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Health Checks: Preventing errors and improving rail traffic

"See the doctor before you need him," they say. With the Health Check as an annual service, Thales Ground Transportation (GTS) Germany has been offering customers the opportunity since 2018 to have wear and tear in the field prevented by specialized personnel from our company, thereby keeping operating processes running smoothly and being able to plan upcoming repairs much better in advance.

What exactly happens during the check-up?

First, a suitable date is found in close consultation with our respective client. Depending on the situation, there may be scheduled downtimes in operation, so that the time is set for breaks in operation, for example, but it is often even possible to carry out a check "under the rolling wheel".
Finally, it's time to get to work. It is cleaned, read out, measured, analyzed and tested, in short put through its paces. Circuit boards, computers, power supplies, hard disks, axle counting computers: the technology we supply is complex and the list of components to be checked is impressive and long. The components of a health check so far are the interior system of the electronic interlocking (ESTW L90) and the control and operating system (LBS). In addition, the power supply is also to be put under the microscope in the future.

During this process, the employees of our respective client are relieved and in parallel have the opportunity to look over the shoulders of our experts, to learn from our know-how and to better understand the systems. At the same time, this creates an important, personal basis of trust between the working level of our customer and us.

Finally, the system is diagnosed with a detailed test report including all results and recommendations. Should this reveal that parts need to be replaced or repairs need to be carried out, a separate quotation is made. To the best of our knowledge, none of our market competitors currently offers such a service.

High effort? High benefits!!!

Since the failure of a component can have an impact on the function of an interlocking, as for example in the case of a defective counter bus, the preventive measures offered by us are essential for reliability and punctuality in railroad operations.

DB Netz AG is also working closely with us to achieve these goals. Since the conception of the Health Checks by Thales in 2018, a total of 18 checks were carried out at DB Netz AG by the end of 2022. In the process, defects such as dirty fiber optic cables or defects that would have led to the complete failure of entire components were detected in good time and system failures were prevented in advance!

In the meantime, the Health Checks have been included as an integral part of the DB internal program essay "KuP" (Capacity and Punctuality). As a result, almost 60 interlockings throughout Germany benefit from our service.

The Health Check is thus part of our commitment to the highest quality and responsibility in the rail sector as well as to sustainability in the life cycle of our products. In addition to the primarily national offer, there are already initial inquiries from abroad (e.g. Latvia) for the check.