The importance of rail lubrication in reducing wear on rails, and wheel flanges has been recognized for a long time and is confirmed by many studies. The need to reduce noise can also be a factor requiring the lubrication of rails at switches or curves.
In the 1970's Swedish State Railways (SJ) experienced a heavy increase in wear on rail curves and on wheel flanges. Since conventional lubricators did not work satisfactorily, it was decided to develop an entirely new type of lubrication system.
The result was the stationary SRS CLICOMATIC LP, which has been developed by SRS in close cooperation with SJ Track division in order to meet the requirements of modern railways reliable operation, optimal and controlled lubrication and easy installation without the need to drill the rails.
In 1995 the SRS CLICOMATIC EC was designed. It is a further development of the well-known LP-version. CLICOMATIC FC is connected to 220V/5OHz (alt, 1 1OV/6OHz) and has a transparent exchangeable grease container.
With efficient rail lubrication wear on rail can practically be eliminated in curves with a radius over 400 meters (4o 20') and be substantially reduced in curves with smaller radius.
Rail lubrication in marshalling and other yards is also important, as the lifetime of switch tongues and stock rails will increase considerably.
How SRS CLICOMATIC EC operates
CLICOMATIC EC type 020 (024) consists of two units. A steel cabinet, which is mounted on a pole beside the track and a grease gun housing, which is fastened on a sleeper in the track. Both pieces are connected by a protection hose in which the cables and grease hose run. The electric cabinet, electric control unit, grease pump and grease container are mounted inside the steel cabinet. The grease gun, solenoid valve and the vibratory sensor are installed in the grease gun housing. The CLICOMATIC EC 022 ,(026) is equipped with a distribution box and two complete grease gun housings This type of unit is used where there is a need to lubricate two rails at the same time i.e. two switch tongues All EC models are to be connected via a ground breaker to the energy supply and only by authorized personnel.
Passing trains create vibrations in the track which are detected by the vibratory sensor in the grease gun housing The electronic control unit receives a signal from the vibratory sensor and opens the solenoid valve at preset intervals, activating the grease gun. The grease is then ejected through a four-hole nozzle, hitting the rail flange with four spots of grease; the intervals between the impulses can be preset for different time intervals. This means that while the sensor is registering vibrations either one or several grease shots can be released during a train passage depending on the preset time interval.
This allows optimal lubrication to be fully adapted to suit local conditions, such as train speed, axle loads, length of train, the contact surface between wheel flange and rail, curve radius and type of greases.