Symbolic of a bygone era, the marvel of steam locomotives has ensured that their hold on the public's imagination is maintained. For generations, these iron behemoths have captured the attention of all who have crossed them. From the mystery of the Orient to the magic of Hogwarts, steam locomotives are powerful machines of engineering invention.
But with great power comes great responsibility, or so the saying goes, and great responsibility entails the imposition of requirements upon steam locomotives that go above and beyond those stated in other operational Railway Group Standards.
After all, the safe operation of these trains on the railway system requires that their unique physical characteristics be taken into account.
One of the key elements in the safe operation of the steam locomotive is ensuring equal load distribution. The ability to accurately weigh each axle simultaneously so that the weight distribution can be monitored is of critical importance for the safe operation of the locomotive. Furthermore, all of the axles must be weighed at the same time in order for an accurate picture of the locomotive's weight distribution to be displayed. If left unchecked, the weight across each axle may become unevenly distributed, thereby resulting in the risk of derailment or overturning. Additionally, certain sections of railway track are designed to tolerate certain maximum axle loads. To exceed this maximum would mean to jeopardise the integrity of the track, which further compounds the significance of integrated weighing systems.
Given the contribution to railway safety that is made by maintenance and perfect load distribution, when one of the few licensed railway companies to run Steam Locomotives on the UK's rail network needed to replace a system that it used to weigh the axles on its Steam Locomotives, they made no hesitation in contacting Applied Weighing for a solution.
Applied Weighing, the UK's leading manufacturer of weighing systems, supplied ten Titan loading assemblies which the client fitted to their existing axle jacking equipment on site. Applied Weighing also supplied a 920i digital weight controller, which provided the opportunity for each load cell to be monitored individually. The flexibility of the weight controller allows for all of the weights to be displayed either on a single screen, so that the operator is presented with a clear picture of the system, or on separate screens, where each axle can be displayed as a large format. In doing so, weight changes are clearly visible as adjustments are made to the locomotive's running gear.
Applied Weighing, which was first established in 1990, provides a complete range of weighing solutions and systems. These are custom built to meet individual customer requirements. Their range includes platform scales, silo and vessel weighing systems, drum filling systems, high speed weighing systems, telemetry systems and load cells. Applied Weighing products are used in a diverse variety of industry areas including pharmaceutical, food processing, milling and bakeries, aggregates and cement, fuel oils, chemicals and plastics. Their aim is to provide quality products on short delivery times, backed up with comprehensive technical support. Applied Weighing is an ISO 9001:2008 registered company and is certified for the manufacture of ATEX compliant products.