Trail blazing by Felbermayr
By Euan Youdale16 December 2008
Felbermayr transported a new 221 tonne transformer on a 90 km journey in Austria. It was the first time an SPMT had been used on public roads in the country. IC reports.
In April 2008, the old transformer from the Styrian Hessenberg substation was decommissioned and preparations for installing the new transformer got underway. By mid-September the time had come for the last leg of the new transformer's journey from Donawitz railway station to Hessenberg.
For the first 80 km the unit had been transferred from its manufacturer Siemens Transformers Austria, in Weiz, on a 20 axle low loader trailer. This was carried out by Felbermayr Bereich ITB, the international low loader rail transport division of the company.
"Upon reaching the destination of its first leg, our colleagues at the Linz heavy assembly plant transferred the 221 tonne transformer onto the SPMT using lifting gear, and then prepared it for road haulage," explains Jürgen Steinbrecher from the Felbermayr haulage department, based in Wels.
The remaining 10 km stretch included gradients and tight corners, which was the reason for switching to the SPMT system. "The SPMT is able to not only master the tightest of corners, it also has a hydraulic balance that allows the load to be distributed in a longitudinal and lateral direction," adds Steinbrecher.
Another problem on the route was a level crossing. With other transport methods an aerial line would have needed to be temporarily removed from the 6.10 m high cargo. "Fortunately, the federal state government authorised the road use [of the SPMT]," commented Steinbrecher.
The haulage was completed when the transformer's base was positioned in the transformer station. According to Verbund-Austrian Power Grid AG, which commissioned Siemens to carry out the work, the transformer will provide a noticeable improvement in noise levels and help the environment. This, along with improved performance and operational security, will also benefit the neighbouring areas, it added.