The track-guidance module provides safe and almost wear-free guidance of the vehicle on the tracks and is the basis of the mechatronic chassis. In order to ensure high ride comfort, careful attention was paid to an optimal decoupling between vehicle body and chassis. Thus, e.g., when individual wheel sets are used it will be possible to dispense with anti-roll stabilizers (lateral anti-roll bars). In wheel-set chassis these are indispensable as safety-relevant elements but are an unwanted acoustical bridge.
As the vehicles are not driven via the wheels, the principle of individual wheel sets allows elimination of the longitudinal slip between wheel and rail. Thus the wear on the two elements is reduced considerably. Additionally, the active steering of the wheel-set axles prevents wear-intensive contacts between flange and rail and a controlled hunting oscillation provides for a uniform wear of the wheels. As the track is known the vehicles have also the possibility to feedforward the steering angle and thus ensure optimal track guidance.
Active Track Guidance
The chassis of a RailCab consists of two rigidly connected linear motors that are suspended on two chassis frames. The axles with the individual wheels are simply supported by the frame so that the wheels can be steered via hydraulic cylinders. A total of eight sensors measure the distance to the rail before and behind every wheel, respectively. A computer then determines the ideal steering motion that guides the vehicle safely and comfortably along the track.
Vehicles with conventional rigid axles are centered by the so-called controlled hunting oscillation where flange contacts are occurring perpetually. Due to the active track guidance the RailCabs operate with significantly less wear and noise but much more comfort and safety. Moreover, the steering is a prerequisite for individual vehicles to be able to exit a convoy at turnouts.