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Rail 1435 - Case Study

The challenge of RAIL 1435 and the solution of Thal Technologies
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Rail 1435 was looking for a reliable partner for developing a custom made printed circuit board. Thal accepted the assignment and came up with solutions to the moisture problem.

Consultancy firm in rail infrastructure

Who is Rail 1435?

Where can you find a high-tech and first-class company that understands that, as a start-up, you have to start small in order to end up big? At Thal Technologies, as Rail 1435 found out. Rail 1435 is a young consultancy in railway infrastructure. Name any rail project and these fellows are on it. They are also pioneers in innovative product development for a safer, digital and future-proof railroad.

Roné van der Vliet, Head of Marketing & Sales at Rail 1435, is on a site visit at Thal and explains their decision. “With the concept ‘this can be done differently and better’, we developed a monitoring system that collects a vast amount of data on the condition of the track,” he says. “Our IoT sensors in combination with Smart Asset Monitoring (SAM) measure, record and analyse data. Data on specific track problems such as the vertical displacement of the track (blind suspension), force and impact, temperature and expansion of rail ends. Everything you need to know as a railway manager for effective and cost-efficient track maintenance. We use our own IoT sensors for these measurements. We developed them ourselves, they are energy-efficient and they can take a lot of wear and tear. But things like that don’t happen overnight.”

Close-up of a railroad track showing bolts, fasteners, and an orange electronic sensor attached to the rail, accompanied by LED modules. The track is secured on concrete ties with gravel ballast underneath, and the background is slightly blurred, indicating an outdoor setting.
A blue circle is filled with evenly spaced horizontal black lines, creating a striped pattern reminiscent of LED modules. The lines make the blue color appear as alternating light and dark blue horizontal stripes within the circle against a white background.
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The collaboration

The road to a final product is long and full of challenges and obstacles. The question is, how long do you have to keep pioneering on your own? “In the meantime, there was a large order on the horizon, so we looked for a company that could help us with further product development. You see, if you want to protect innovations like ours, you don’t choose to produce in China. A company in our network advised us to look at Thal Technologies and it was great to find a reliable partner in this niche, who offers high quality solutions, close to home.”

Eventually, the Gyro Gearlooses of railways walked into Thal Technologies. Although the sensor of Rail 1435 may be slightly different from the high-tech industrial LED modules that Thal specialises in, Thal has several rail-related customers and the development and production of this product fits in well with what Thal has focused on; developing high-end electronic products that will function under all circumstances. The sensor is therefore used under very heavy and challenging conditions and must always function without problems. “In addition, we can turn to them for smaller series such as prototypes. They are very flexible at Thal, so they understand that sometimes you have to start small in order to end up big.”

rail-1435-rone-thal

They are very flexible at Thal, so they understand that sometimes you have to start small in order to end up big.

Consultancy firm in rail infrastructure

The solution

Thal helped develop a custom-made circuit board for the sensors, bought the materials, and assembled the board. But they also went a step further. Roné: “Despite our high-quality housing we discovered a condensation problem during the first tests. A slight amount, but too much. We asked ourselves: What do can we do? Together with us, Thal started looking for the right insulating coating. We shared possible causes and solutions and they came up with ideas, and even put us in contact with their network. They are really pioneering developments with us.”

In the meantime, companies are already thinking one step ahead. Because the ambition is still to make travelling by train even more comfortable, the track even safer, and the maintenance of the track more predictable. Together we are making the tracks smarter through the application of high-tech electronics… Would you ever have thought that the capacity of the tracks was determined by a shortage of chips?

Three people in lab coats work in a bright laboratory with large windows. One person with curly gray hair on the left holds something in white tissue, while another person in front looks on. In the background, a person with glasses focuses on an experiment involving thermal interface material.
A hexagon outlined by numerous thin, parallel blue lines is displayed against a transparent background. The lines run diagonally from the top left to the bottom right corner of the shape, creating a dynamic pattern within the hexagon, reminiscent of Thermal Interface Material designs.
High-End LED Modules for every industry

Thal takes a step further

For more than 20 years, Thal Technologies in Almere has been advising, designing, assembling and producing in the field of thermal management and LED lighting. 

We supply heat conducting and electrically insulating materials for the most diverse applications within electronics. This makes Thal Technologies a specialist in solving challenging problems in the area of thermal management. 

To collaborate? Please contact us
Talk to Richard, our expert, or drop by. The coffee is ready!
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Richard van Moorst
Sales Engineer
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A tilted brochure cover titled "Case Study Rail 1435" features a logo resembling "THAL" illuminated with LED accents, a picture of train tracks, a red bar labeled "Rail 1435," and text about the project. The background image shows a railway track extending into the horizon with trees and fences.