Metro Rio has recently begun using an innovative system for bogie replacement. In the 1980s, Metro Rio rolling stock’s bogies were replaced using four hydraulic jacks (15 tons capacity each) to lift a 42 tonne metro car and drop the bogie. This equipment was obsolete, unreliable and sometimes unsafe. Furthermore, there was no feature to synchronize the rise/descent of the 4 jacks, thus making it a complex operation. These factors lead Metro Rio to develop a different system to replace bogies using a lifting platform coupled to two hydraulic jacks. This system required the maintenance team to uncouple the specific car from the rest of the train to replace bogies, and this single car could only be moved with a maintenance vehicle (as there is no third rail inside the rolling stock maintenance area).
Recently Metro Rio has acquired a new fleet (19 trains with 6 cars) which uses semi-permanent couplings. The process of uncoupling these is time-consuming, making the current bogie replacement process not very effective. That led Metro Rio to design and construct a new bogie replacement system.
The new bogie replacement system is called “pit stop.” A complete train can get into this system without any maintenance vehicle support as the bogie drop facility is located in a single dedicated track with power supply. The bogie is removed without having to uncouple the cars, reducing the downtime considerably. The “pit stop/bogie drop” is particularly useful when a bogie failure happens during service hours and is necessary to get the train back into revenue operation very quickly.