Inflatable seals save energy costs

Published:  08 January, 2015

German train company Bayrische Oberlandbahn (BOB) is said to be saving energy costs and improving working conditions within its service workshops following the installation of bespoke WI inflatable dock seals from Stertil Dock Products.

Based in Holzkirchen, Germany, BOB is a private railway operator with trains connecting Munich with the alpine hamlets of Bayrischzell, Lenggries and the spa town of Tegernsee. The routes are serviced by traditional diesel-electric trains which, as well as being popular on weekdays, are frequently used at weekends by tourists and locals visiting the Bavarian Alps for walking, bike riding and skiing.

Comprehensive repair, maintenance and servicing of the train fleet are undertaken at the company’s workshops. However, due to space limitations, it’s not always possible to accommodate the entire length of trains or separate carriages. On these occasions, the large workshop doors need to be left open, to allow part of the train to protrude beyond the workshop, which leads to loss of heat and increased energy costs. However, these problems have now been eliminated following the installation of a special 5000mm high by 4400mm wide shelter incorporating the WI inflatable dock seals.

Originally developed to support loading bay applications, the WI inflatable dock seals were installed to provide a virtually airtight seal around trains. This is achieved by inflatable side and top airbags that automatically self-adjust to different heights and widths. The seal is inflated by a head mounted electric blower and inflates in approximately 15 seconds. Once the blower is turned off, the top and side airbags deflate and automatically retract behind protective, hardwearing curtains to enable safe and unobstructed movement of trains.

Andrew Georgiou, general manager of Stertil Dock Products commented: “By drastically reducing heat loss and energy costs, the seals are a highly cost effective investment that will pay for itself in a very short time through the savings made.”

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