SŽ - VIT passed a surveillance audit, which took place between 18 and 21 November 2019, to renew its ECM certificate for freight wagons and authorization for other vehicles types under Regulation (EU) No 445/2011. The audit examined compliance with the requirements and criteria for the function of maintenance delivery in accordance with Annex III of the mentioned regulation.

A new challenge is already around the corner, however, with the upcoming Regulation (EU) 2019/779 to replace the regulation presently in effect and introduce a single certificate for all rail vehicles. This is a good opportunity for SŽ-VIT to keep up the momentum and use the recently attested compliance with the requirements and criteria under the upcoming regulation to harmonize its processes, so as to ensure the quality of its activities in the European market.

Certificates

In April 2019, our Ljubljana workshop completed a major overhaul of Siemens Desiro EMUs owned by the passenger operator SŽ-Potniški promet. The works, which took two and a half years to complete, started on 13 September 2016 when the first unit entered Ljubljana Center's shop, and involved a total of 30 major revisions – 10 on two-car units and 20 on three-car units.

Compared to mid-life overhauls, a major overhaul comprises more repair work on the converters of the auxiliary equipment, traction power converters, the underframe, the brakes, interior equipment, and – what is easy to notice – application of an anti-graffiti coating over the entire body, which improves the general image of the trains and is significantly faster and more environmentally friendly than redoing the whole paintwork. Additionally to the overhaul works, degraded parts of traction motor insulation were renewed, loose window panes were replaced, Wi-Fi was installed, and a prototype retractable thread board was retrofitted onto one of the EMUs for testing.

The works on the list went according to plan and were on schedule, with no additional unit downtime. Night and weekend shifts were introduced to handle the increase in workload so that the trains could be returned to operation when scheduled for service.

The next such revision is planned in 2024. Meantime, things are sure to stay lively as these trains typically require plenty of routine servicing. Moreover, a project is currently on-going to GSM-R on the EMUs.

 

On 6 May, a completely refurbished Class 642/643 diesel shunter returned to operation following extensive modification work performed at our shop in Maribor under a project to repower a total of 12 units, which had been awarded to the American locomotive manufacturer and maintenance supplier NRE, Global Headquarters Mount Vernon, Illinois.

At SŽ - VIT, we have been working to modernize Slovenske železnice\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s rolling stock for a number of years now, and this includes, amongst other, upgrading and repowering Class 642 and 643 shunting locomotives. To increase vehicle availability, cut maintenance costs, lower emissions and better meet operational restrictions, the locomotive\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s owner SŽ-Tovorni promet decided on a project to repower and modify its existing units at our Maribor shop, which is specialized in maintaining diesel vehicles.

The modification work is a result of careful and zealous planning done in collaboration with SŽ-Tovorni promet. Modern rail technology features a number of advantages when it comes to refurbished locomotives, demonstrating that old and worn-out equipment can be reworked into like new locomotives, which has always been one of our goals at diesel unit maintenance.

In November 2018 the Swiss certification body Sconrail carried out, in line with Commission Regulation (EU) No 445/2011, an assessment to renew SŽ - VIT\'s maintenance functions certificate and expand it to cover tractive and trailing stock other than freight wagons and wheelsets.

The current certificate for freight wagon maintenance, which was obtained back in 2012 and was one of the first certificates delivered to a maintenance supplier in Europe, was re-assessed and successfully renewed. In second part, the assessment involved a first-time check of the key process compliance with respect to locomotives, powered passenger vehicles (trainsets and multiple units), carriages, self-propelled maintenance vehicles and engineering trains, and was focused on safety and on the compliance of SŽ - VIT\'s processes with safety requirements.

The certification allows for important parameters, which are typically set high especially in regards to safety, to be implemented in good time. In addition, it boosts SŽ - VIT\'s competitiveness and grants us a competitive edge in regards to the upcoming EU directive on trailing stock. Successfully passing the assessment puts SŽ - VIT to the very top of ECM-certified shops in Europe.

In 2018 SŽ - VIT successfully passed a recertification audit to verify the conformity of its quality management system against ISO 9001:2015 along with a pair of initial audits to achieve certification to ISO 14001:2015 and ISO:50001. The company has a fair deal of experience with quality management under its belt; our processes have been in line with ISO 9001 for many years, and the most recent audit demonstrated compliance also with the latest requirements. Because our business inevitably affects the environment and uses up a fair deal of energy, attention is also paid to the reduction of environmental impacts and to energy efficiency. When SŽ-VIT made responsibility towards the environment one of its core values – together with a vision to sustainable development – it was but a matter of time before these vows would gain official recognition in the form of certificates.

The recertification audit to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard was conducted by an accredited certification body Bureau Veritas. This latest version of ISO 9001 has a number of advantages compared to the previous versions including a process-oriented and risk-based approach and a high-level structure that integrates with other standards, such as ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management. Processes are planned in a sustainable manner to incorporate both market and environmental aspects with emphasis on social responsibility.

With such mindset, the company obtained in the second half of 2018 an acknowledgement of certification to ISO 50001 for efficient energy management. Energy cost has been a consideration in various investment, rehabilitation, and upgrade projects so far. While the standard is largely focused on the business value of implementing energy management systems, it takes a step further to introduce a transparent and systematic approach to solving energy issues.

