Lithuania is the most southerly of the Baltic states just west of Belerus and South of Latvia, the climate can be changeable experiencing temperatures In the +20’s (⁰c) in the summer and as low as -43°c in the winter. The Lithuanian Railway, Lietuvios Gelezinkelai, are state owned and have 1749km of track, of which 122km are electrified. The track gauge is 1520mm.
As part of a safety initiative, Lithuanian Railways were actively looking for ways in which to reduce the number of people on track for routine maintenance. An area of particular focus was the weekly switchplate lubrication lubricating carried out by railway engineers.
RS Clare’s Claretech Bioglide is a clean, biodegradable and long lasting switchplate lubricant that would extend the intervals between lubrication and support Lithuanian Railway’s in achieving their safety goals.
A trial protocol was discussed with the rail engineers in Vilnius and agreed. The trial would focus around applying Claretech BioGlide to several switches near to Vilnius station and next to the Maintenance depot.
After two months Lithuanian railway engineers reported that BioGlide was working well and they were able to lubricate the switches every 4-weeks with Claretech Bioglide compared to a weekly routine with their incumbent switchplate lubricant, and Bioglide was performing well even with the extremely low temperatures experienced in the winter months in Lithuania, with temperatures as low as -23°C recorded during the trial.
Extending the maintenance schedule removed a great deal of time and cost from the operation without compromising on protection and performance.
“The previous lubricant was applied weekly and sometimes more often. Using BioGlide meant that we could push out the frequency of applications to 2,3 and sometimes 4 weeks showing good performance and significant cost savings!”