Management & Operations

Voith wins CALTRANS contract

Posted on July 1, 2013

Voith won the contract to provide 260 push back couplers to CALTRANS, the transit authority for the California Department of Transportation.

The couplers are part of Voith's unique Crash Energy Management (CEM) technology, designed to enhance passenger safety and reduce damage to train cars when crashes occur. Since 2008, Voith has secured orders for nine different transit agencies across the U.S. and Canada.

Voith's Crash Energy Management technology is designed to limit the damage to passenger railcars by the use of sacrificial energy absorbers, preventing derailment and car override. The systems employed by Voith feature energy absorbers to reduce the force of the crash felt on the railcars by the passengers. The technology is good for the passengers, as tests have shown Voith's CEM system limits the g-force of the initial impact in the case of a collision.

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) was the first commuter rail system to require CEM technology. Voith was awarded the contract for the CEM system for SCRRA, whose specifications for couplers have since been adopted by the technical committee formed by Amtrak, known as PRIIA (Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act) 305. Voith is an active member of this committee and these PRIIA 305 standards are being used in specifications for many new rail procurements across the U.S.

The company manufactures its CEM systems at its office in York, Pa. To date, Voith's orders for push back couplers have been for new, passenger railcars and locomotives. However, these couplers can be retrofit to existing passenger cars.

RELATED: "Metro-North railcar design saved passengers' lives."

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