Certificates to ISO 9001, ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 share a connection to other system management standards achieved at SŽ-VIT, with each standard complementing each other. Eco-friendly business practices translate to efficient use of energy, and vice versa. Because each improvement or measure impacts a number of different areas, every step has to be planned with utmost care. More than 50 evaluations were conducted in 2018 by our international clients to verify that all processes were free from non-conformities.

In 2015 SŽ – VIT became TSI-certified for the manufacture of BA 004 and BA 314 wheel-sets. The stage one audit was completed on 10 February 2015, and in the following years our wheel-set manufacture processes were successfully verified for compliance at annual surveillance audits. Because of popular demand, the decision was made later on to expand the certificate to BA 303 wheel-sets.

The audit for BA 303 wheel-set manufacture under TSI certification was conducted mid-2018 at the wheel-set maintenance shop in Ptuj. In the evaluation, all applicable documents were reviewed and the entire production process was inspected together with the associated measuring tools and machinery.

The certificate was issued on 21 June 2018 and – like with BA 004 and BA 314 wheel-sets – stays valid for two years. Achieving TSI certification for BA 303 quickly secured orders for new wheel-sets, which can be mounted to both new and existing TSI wagons. This latest addition strengthens our presence on the market for wheel-set rebuilds, which, albeit small, is anything but negligible given the added value it brings in to our company.

Maintenance of axle drives had been identified as a market opportunity some years ago. To expand on this idea, we teamed up with an acknowledged axle drive manufacturer and maintenance supplier Gmeinder Getriebe Gmbh to provide the training and technical assistance. The first training session was held in 2013 at Gmeinder's head office in Germany, and granted our technicians the relevant certificates in axle drive maintenance. Unfortunately our plans suffered a setback in 2014 when the shop intended for this kind of servicing was destroyed in a fire, and it was not until 2017 that the place was finally brought back to operation. However this downtime did not go to waste – while the repairs were in full swing, we successfully finished a call for tender and purchased all spare components necessary in axle drive maintenance.  

In April this year, an on-site training course in the maintenance of Series 713 axle drives was held at our Ptuj workshop, involving the assembly of GGM170E 269D and GGM170EHA 310D axle drives demonstrated by a representative of Gmeinder Getriebe Servis GMBH.  

Following the course, we were tasked with the challenge to carry out servicing of the axle drive without assistance, as the final test before the launch of the new service. This task was completed successfully on 12 May 2017, thus marking the launch of axle drive maintenance at the Ptuj workshop.   

With the service successfully added to our portfolio, we are able to offer a complete solution in the maintenance of Series 713/715 axle drives. Rail servicing is a process of continuous improvement and progress, and we let no opportunity slip to learn new skills and boost our services' value. As we grow, so does the quality of our maintenance, giving you the kind of service you can rely on.      

 

SŽ – VIT successfully passed the assessment to renew its ECM certificate in rolling stock maintenance according to Commission Regulation (EU) No 445/2011. The assessment took place from 25 to 28 September, and was conducted by the Swiss certification body SCONRAIL.

The regulation sets out the requirements and criteria for the assessment of organisations which apply for an ECM certificate, with some of the requirements laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) No 402/2013 (methods and procedures for risk assessment)  and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1078/2012 (effectiveness of the management system procedures). The assessment involved verifying the maintenance function for compliance with Annex III of the ECM regulation.

Four years ago, SŽ – VIT was one of the first workshops in Europe to acquire the ECM certificate as part of its strategy to expand to EU markets. The status of an ECM helped us win the trust of many clients, who know they can always count on us for a service well done.  
This year's assessment took place at Dobova, Divača and Ptuj workshops and also at the company's head office. It involved examining the key areas of management of processes with a focus on Annex III of Commission Regulation (EU) No 445/2011. Other than general requirements and criteria, the assessment focused on compliance of processes in release to service of freight wagons, staff competence with regard to continuous training, and risk management in maintenance. 

The Sconrail representative in charge of the assessment confirmed that the processes examined were in compliance with the EU regulation and expressed his satisfaction with the progress achieved since the previous examination. As no instances of non-compliance were identified in the assessment, we were able to renew the certificate successfully, attesting compliance of the maintenance system and work processes at SŽ – VIT with the European regulation.

The first few units in a batch of 30 Siement Desiro EMUs purchased by Slovenske železnice for passenger service were delivered in late 2000, with routine maintenance and overhauls to be supplied by our workshops. Eight years down the line came the first mid-life overhaul, which was started in May 2008 on 312-007/008.

This being the first overhaul of the EMU series, a core team was formed to help the technicians learn the ropes in this kind of maintenance. A programme of works was prepared and coordinated with the passenger operator and owner of the units, SŽ – Potniški promet, with custom tools designed and a properly equipped worksite arranged to service all 30 units. In addition to the overhaul, we also did several repairs and modifications requested by the owner – the air conditioning system was modified to reduce noise, and the units were refurbished with energy consumption meters. Other changes involved replacing articulations between the railcars and equipping the wheelsets with additional earthing, as well as repairing loose window panes and replacing German inscriptions with Slovenian lettering. 

