Increasing volumes of railway transports in the world require refurbishment and mainenance of hundreds of thousands of carriages. Trainparts Sweden AB has unique experience and competence.

”A refurbished leaf spring or buffer for a rail vehicle is technically as good as a new one. The difference is that cost is lower and the environmental impact is less. But not every company has the skills necessary for these kinds of tasks”, says Göran Forsberg, CEO of Trainparts in Bollnäs.

Growing interest in railway transports

Trainparts’s business concept is to perform maintenance, refurbishment and manufacturing of leaf springs, buffers and screw couplings for rail vehicles, predominantly freight wagons. The company also performs other kinds of carriage maintenance, such as brake wedges, centre posts, steps, handles and bushings.

An increased volume of railway transports and better environmental awarenss favours both Trainparts and the environment, says Göran Forsberg. Photo: Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

”Considering the political ambition to shift as much goods as possible from road to other modes of transportation, railway carriage maintenance becomes a very interesting niche. More railway transports will mean that more trains will have to be refurbished, modernized and kept in good condition – and the vehicle fleet is large: in Europe, there are about 600 000 carriages with similar leaf springs and buffers as in Sweden. South Africa has 300 000. The market is huge, and we are for example working with customers in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Turkey, helping them with maintenance and replacement of worn-out parts”, Göran Forsberg says.

”In our workshop, we perform maintenance on all types of leaf springs on the market and new production of leaf springs and parabolic springs. This requires skill as well as special equipment, for example hardening oven, hardening vat, tempering oven and presses. The staff has unique competence, and our generational mix of personnel enables us to pass the knowledge down from generation to generation; this is the true engine of Trainparts”.

Efficient use of resources

A leaf spring ususally consists of one or several thin, flexible lengths of steel, joined together to work as a single unit. Leaf springs are primarily used for the suspension of railway carriages and other heavy vehicles. Photo: Trainparts.

”When we refurbish leaf springs and buffers, we only replace the parts that are broken and worn out. Other components are left in place; there are no reasons to exchange working parts, neither technical or safety-wise. This means that a refurbished leaf spring is as good as a new one, but the cost is 40 percent lower. In a life-cycle perspective, the environmental advantage is substantial. We are giving the components a second life, saving the resources it would take to manufacture new ones from virgin materials, and with much less impact on the climate”, Göran Forsberg says.

”The entire world is looking for environmentally sound modes of transportation, and that favours Trainparts’s business. Reducing the consumption of energy, materials and other resources is a competitive factor for us. We take a systematic approach to resource management. Efficient organization is good for both finances, product quality and the environment, and we have applied lean manufacturing and 5s methodology. The company is certified according to ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, FR 2000 and TransQ”, Göran Forsberg says.

The article was published in January 2018.