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Strukton extends service life of GTO trains

Strukton Rolling Stock has an innovative and cost-efficient solution for modernising gate turn-off (GTO) systems in rolling stock: the replacement of individual GTO modules by insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules.

The new founded solution of Strukton Rolling Stock is the replacement of individual GTO modules by insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules. 

Strukton has now applied the solution in the US, where a 9000 hp high-speed locomotive is running without problems.

Thanks to identical interfaces and a smart set-up, the new IGBT modules act in the same way as GTO modules. As a result, the control software remains unchanged and the locomotive does not notice that new hardware has been installed. Replacing some or all individual GTO modules considerably improves the reliability of the GTO traction. Another crucial advantage of this approach is the minimal consequences for the certification. Strukton Rolling Stock’s solution is suitable for trains, locomotives and metro trains.

Problems with GTO systems
Trains and locomotives dating from the 1980s and 1990 are equipped with GTO drive systems. These systems have been out of production for years, as a result of which parts are not easily available and, furthermore, are very expensive. Consequently, the reliability and availability of the vehicles is under pressure, even though the vehicles themselves usually still have years of service life left in them. 

One alternative is to replace the entire GTO system with an IGBT system. This is costly and technically complex. Furthermore, the certification of the vehicle then needs to be adjusted. A second, still more costly, alternative is early procurement of new locomotives.

Successful application
Strukton Rolling Stock has successfully replaced the GTO modules of a high-speed passenger locomotive in the US with IGBT modules. The company is now converting the rest of the series. Strukton Rolling Stock is also conducting talks with various European carriers on application in their locomotives.