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Kummler+Matter installs new overhead lines in the Rhine Valley and on Lake Zurich

On behalf of SBB, the Alpiq subsidiary Kummler+Matter Ltd has replaced the overhead lines between Buchs SG and St. Margrethen and at the station in Au ZH. The overhead lines for these track sections are now suitable for faster trains.

The oldest overhead lines on the stretch between Buchs SG and St. Margrethen already had around 80 years under their belts. Now, the technical railway systems in the Rhine Valley are at the cutting edge of technology thanks, in part, to Kummler+Matter Ltd. This means that trains can be operated at speeds of up to 140 km/h on the relevant stretches – so they are ready for connection to the European high speed rail (HSR) traffic.

Total shutdown in the Rhine Valley on four weekends

The comprehensive work involved shutting down single track sections completely four times from Friday evening to Monday morning. During the extended overnight shutdown periods, experienced installation teams from Kummler+Matter Ltd fitted new catenary systems (including overhead lines, their suspension systems and other important components). As numerous other companies were involved in the project alongside Kummler+Matter Ltd, the main challenge lay in coordinating all the phases of the project and implementing them exactly according to schedule.

Station in Au ZH: siding becomes passing loop

The overhead line system at the station in Au ZH, near Wädenswil, was also getting old. Kummler+Matter Ltd replaced the overhead lines of the siding (including a new lane change) in a project lasting four months. It can now be used to pass freight trains and can cope with speeds of up to 125 km/h. The SBB order also included the dismantling of the overhead lines on the remaining sidings, the removal of the lane separators and the switching posts and the conversion to a new SBB switching system.

Kummler+Matter Ltd was able to use the new multi-purpose vehicle and could rely on an experienced assembly team for the tasks at the station in Au ZH. The work was primarily carried out overnight, with operation allowing only a complete shutdown period of maximum one hour. The project was completed in July 2014 with no accidents, also thanks to extremely strict safety measures.