In 2016, eight years had passed since the previous overhaul, so it was time for the next big step – the major overhaul. Work began in September 2016 at our Ljubljana workshop, which is specialised in maintenance of electrical rolling stock. The first unit to be serviced was again the 312-007/008, but unlike previously there were several other checks involved which focused on traction converters and auxiliary converter (converters had to be dismounted for re-sealing and replacement of the insulation). A lot of work also had to be done on the underframe, brakes, and interior furnishings. As a new extra, an anti-graffiti coating was applied to enable easy graffiti removal and improve the exterior image of the EMUs.

A total of 12 EMU units are scheduled for major overhaul this year, with 16 more to go.

With a response rate of 62%, this year’s customer satisfaction measurement included a total of 31 companies from Slovenia and other European countries. While the survey targeted our clients from every services category, most responses came from the regular users of our freight maintenance service (wagon and wheelset servicing). 

Overall, our partners are found to be very happy to do business with us, as shown by an average score of 4.2 (on a rating scale from 1 to 5) in the business cooperation category, which is slightly up on the result from last year. Moreover, with improvement in customer experience noted in almost every category, the company reached a total average of 4.05 putting our services at a good place from which we can work on making things even more successful. Almost everyone expressed a wish to continue doing business with us, while as many as 28 would recommend SŽ – VIT to their partners.

Overall, the survey results for 2016 have met our expectations, yet that does not leave us complacent about the future, but rather the opposite – we set ever higher goals to achieve, blending established practices with hard work along the way. Moreover, we will be putting in extra work to bring up the survey results which did not quite hit the mark.

Our workshop in Dobova received a significant boost in the form of a new maintenance hall with an illuminated passageway used for entry/exit checks and minor maintenance works, such as brake block replacement, brake tests, and wagon label and inscription fixing. The new hall largely streamlined the previously complex logistics inside the workshop, which involve day-to-day movement of a considerable number of wagons to their designated place of servicing according to their maintenance phase while complying with the relevant contract requirements and orders, as well as making provisions for unscheduled vehicle orders, vehicle condition at the shop, and calls for emergency repairs and repairs of train loads.

Earlier this year, sandblasting work was started at the newly constructed sandblasting booth, which is equipped with water-based air filtration, two hose outlets and a reversible sandblasting medium – steel abrasive material in specific sizes. The booth is suitable for all types of standard freight wagons measuring up to 17m in length between the end axles, or with a maximum length-over-buffers of 24.5m. Sandblasting is also supplied for all types of wagon components and other rolling stock, such as track motor cars, DMUs and passenger coaches, as well as for structural steel and similar metallurgy products.

The slack adjuster maintenance shop, which has also been brought up to modern standards, now allows for easier, more transparent and more effective controlled servicing of Knorr slack adjusters and Sab Wabco's DRV 450-600. This kind of work is handled by a specialised team of technicians with access to post-maintenance testing devices for slack adjusters and springs, to spare parts and material, suitable tools and to all relevant manufacturer instructions for work.

In 2016, our Ptuj and Dobova workshops have successfully been re-certified as an entity in charge of maintenance (ECM) in line with Regulation (EU) No 445/2011; Ptuj is specialised for wheel-set maintenance while Dobova focuses on supplying complete freight wagon maintenance. The re-assessment was performed by Sconrail, a Swiss certification body that had done this kind of certification for SŽ – VIT in the past years already.

Our first assessment dates back to 2012 when SŽ – VIT became one of the first European workshops to have received an ECM certificate in the effort to pave its way to the European markets. Having acquired this certificate sent a clear signal to customers that we are able to supply a quality service at any time, as stipulated by the regulation. After the certificate was renewed end of last year, this has given us a competitive advantage on the European market and reaffirmed our position as a supplier of quality freight wagon maintenance. Another re-assessment pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 445/2011 is slotted for this year to verify the Quality Management System applied at our company and examine compliance with the criteria of Annex III for the maintenance delivery function.

Every two years, visitors and exhibitors from far and wide gather in Munich, Germany at the world’s leading trade fair for logistics and transport Transport Logistic, and we had to make sure to be there again together with SŽ – Cargo. The event is an excellent opportunity for us to meet our business partners in person and nourish the bonds we came to build through the past years. 

Pimped up by a sofa built out of a wheel-set, our booth was happy to also welcome new visitors, who could find out more about our company and consider the opportunity of doing business with us.

Slovenske železnice owns a total of 32 units of Class 541 locomotives, which are the first electric locomotives to have been procured by the company in more than 30 years, making their maintenance a challenge in its own right. Class 541 is overhauled periodically every eight years, or after reaching a mileage of one million kilometres. The first 20 units had their body overhauled at Ljubljana Centre workshop, while the bogie overhaul was done by ÖBB – TS in Linz, Austria. With 20 successful overhauls under their belt, the work crew at Ljubljana Centre gained enough experience to handle the full revision of the remaining 12 units. For this purpose, a Schmitt floor-mounted bogie rotator was purchased at the end of 2015 along with some additional equipment. In 2016, a total of six Class 541 revisions were completed successfully, and six more are planned this year.

