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Comfort helps passengers use train journey time effectively

Getzner and KNEITZ gave an expert presentation at this year's InnoTrans looking at the results of the latest research

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Buers (Austria), Berlin (Germany): Bernhard Rueger from TU Wien presented the results of research into the effective use of train journey time at InnoTrans 2018. The expert presentation was organised in conjunction with Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH and Herbert KNEITZ GmbH. Both companies also talked about their endeavours to improve the level of comfort in train carriages.

Along with punctuality, the comfort level on trains is an important factor for many people in switching from other means of transport to rail travel. In a talk at the KNEITZ stand at this year’s InnoTrans, Dr Bernhard Rueger from the Institute of Transport Science at TU Wien presented the results of the latest research into this subject.

Expert presentation from TU Wien
Approximately 50 percent of those asked gave comfort as their reason for taking the train. Another interesting finding of the study is what most passengers use their journey time for, with relaxation in the form of reading or sleeping being the main use of travel time; using technology such as laptops or smart phones came in second. For both work and leisure activities, the top requirement for train travel is a quiet and calm – i.e. vibration-free – journey. Rueger sees customisable seats, rather than separate compartments, as the solution to passengers’ differing requirements. This might work by using textiles that allow the temperature to be adjusted, for example.

Seating comfort and design
Textiles are also the speciality of Herbert KNEITZ GmbH, whose stand was the venue for the presentation. Getzner and KNEITZ, both members of the Getzner Group, joined forces to organise the presentation. Thomas Recknagel, Head of Transportation at KNEITZ, also shared some of his practical experience: “KNEITZ not only places great value on the functionality of its textiles, which are used for seat covers in trains amongst other things, but also combines this functionality with design.” Austrian company Herbert KNEITZ GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of premium interior textiles in the automotive and transport sector. It has been part of the Getzner Group since 2016.

Comfort and durability
The talk was concluded with a contribution from Thomas Gamsjaeger, Senior Vice President of the Industry Division at Getzner. He showed some of the different solutions produced using Getzner’s materials for vibration protection in trains, presenting various practical examples to do so. Gamsjaeger also presented an impressive example of the durability of Getzner’s products. The high-speed Hanover to Wuerzburg railway line was in need of renovation after 27 years in operation. While this work was being carried out, TU Wien discovered that the under ballast mats installed by Getzner in 1988 still met all the requirements that they did when newly laid. And that after having been subjected to a load of around 384 million metric tons since installation. The materials are so durable that even floor structures in train interiors can be implemented with no need for maintenance.

Vibration protection for increased comfort on trains
In addition to the main stand and the expert presentation at the KNEITZ stand, Getzner was also represented at InnoTrans 2018 with a second stand in the ‘Interiors’ hall. This stand showcased solutions for reducing the noise level inside trains and increasing travel comfort. Examples included floor coverings for passenger carriages, locomotives, bathrooms and special elastic bearings for air-handling units. The floating floors in rail cars use the polyurethane material Sylomer® Fire-retardant, which was developed by Getzner and is certified according to EN 45545-2. Also on display was the Sylomer® Aluminium Vibration Damper – a particularly light and compact form of vibration protection. The new solution, Isotop® DZE Railway, effectively protects the passenger area from vibrations from the air-handling units and other equipment mounted on the rail vehicle’s ‘roof’ or ‘underfloor’. All of these solutions increase the level of comfort for both passengers and train staff.