A consortium under the leadership of Siemens Mobility has modernized the marshalling yard in Vaidotai near the capital Vilnius on behalf of Lithuanian Railways, Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (LG). This is the first automatic marshalling yard to enter operation in Eastern Europe. Its performance has been boosted by 1,200 cars per day to a current total of 3,000 units. In addition to savings in maintenance costs, dangerous manual gravity shunting work is also avoided.
The marshalling yard in Vaidotai near Vilnius is the hub for cargo trains in the Baltic region. The yard had reached its capacity limits due to rising transport volumes in east-west trade. Lithuanian Railways (LG) placed an order with a consortium led by Siemens Mobility to extensively modernize and expand the yard. The yard's previous humping capacity was 1,800 cars per day. It has now been raised to 3,000 cars per day. The automated process not only accelerates the cutting procedure and boosts shunting quality, it also offers the advantage of eliminating highly dangerous work that was previously necessary on the tracks, such as the placing of scotch blocks by brakesmen. Conversion of the marshalling yard took place during ongoing operations.
The existing track installation and 21 switches were completely renewed in the yard's humping area while the number of classification tracks was increased from 16 to 20. To this end, the layout of the arrival tracks was also modified to create additional routes and greater useful distances. Four existing stabling tracks were also extended to 1,000 meters each and four new stabling tracks with lengths of 1,000 meters each were built. Moreover, 25 hydraulic clasp retarders were installed in three staggered groups. To control humping operations with automatic cut routing and retarder control as well as target distance measurement on the classification tracks, the humping system was equipped with an MSR32 type microcomputer system from Siemens. This required extensive conversions and additions by Siemens to the indoor and outdoor equipment of the MRC13 relay interlocking. The operating and maintenance personnel's workplaces were adjusted to the Lithuanian customer's requirements. Commands and messages are issued in Lithuanian. For reliable operation of the entire marshalling yard, interfaces to the existing dispatching and relay systems had to be redesigned and commissioned. The previous system was based on Russian relay technology. The six transformer stations (10 kV to 0.4 kV) for the site's power supply were also modernized. The SCADA control station for remote control of the electrical systems was expanded for this purpose.
As a considerable number of the shunted units consists of tank cars, a closed drainage system including oil separator was also installed.
Besides Siemens, the consortium included SONA Präzisionsschmiede GmbH of Duisburg, Germany and several local construction companies contracted by Siemens.