Every two years, trade visitors and exhibitors gather at the world's leading trade fair for transport technology Innotrans to check out the latest technology and advances in the rail industry. The fair is held at the Messe Berlin exhibition centre, which has outdoor railway sidings used to exhibit the newest rolling stock, from tank wagons to high-speed trains. In 2016, the fair witnessed over 2,800 thousand exhibitors from 61 countries, including eight from Slovenia. SŽ-VIT was a first time exhibitor at the time along with three other companies in the field of rail technology, namely Anton Blaj, Kovis Group, and Magneti Ljubljana. In just four days, the fair witnessed more than 140 thousand visitors, who came looking for specific services, general information, or to introduce their own company and services. It was an excellent opportunity to meet long-time customers, discuss business with partners, and meet potential new clients to win over. It was also a success in terms of keeping good ties with former customers who require our services occasionally to discuss their upcoming needs in maintenance. Combining quality of service with a flexible approach to every order, we continue working hard to meet your expectations regardless whether you’re new to SŽ-VIT, or have been around for many years now.

Once the damage caused by the last year's fire was removed, our next task was to return to operation the sections with damaged maintenance facilities. This involved repairing the passenger coach maintenance hall, setting up a temporary wheelset painting facility, replacing the roof, and re-painting the walls and ceiling, which for the most part restored the original working conditions for passenger wagon maintenance and wheelset painting. 

After completing the inspection, report and estimation of damage, we started working on the renewal of maintenance facilities and construction of an overhead roofing between Hall B and C. Starting in early October 2014, the works were carried out concurrently and according to the plan, as winter was right around the corner. 

The repair and construction yielded a newly covered warehouse for assembled wheelsets equipped with a 5T bridge crane for wheelset manipulation and hand-over, as well as additional storage facilities for new components. The usable storage space of the covered outdoor area totals about 1,200m2, with the new covered facilities spanning roughly 2,800m2 in total. Moreover, the maintenance hall for tyred wheelset renewal, painting and hand-over was renewed in full. Despite a tight schedule, the main part of the construction work was successfully completed by 31 December 2014, which let us move on to the instalment of electrical wiring, heating, lifting door, and other planned works. 

Special-purpose and universal machinery for the renewal of wheelsets in freight wagons and passenger coaches, DMUs, EMUs, and heritage rolling stock that suffered damage in the fire were sent for repair to authorised repair services. The renewed hall resumed part of its operations on 1 July 2015 (about 17 months after the fire), with a full return to operation planned for spring 2016.

Moreover, the renovated facilities will also be expanding their maintenance techniques to wheelset shrink-fitting and renewal of final drives on Series 713/715, which is expected to bring more value added to Center Ptuj and provide for a comprehensive servicing of wheelsets on both domestic and foreign market.

End of August 2015, our workshops successfully completed the work on the 541-110, thereby completing the first batch of revisions carried out on a total of 20 units of Series 541 electric locomotives. To make sure that the 541-110 was fit for service, the locomotive had to undergo a series of tests in line with the established procedure, much like the 19 Siemens Taurus locomotives before it. The testing comprised a return run from the Ljubljana workshop to Litija as a light locomotive (uncoupled to a train), a loaded run to Jesenice as a freight train, and the return to Ljubljana as a high-speed passenger train. Having completed the tests successfully, the locomotive was returned to service. 

The revision work on the last batch of Series 541 electric locomotives, comprising units from 541-011 to 541-022, is planned to begin in early 2016.

In March earlier this year, our workshop in Dobova received a set of Laes wagons from the French wagon keeper STVA for test maintenance. The wagons, which are used in car transport, were serviced according to MANREV LEVEL 4 provided by STVA. The test work on the first wagon was completed on 13 May, and also involved a visit by the STVA representative Ms Valerie Nicase when the repairs were ongoing. While STVA is not a new client – we have been providing regular maintenance of STVA wagons at the workshop in Koper since February last year – the good track record of our cooperation led to the decision to order wagon revisions also at the Dobova Center.

STVA made another visit to our workshop at the start of July, in order to carry out the assessment of the ECM function. The first two wagons have already been returned to the client, with the work on the remaining two currently still in progress. We are looking forward to complete the client's order with success and thus continue our cooperation.

It has been another outstanding year for transport logistic 2015, the 15th International Trade Fair for Logistics, Mobility, IT and Supply Chain Management, which took place in Munich between 5 and 8 May. This 4-day event turned out a complete success also for SŽ – VIT, who held a joint stand in Hall B6 together with the freight operator SŽ – Tovorni promet, as we have met most of our regular clients and partners, while networking plenty of new visitors as well. Once again, the trade fair has been breaking old records, with the world of logistics showcased by as many as 2,050 exhibitors from 62 countries, including seven from Slovenia (SŽ – Tovorni promet, SŽ – VIT, Adria Transport, Luka Koper, Actual I.T., Boxline Ucl, and LX track), and attracting over 55,000 visitors from 124 countries.

