Representatives of the Goldschmidt Thermit Group and the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (local transport company) christened a special machine for grinding rails with the name Leipzig. The Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe thus intensifies its cooperation with the global leader in the field of joint welding and the maintenance and repair of rail systems which has its headquarters in Leipzig.

The newest and most modern rail grinding vehicle of the Goldschmidt Thermit Group will be used for the first time in Leipzig.

"The Goldschmidt Thermit Group is a well-known leading global player in its field. As deputy mayor responsible for business I am particularly pleased that on the one hand the Goldschmidt Thermit Group is able to underline its position as a pioneer with its new product, the rail grinding vehicle, to meet international competition and on the other hand by choosing the name ‘Leipzig’ the company has chosen to internationally promote Leipzig as a technology and business location. I also find that the cooperation with the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe is a good example of a functioning network for the purpose of promoting technology", says Uwe Albrecht, deputy mayor and alderman for business and employment in the city of Leipzig.

"The Goldschmidt Thermit Group has had its headquarters in Leipzig since 2004. We are an international group and offer products and services for the construction, renovation, modernisation and intelligent predictive maintenance of railway tracks. We are therefore especially happy that in our home city we are to further intensify the cooperation with the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe", explains Martin Niederkrüger, doctor of engineering and chief technical officer of the Goldschmidt Thermit Group.

"The new rail grinding vehicle will be used for the removal of corrugations and short waves, for the reprofiling of the rail running head and running edge, and for the derusting of new rails. The vehicle allows the simultaneous processing of both rails. The advantages are obvious. Existing damage to the rails is removed to prevent further damage, the rail service life is lengthened and noise emissions are reduced", says Tim F. Gabriel, head of business unit light rail at the Goldschmidt Thermit Group.

In Leipzig the new vehicle will be used throughout the city to remove so-called corrugations. The wave-shaped depressions in the upper rail surface are caused on bends and also through braking and acceleration processes. They result in damage to the rail structure, reduce travel comfort and also generate noise as a train passes over the rail.

"According to the motto ‘Leipziger invests in Leipzig’ the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe are investing about €26m in its railway network. This will enable us to increase the performance of the network for the growing city of Leipzig and enable a modern public transport system. Our customers will benefit directly through greater travel comfort", says Ulf Middelberg, speaker of the management board of the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe.

In the course of a regular inspection of the railway tracks, the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe identified the areas where the tracks are strongly corrugated. During the cooperation, intensive grinding will serve to remove the corrugations in 45 longer sections of track. This measure is part of the investment programme ‘Leipziger invests in Leipzig’.

The beneficiaries are the customers of the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe and the city residents. The rail grinding with this special vehicle is currently beginning in the east part of Leipzig and during the coming weeks will spread across the city. The work will mostly be carried out during the night between the permissible hours of 9pm and 5am, in order not to disturb scheduled operations and provide the freedom necessary for the work.

"The advantages for the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe are clear to see. This special machine will lengthen the service life of our rails, reduce maintenance costs and prevent future damage", says Dirk Sikora, division manager for infrastructure at the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe. The Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe is part of the Leipziger Group.