Lathen. The Transrapid is getting ready for its last trip to Lathen. Two of the three sections have already been hoisted onto low-loaders. The third willRead morebe taken to its terminus on the day of transportation, Wednesday, 13 September, 2017.
"We are talking millimetre precision", says Marcus Laga in an interview with our editors. Laga is marketing director of Ulferts heavy haulage company, headquartered in Neermoor. Out of a total of six applicants, the company was awarded the contract for loading and transporting the last maglev train to have been built in Germany. "Not because we made the cheapest offer, but because we had the best concept," says Laga. As to order volume, however, he does not provide any information.
Almost three months of planning
It is clear that the venture is a major challenge, even for Ulferts, who has several branches in Germany and employs nearly 100 people at its headquarters alone. The project is something quite different from transporting castings or wind turbine components from A to B. "We have been planning almost three months", Laga outlines the logistical preparations required for this special order. The total empty weight of the 75-metre-long TR 09 train, which was decommissioned in Emsland at the end of 2011, is 170 tons. It was last autumn that meat products company Kemper, located in Nortrup in the district of Osnabrück, won the bid to buy the train from the federal government for a 200,000 Euro price tag. "The C-arms, magnets and batteries have all been removed", says Laga. He explains that this leaves a transport weight of 35 tons per section. And don't forget the truss crossbar, which weighs 18 tons.
The sections lie on air cushions
"The trick is that the sections rest on air cushions", explains Laga. These air cushions must have a constant pressure of 10 bar and be exposed to 24 volts. The transport is thus not only literally under high power and pressure, but is also a relatively wobbly affair. "It's a bit like working on eggshells", says Laga.
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