Long maintenance intervals, running smoothness and light weight are the main challenges faced by components for the rail cargo transport. All of these properties have been integrated in a new type of system consisting of wheel set bearings and hydraulic spring, developed in close cooperation between ContiTech Railway Engineering (CRE), Hannover, and the rolling bearing manufacturer SKF, Göteborg. Both companies will be showcasing the new system – the Gigabox – for the very first time at the Innotrans 2004 (21 to 24 September in Berlin, hall 1.2, booth 136). A model of the Gigabox will be on display at the SKF and ContiTech exhibition booths.

With its integrated hydraulic spring and the compact tapered roller bearing unit, the Gigabox requires no maintenance for up to 1 million kilometers, thus representing significant savings potential for the operator. Further advantages of the system are the light weight of the complete unit, the ease with which it can be replaced and its adaptability to existing chassis constructions. In addition, the running smoothness has been improved significantly, as Friedrich Hoppmann, head of the Railway Engineering segment at ContiTech Air Spring Systems explains: “The hydraulic springs isolate the vibrations that are generated by the contact between the wheel and the rail. Freight cars can thus easily meet future standards and limits regarding noise development and rail stress in particular.”