SŽ-VIT has once again successfully passed the re-assessment of its function as the entity in charge of maintenance (ECM) according to Commission Regulation (EU) Nr 445/2011. Carried out at the workshop in Dobova as well as at the Koper Depot, the re-assessment was again performed by Sconrail, a Swiss certification body which had already been in charge of the previous certification at SŽ-VIT.

The renewed ECM certificate was awarded at the start of December 2014, and will remain valid until 2015 when an assessment is planned for two other SŽ-VIT workshops, which are first-time applicants for the audit. 

The implementation of Regulation No 445/2011 has been a large step towards improving rail safety in Europe, requiring that wagon keepers who want to enter the European rail market take on the responsibility as the ECM, or have their freight wagons serviced by a separate authorized ECM. This means that wagons are sent for repair or revision to workshops which are able to provide the highest level of maintenance. Having renewed the certificate therefore gives SŽ-VIT an important edge over its competitors in the European market, clearly attesting the quality of its freight wagon maintenance in line with Regulation No 445/2011.

Our workshop at Dobova has gained entrance to an important new market this year after Monfer, an Italian cereal trading company, decided to purchase its wagon maintenance services. With a fleet of cereal wagons which operate also on Slovenian rail network, Monfer plays an important role in paving Dobova’s way to the Italian market. 

A total of six wagons were sent to the Workshop for major revision according to maintenance plan instructions. Given Monfer’s satisfaction with our services, we expect our Italian client to continue doing business with us also in the coming year.

Our Divača maintenance center has recently expanded its services to Postojna, where it provides maintenance of the tourist train operating the underground double-track railway, which runs through the Postojna Cave. The fleet of the railway consists of 8 locomotives and 99 mini coaches in total. 

The electric locomotives were manufactured in Italy (Monza) by EMAM. The mini coaches are built in a simplistic manner, with servicing priority given to the maintenance of couplers, bolts, wheelsets, bearings, and passenger seats. 

The maintenance will include regular annual inspections and repairs performed onsite (at the Cave's maintenance sidings) by a dedicated maintenance crew, and will consist of specific tasks, such as removal of batteries, replacement of brake pads, inspection of discs and brake block holders, lubrication of cardans, control of brakes, and other.

The Koper freight station (Koper tovorna) has seen significant improvements recently as new maintenance and repair facilities have been added to improve working conditions, cut wagon handling times and boost productivity. Located in the immediate vicinity of the Port of Koper, the new site has the potential to become the go-to wagon servicing center for one of the busiest transport sections on the Slovenian transport network, providing wagon repair and maintenance services in a timely and integrated manner. The location of the facilities West of the Koper station in the proximity of the Port cuts wagon running times to and from the Port significantly, in turn boosting work efficiency.

The new facilities consist of two designated repair tracks 136m in length together with an inspection pit as well as accommodation and servicing spaces. The repair tracks are illuminated and equipped with power supplies, air systems and a water supply. The new tracks are accessible from Port direction and end with buffer stops. 

In addition to the services provided by the Koper workshop so far, the new facilities also allow us to repair wagons with damaged floor, which was previously a task that had to be performed at the Divača workshop.

Additional upgrades in the short term include construction of roofs above the repair tracks, which should greatly improve the working conditions. Other plans include construction of a new servicing hall, connection of the currently dead-end repair tracks with the remaining tracks (through tracks), and increasing storage capacities for spare parts and material. 

Equipment modernisation aside, the productivity has seen large improvements also because of the excellent cooperation with the Koper station work crew, who transport the wagons between the station and workshop. The location of the new facilities enables us to coordinate such wagon exchanges multiple times per day, in turn enhancing productivity even further. 

Once the remaining work is complete and the repair tracks are upgraded to through tracks, the new SŽ-VIT maintenance yard will become even more efficient, providing our customers with effective and quality services for many years to come.

For more information about repair services at the Koper repair facility call the Divača Center - telephone numbers: 05 29 63 433 or 05 29 63 639.

Last week, our team was presenting services of railway vehicles maintenance and technical wagon services at the international transport logistic fair. The presentation of SŽ - VIT was successful. We met the majority of our business partners and also made a lot of new business contacts. 

The fair itself again recorded record-breaking numbers: more than 110.000 m2 gross exhibition space, 2,013 exhibitors from 63 countries – among them four from Slovenia (SŽ – Tovorni promet, SŽ – VIT, Adria Transport and Luka Koper). The fair was visited by more than 53,000 visitors from 110 countries in 4 days. Around 45 percent of the exhibitors came from outside Germany, and almost 40 percent of the visitors.

SŽ - Vleka in tehnika is one of the first providers of railway maintenance services in Europe to have acquired the certificate of entity in charge of maintenance of freight wagons in accordance with the EU Directive 445/2011 (ECM).

Based on an audit of SŽ - VIT workshops performed by the Swiss institution SCONRAIL AG and technical assessment made by the VPI auditors (German association of parties interested in private freight wagons), our company acquired the ECM certificate (Entity in Charge of Maintenance) for the maintenance delivery function, which delivers the required technical maintenance of a freight wagon or parts of it, including the release to service documentation.

