned the collaboration in February 2019.
“Railcare’s launch of a battery-electric railway maintenance vehicle is a vital step forward in the global effort to reduce CO2 emissions,” says Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO. “We are happy and proud that our battery-electric technology platform can be used for other important purposes beyond mining.”
“We chose to work with Epiroc in this project because they are leading the development of drivelines and battery-powered mining equipment,” says Daniel Öholm, Railcare’s CEO. “Our customers around the world have a huge demand for this type of solutions. Especially in city centres, tunnels, and mines where exhaust fumes and noise levels are a big environmental problem. This machine will be a game-changer for the entire railway industry.”
In another similar collaboration, Swedish equipment manufacturer Jama recently launched the world’s first battery-powered underground scaler, using Epiroc’s technology.