Dutch Railways rely on Shifter transport innovation

NedTrain (affiliated with the Dutch Railways, known as the NS) is bent on becoming the world’s number one innovative train revision company. To reach this goal, they chose the Shifter Multi Flex to transport their train carts. AVT Europe’s Shifter brings the single most efficient, maintenance- and eco-friendly solution to the table. We went on to discover what makes the Shifter Multi Flex stand out from the competition.

The challenge at hand

NedTrain specializes in renovating and modernizing outdated trains. This process goes as follows: old trains find their way to the maintenance yard using railway tracks, after which the wheels are disassembled.Afterwards, the carts are transported from one workstation to another within the same maintenance yard. At each workstation, the carts receive a well-earned revision. Think new seats, wifi and paint jobs. However, in order to make this type of transport happen in a way that avoids damage to the surface or the carts themselves, truly innovative transport solutions are needed. That’s where the Shifter comes in. 

A custom Shifter

With Shifter’, we refer to all the transport solutions designed and constructed by AVT Europe – a Belgian developer of automatization and transport innovation. To bring the right answers to NedTrain’s challenges, the Shifter engineers were brought in to review the technical demands posed by this project. What’s the desired carrying capacity? What size is the maintenance yard? Are there any special conditions we should keep in mind when transporting these train carts? A whole bunch of variables to take into account when developing a custom Shifter. Last but not least, safety was set firmly at the top of the list of priorities.

The Shifter Multi Flex benefits

The Shifter Multi Flex proved to be the expert choice of AVT: a flexible dual transport system consisting of two or more Shifter Flex units. Remotely controlled, both units work together synchronously and make for an unrivalled level of accuracy. Both units find each other automatically, even when they’re not positioned in opposite direction. Furthermore, the Shifter Multi Flex is capable of rotating 360 degrees, thanks to its centered (virtual) axis. Maximum flexibility, exactly what NedTrain needed.

In the past, NedTrain relied on air cushion-powered transport systems. A form of transport not without its charms, but with a couple of downsides. For example, for air cushions to function properly, the ground surface needs to be flat with zero bumps or irregularities, to prevent loss of air. You’re also restricted in movement because of the air hose. Trust us, you don’t need a hose getting in your way. The Multi Flex also makes its mark in terms of eco-friendliness and sustainability. An investment worth every penny.

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Support and follow-up

Today, it’s hard to imagine a NedTrain maintenance yard without the Shifter Multi Flex. It easily moves up to 84 metric tons at a time and has won the hearts of NedTrain employees everywhere. From day one we provided them with proper guidance on how to work the system. Child’s play when you have a firm grasp on its wireless remote control. Support is guaranteed as well. In fact, for the next 15 years the Shifter team commits itself to providing support services and technical improvements to the Shifter vehicles. The NedTrain teams can rest easy. 

The Shifter Multi Flex has enabled NedTrain (as well as the NS) to transport train carts in a way that’s truly care-free and efficient. A huge leap towards becoming the world’s number one innovative train revision company. Tell all we said it.

How about a custom transport solution for yourself?

Get in touch with Shifter: +32 3 546 39 00 or info@a‑vt.be.