In addition, the validity of the certificate of competence in wheel-set and freight wagon maintenance granted to SŽ - VIT workshops by DB Schenker Rail and the VPI association has been successfully extended to 31 July 2015. The acquisition of the new certificate as well as the extension of an existing one both attest to our company's active presence on foreign markets of railway maintenance services and provide a strong background for future cooperation with foreign partners.

On the location of SŽ - VIT (Ljubljana) the training with international participation is taking place. The theme of the camp organized by the Institute Vision of Security in collaboration with Slovenian Railways is intervention in railway accidents of various kinds, lifting and towing heavy loads.

Within three days of theoretical and practical training our employees, who are experienced by various events in the field are also involved. With their participation they will share their experiences and deepen their knowledge of action in various kinds of accidents in railway transport. Rolling stock and their features that are important in the event of an accident will be presented to the participants of the training. They will also be informed about the conditions for safe work on the tracks.

The organizer expects more than 200 participants - firefighters, soldiers, rescuers, paramedics, police and civil protection.

From 5th July 2012 onwards, SŽ - Centralne delavnice Ljubljana d.o.o., a subsidiary of Slovenske železnice, has started operating under a new name – SŽ - Vleka in tehnika, d.o.o. (SŽ - Traction and Technic, Ltd.)

With the consent of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the management of Slovenske železnice has passed an Act of Incorporation of the company SŽ - Vleka in tehnika, d.o.o. (SŽ - VIT), which amended the company name, the initial capital, the company management and the scope of company activities. 

The activities of SŽ - VIT include the maintenance of railway vehicles, train traction and technical wagon activity. Before the merge of the latter business activities with activity of maintenance (SŽ - Central Workshops Ljubljana), the said services were provided by business units Vleka (Traction) and TVD (Technical Wagon Activity), both part of the parent undertaking Slovenske železnice. After the restructuring of SŽ and the subsequent formation of a holding company SŽ Holding, SŽ - CD and both former business units merged into a single subsidiary called SŽ - Vleka in tehnika, d.o.o.

Maintaining the tradition established by SŽ - Centralne delavnice Ljubljana d.o.o., SŽ VIT will uphold the quality and reliability of railway maintenance services on the domestic market as well Central and South-East European markets. With the addition of said business activities, the volume of available services shall be increased accordingly in order to provide competitive freight and passenger services to wagon keepers and as well railway operators. 

By using a tailor-made customer approach and incorporating the experience gained over the long years, our clients are provided with the best solutions possible. The integrity of our services also gives us the opportunity to ensure the maximum amount of services in one place. By establishing long-term partnerships, we are able us to obtain new experience and upgrade our competences in the process. Moreover, our strategic geographical location between the Alps and the Adriatic enables us to cooperate with many companies throughout the central Europe as well as the Balkans. The quality and reliability of our services has thus earned the trust of many of railway operators, and one of our main goals is to support and further develop that tradition.


The management of SŽ - Vleka in tehnika, d.o.o.

SŽ – Centralne delavnice Ljubljana have signed an annual contract for wheelsets maintenance with one of our biggest foreign business partners – VTG. In 2012 we will perform wheelsets treatment IS3 and IS2 according to VPI. This business represents one of the largest contracts with customers outside the domestic market.

The contract includes a bigger amount of wheelsets to be maintained by IS3 and assembly of new wheel discs (monobloc) and continuous treatment IS2 in accordance to VPI on weekly basis. The contract also insludes an option, which refers to processing of additional quantities of wheelsets on level IS3.

In addition to wheelsets treatment we also perform comprehensive revisions according to VPI on tank wagons for VTG. SŽ - CD Ljubljana approved as a reliable business partner and VTG decided to put hundreds of tank wagons into our care. This business also includes an option for additional volumes in 2013.

Such a scope of the contract means confirmation of quality service, good business relationship and trust that our partners prove with each signed contract.

The project of revision of Sggmrss 90' freight wagons, which was carried out for our new partners from France Touax for the first time, is about to be finished. Touax is very satisfied with our work. We have alreday signed a contract for the next year for maintenance of flat wagons of different sizes.

The first international fair Transport and Logistics in Skopje took place during 5 and 8 October. Our company attended the fair together with Slovenian Railways, which were represented by their branch Alpe Cargo Balkan from Skopje. SŽ - CD presented our visitors our maintenance services primarily from the segments of diesel motor trains and diesel locomotives. We met some our partners, as well as potential new customers from the southeastern market.

The organizer of the fair was very pleased with the visit, so this fair will be held again next year and then every two years exchanging with the fair Transport and Logistics in Munich.

Railway companies in Europe usually maintain one or more vehicles in their fleets painted in original colours. Such a habit is also present at Slowenian Railways which have decided  to paint the electric locomotive of series 363-005 in the "old" colours. SŽ - CD painted the locomotive in  yellow-green-brown colours. The painting was carried out at our workshop in Dobova which is specialized for such work.

Series 363 locomotives, which were named to "Brižita" were manufactured in Alstom's factory in France, in years 1975-1977. When they started to run along the Slovenian electrified lines, they wore a yellow-green-brown colour, but since 2004 we have started to paint them in red and white combination at the request of the owner. First, which was wearing a new colour, was the locomotive 363-019.

