In partnership with Chinese rolling stock manufacturer Sifang, Pfaff Silberblau Verkehrstechnik designed the train lifting system as part of a billion dollar project for the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Railways (MOR).

The underfloor lifting system, which has been installed at the MOR’s Shanghai and Guangzhou rail maintenance depots, is capable of performing a near-synchronous lift of 400 metre long trains weighing up to 1088t.

Synchronisation of each lift is achieved with a deviation no greater than three to four millimeters along the entire length of each train.

Compatible with four different types of train, the wheel hoists are capable of lifting eight rail cars or two coupled trains, some with up to 16 cars, up to 1.6m, while the body jacks can raise each train up to 2.7m.

For safety, self-locking screws are used in the system, in addition to bearing nuts and safety screws.

These ensure that should any one of the lift drives fail, the train is still held at the correct height for bogie and axle maintenance.

A user-programmable control unit runs the system and allows easier technical maintenance.

Pfaff Silberblau Verkehrstechnik’s general manager, Peter Zeller, said: “Our outstanding reputation as one of the world’s technological leaders in the area of lifting systems for rail vehicles also helps us achieve success in the fiercely competitive, high-potential market in China.

In this important, high-visibility project, our engineers and our technology have proven themselves to be so skilled and reliable that we expect follow-up contracts from China.”

The system, manufactured in Pfaff Silberblau Verkehrstechnik’s Hamburg and Munich plants, will be used for maintenance of a selection of new high-speed trains.

Running at top-speeds of up to 245mph, the trains will service popular commuter routes between Wuhan and Guangzhou.

The MOR’s depots in Wuhan, Peking and Chengdu will also feature the German company’s lifting system.