M2 RAILGROUP – FROM SECURITY, TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAINTENANCE AND DIAGNOSTIC SOLUTIONS
M2 Railgroup was officially established on January 30, 2004. The company specializes in providing maintenance services for railway infrastructure, catering exclusively to railway companies and the Italian railway itself (Rete Ferroviaria Italiana SpA).
Interview with Marco Ienna, Management Assistant at m2 railgroup S.r.l.
Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.
Marco Ienna: Our legal and administrative headquarters are situated in La Valle, within the Province of Bolzano. As pioneers in Italy, our service company introduced automated worksite security systems, ensuring the protection of railway worksites. Operating nationwide, we have emerged as the foremost company in this sector at a national level.
Building upon our initial years of experience, M2 Railgroup recognized a significant demand for skilled human resources in the railway and railway-equipment maintenance sector. Consequently, we expanded our range of services to include the provision of technicians to shipping companies. These technicians offer expertise in the maintenance, repair, calibration, and operation of railway maintenance machinery. This diversification has opened up numerous opportunities for M2 Railgroup across Europe and worldwide, leading to the emergence of a second area of business: Technology.
Our philosophy centers around maintaining a cutting-edge approach. We firmly believe in the importance of innovation, which has now become an imperative for all businesses, whether in the railway industry or beyond. As such, our group continuously seeks new opportunities and remains dedicated to staying at the forefront of advancements in the field.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
M.I: M2 Railgroup operates through two distinct business lines:
Safety: Our focus in this line of business is on safeguarding railway worksites by providing comprehensive design, installation, and management of Automatic Track Warning Systems (ATWS). Working on behalf of public train operators and prominent private companies, we specialize in the development and implementation of track-warning devices for railway worksites. These systems are capable of detecting train movement in various layouts and ensuring timely and appropriate individual and/or collective signaling.
Technical: This branch encompasses a diverse range of railway diagnostic services. Ensuring the proper maintenance of each machine is crucial to ensure its long-term availability. We adhere to pre-established schedules connected to individual maintenance reports for each machine, guaranteeing high-quality maintenance standards. To facilitate professional execution of maintenance tasks, we maintain well-equipped workshops. Early detection of problems allows for timely repairs, minimizing the risk of worsened situations and avoiding production interruptions. Regular inspections and analysis aid in predicting and preventing component failures that could potentially pose safety hazards or lead to machinery breakdowns. Given the intricacy of railway maintenance machines, our highly trained and experienced crew is dedicated to fulfilling daily production objectives on worksites efficiently.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
M.I: In addition to its existing business lines, M2 Railgroup has ventured into a third area of operations:
Engineering: This division specializes in the implementation of complex individual projects and cross-border projects within the railway sector. As part of its growth and diversification strategy, the company has expanded its offerings to include a range of railway diagnostic services. M2 Railgroup initiated its diagnostic services in 2011 with the execution of its first railway surveys. Through close collaboration with national and private rail operators, the company has gained valuable insights into the diverse requirements of the railways regarding diagnostic services. Consequently, M2 Railgroup has established a network of partner companies capable of providing a comprehensive array of technological solutions for maintenance, diagnostics, inspection, and more. This division exemplifies the group’s commitment to diversification and staying abreast of technological advancements.
Additionally, starting from 2023, M2 Railgroup has commenced the sale of wear spare parts for tamping machines, further expanding its offerings to cater to the needs of the railway maintenance sector.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
M.I: The European railway maintenance sector has been undergoing various developments to improve efficiency, safety, and sustainability. European countries have been investing in modernizing their rail infrastructure and implementing advanced maintenance practices.
Some key trends in the European railway maintenance sector include:
Digitalization: The industry is embracing digital technologies for condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and asset management. This includes the use of sensors, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to optimize maintenance schedules and minimize disruptions.
Condition-Based Maintenance: Rail operators are shifting from time-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance, where maintenance activities are performed based on the actual condition of the assets. This approach helps reduce costs and improve the reliability of rail services.
Infrastructure Upgrades: European countries are investing in upgrading their rail infrastructure, including tracks, signaling systems, and stations. These upgrades aim to enhance capacity, safety, and overall performance.
Sustainability: There is a growing emphasis on sustainability in the railway maintenance sector. Efforts are being made to reduce energy consumption, emissions, and waste generation through improved maintenance practices and the adoption of eco-friendly technologies.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
M.I:Track Geometry Monitoring:
Ensuring the safety of train operations is heavily reliant on maintaining accurate track geometry. In the event of any changes in geometry, it becomes necessary to establish slow speed points. Construction sites in close proximity to railway tracks have the potential to alter this geometry, necessitating continuous track monitoring to detect even the slightest movements and promptly implement appropriate measures. M2 Railgroup offers comprehensive track monitoring services throughout the construction period, assuming full responsibility for the task.
To ensure the safety of rail traffic, each railway switch must undergo thorough inspections in accordance with specific regulations and procedures. During the inspection phase, all the data specified in a dedicated technical instruction is measured precisely, adhering to the prescribed manner and position. Our team of qualified technicians performs these measurements using the CAM – FELIX automated trolley or, alternatively, manual tools.
The railway sector also employs ultrasonic testing, wherein ultrasound systems are mounted on rolling stock to assess the integrity of rails while in motion, often at speeds ranging from several tens of kilometers per hour. These systems are capable of acquiring and analyzing data in real-time during the dynamic phase, enabling the detection of any defects or structural irregularities in the rails. M2 Railgroup possesses expertise in conducting ultrasonic testing in the railway sector, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and techniques.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?
M.I: M2 Railgroup has consistently demonstrated a pattern of growth over the years. Our primary focus lies in pursuing continuous expansion, ensuring utmost client satisfaction, and enhancing the services we provide. M2 Railgroup is dedicated to actively monitoring the market landscape and actively seeking out emerging technologies with significant potential for implementation in the railway sector.
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