363-005 was on repair (revision) in our workshops and painting was performed as a part of it. The locomotive was handed over to the owner at the end of September. On Slovenian tracks you can see it in the nostalgic colours again.

All other locomotives of series 363, which have beed repaired this year in SŽ - CD, will remain coloured in the red and white combination.

In workshop Dobova we are working on audit repairs of tank wagons for our new partner from Switzerland - Wascosa. Of the total of wagons two have already left the workshop.

Two repaired tank wagons and those in the intermediate stage were checked by the representatives of  Wascosa and owner F. Leitner. They were pleased with repair on the two finished tank wagons and took them over. In the workshop we are increasingly working on the remaining ones. 

All works on these wagons are made in accordance with the regulations of the VPI standards and internal instructions of Wascosa. 

Revision in accordance with VPI for a new partner is an important project for the workshop in Dobova, because the quality of work performed can result in new orders of our partners.

The increase of orders in the segment of wheelsets has shown the need to increase production capacities in our workshop in Ptuj. To be able to process larger quantities of wheelsets for new customers, we started constructing new production capacities in March 2010. Some works are still going on, new facilities are already fully occupied and the construction hardly follows the needs of production. 

Within the enlargement of production capacities, we have got a new hall for profile turning, a room for control and inspection of bearings, new room for wheels washing, and new welding room. The new hall is now connected with the old one with a roof and thus we increased the necessary storage facilities for new material and spare parts.

In addition to the new construction we renewed and rebuilt the old painting track into wheelset paint shop, set turning spots on all stages of wheelsets processing, arranged loading tracks for finished wheelsets and built lifting tables at the segment of bearing rings and labyrinth rings assembly and at the press section.

We bought and built new machines to make wheelsets processing more productive: CNC turning machine for turning of the whole axis, CNC truning machine for monobloc plates, a machine for axle grinding and cleaning, measuring machine for measuring of the complete wheelset after treatment and ventilation system (suction device on all machines in Hall C).

Treatment of wheelsets for foreign customers by VPI requires working acording to specific requirements and criteria which means that we need specific tools and equipment. We purchased different measuring tools for the final inspection and assembly of wheelsets and other machinery and equipment that enable us to maintain wheelsets according to certain standards.

The new hall, machinery and tools enable us to work within circle production system. We have established a dual working circuit IC 2 and IC 3, which significantly reduces the processing time and ultimately increases productivity. By autumn, when we expect completion of construction and installation of all machines, we will arrange the input warehouse with a depot and laboratory for non-destructive testing with the new MT-device (for magnetic testing), which is result of own knowledge. In adition to all these gains we are also planing an investment into a code system, which will replace the hand writing of measurement sheets and other documentation required for treatment of wheelsets.

In our workshop in Ptuj, we have, ​​in addition to production capacities, provided all the necessary staff training and successfully passed inspections by our customers. Wheelsets are processed according to VPI standard and in accordance with authorizations of individual customers, which are continuously updated, so we need to successfully follow the on-going training of employees. Moreover, we work in accordance with the received certificates (welding, NDT, ISO), which require high standards. We prove the achievement of these on every audit.

We expect and hope that we will soon be capable to maintain of 1,000 wheelsets per month, which will mean full occupancy. Due to modernization of production capacities, such a scope of work will be achived with two-shift job. We hope that good references in foreign markets will help us get positive response of customers and that they will remain our long-term partners. Of course, we are always ready for some new.

With a promotional drive between main railway station in Ljubljana and SŽ - CD workshop in Ljubljana on 6 July, renovated diesel multiple unit 813/814-130 got back on track. It offers new quality and comfort of travel to the passengers and marks the beginning of the gradual renewal of our major partners' (Slovenian Railways) passenger fleet.

Renovation of the passenger train has been entrusted to our company, which otherwise maintains and repairs all types of vehicles of Slovenian Railways, including the state of the art locomotives and passenger trainsets. Renovation of  813/814-130 train is the biggest project of this kind so far and demonstrates the effectiveness of domestic knowledge.

Project of the modernisation of the diesel train included:
- a new propulsion unit with turbo compressor and lower emissions, 
- air conditioning in the driver’s cabin and passenger compartments,
- drying equipment for compressed air,
- an ecological vacuum toilet,
- new wall and ceiling linings in passenger coaches – new design,
- new and more comfortable seats for passengers – new design,
- modern light-emitting diodes for the lightning of passenger compartments,
- video surveillance equipment for the passenger compartment,
- drying equipment for compressed air.

Participants of the promotional drive, on 6 July, were welcomed by the general director of the Slovenian Railways Goran Brankovic. He expressed satisfaction that the sistem of Slovenian Railways is able to approach such large-scale projects carried out by our own knowledge, with as low costs as possible and significantly improves the supply of passenger transport. He wished a safe journey to the train and plenty of pleasant moments for passengers during the journey.

Director of SŽ - Centralne delavnice Ljubljana Dusan Žičkar also noted that the renovation of almost forty-year-old train ia a completely new product, which represents our own knowledge and work of our employees. It is a result of extremely good cooperation with the Slovenian Railways' business unit Passenger Transport. He is convinced that the train offers the most advanced solutions in terms of both safety and comfort. The renovations will offer competitive services in passenger transport.

The entire project gives SŽ - CD a large market opportunity for other buyers outside Slovenia. Similar, but not renovated trains of the same series are still running on many railways in the EU and the Balkans.

Director of business unit Passenger Transport mag. Bostjan Koren said that the goal of the Slovenian Railways is to become the institution of an integrated public transport and said that he is pleased to be able to offer passengers a high quality travel and almost "new" passenger train with about 80 percent less investment than would have been neccesary for the purchase of a new train. He also said that this is only a begining of the renovation project of old trainsets. "This year we are planning a comprehensive renovation of three older diesel trains, which will be followed by additional renovated trainsets in the coming years," he said.

SŽ - Centralne delavnice Ljubljana d.o.o. were presenting our services at the international fair of logistic, mobility, IT and supply chain management - Transport & Logistic last week. The fair takes place at Munich every second year. This year it was the 13th and the facts about it are all superlatives.

There were 1893 exhibitors from 59 countries presenting themselves on more than 100,000 m2 of fair ground, among them five from Slovenia. SŽ - CD presented ourselves on the stand together with Slovenian Railways (Cargo). The fair was visited by more than 51,000 fair visitors from 134 countries in four days.

The exhibitors described the atmosphere at the fair as business-focused, positive and promising as numbers of exhibitors and visitors increased. This shows recovery of logistic and transport sector after the global economic crysis. Representatives of SŽ - CD met with majority of our business partners and also made a lot of new business contacts. 

Our presentation is evaluated as very successful, as a matter of fact discussions with our business partners anticipate more orders of our services, especially those for freight wagons and wheelsets. In addition, a few new potential partners showed interest for our services in other segments. They were attracted by good references and quality of our work. In SŽ - CD we will endeavour to fulfil the expectations of our regular and new customers on every step of business process.

Minister for Transport Dr. Patrick Vlačič, visited SZ - Centralne delavnice Ljubljana d.o.o. today. Reason for the visit was a detailed presentation of the company, presentation of the strategy and vision of the company and the synergistic effects of the new organization. At the end of the visit, the Minister visited the renovated train of 813 series and a new workshop in the vicinity. 

At our headquarters in Ljubljana, the Minister was awaited by the director of SŽ - CD Dušan Žičkar with his colleagues and members of the Supervisory Board  and the President and General Director of the Slovenian Railways Goran Brankovič. Director presented the activity of the company and its operations, plans and vision for the future and synergistic effects of the new organization. After the presentation a guided tour through workshops Ljubljana was followed , where we maintain most of the rolling-stock of Slovenian Railways, especially electric locomotives and electric passenger trains. The minister, accompanied by other guests was taken through the entire production and ended the tour in the new building nearby, where two new workshops for passenger coaches testing and traction vehicles service are located. 

During the visit we also presented the passenger train of 813 series, which has a completely new interior and external image. Renovation of the train represents the largest project of renovations of passenger trains to date for our company. 

The minister was very pleased with the presented and supported the objectives and development plans of our company.

On the 28th March, in SŽ - CD we began with the change of monobloc wheels on electric locomotives of 541 series (Siemens Taurus). This work will be performed for the first time since the Slovenian Railways have got the locomotives in the ownership and use. 

Locomotives of 541 series have recorded mileage of more than 600,000 km and, consequently have worn wheels. Since turning is no longer possible, the monobloc wheels should be replaced with new ones. For the first locomotive, our partner ÖBB Technische Services supplied spare parts - 4 renewed drive units. For further locomotives drive units with worn wheels will be renewed continually so that the replacement will be conducted smoothly and locomotives can normally be included in the transport. 

The entire disassembly and installation of refurbished drive units is performed in the Workshop Ljubljana. 
This and next year the wheels on the first 20 locomotives owned by the Slovenian Railways will be changed. In total, we will replace the wheels on all 32 Taurus locomotives of the SŽ fleet.

On Friday, 4th February 2011, it was not just a ordinary working day. Actually, we have started working in the new workshop, which was built as a part of new building on the north side of the Workshop Ljubljana (Zaloška 219). 

New workshops - workshop for passenger coaches testing and repair workshop for traction vehicles are the new work places for our employees who have had their workshop at the railway station in Ljubljana. With the need to build a new passenger centre Emonika that workshop was demolished in 2008. By 4 February the eployees were working on a temporary location in the Workshop Ljubljana. Passenger coaches maintainers and servicemen will work to maintain the service quality, which will be slightly different in a modern workshop. 

Testing workshop has two tracks of length of 72 m with four test lines and connectors for batteries charging. There, the tests for high voltage in accordance with UIC-standards will be conducted. The repair workshop operates 24-hour service for traction vehicles and there minor repairs will also be carried out, as well as inspections and components servicing.

SŽ – Centralne delavnice Ljubljana, d.o.o. has got a new project of wheelsets maintenance. We signed a contract with german business partner VTG.

We have successfully conducted wheelsets treatment on the level IS2 for this partner, but the new project includes also IS3 level.

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