High Performance Bio-Lubricants for the Railway industry

The beginning of a successful cooperation

As climate change becomes an ever-increasing issue, more companies are looking at CO2 reduction. For decades PANOLIN has been trusted by Plasser & Theurer, one of the largest railway maintenance companies in the world. In the UK, the first track maintenance machine was filled in 1997 Since then many machines have been converted to PANOLIN. To this day, no machine has required a hydraulic oil change. This is a testament to the longevity, quality and reliability of PANOLIN's high performance lubricants.

Testing PANOLIN in the machine

In response to an increasing awareness of climate change and its effects on the atmosphere, Plasser UK and PANOLIN introduced biodegradable long-life lubricants for engines, transmissions, and gearboxes in 2008.

The objective was to assess the oil's performance and calculate any reductions in CO2 emissions. After checking the suggested oils against OEM requirements, a Plasser 08 4x4 4S-RT Tamper was converted to PANOLIN in April 2008 and testing began.

The decision was made to conduct testing around the existing planned maintenance schedules, every 500 hours. Over a normal two-year period, machines are scheduled to have eight oil changes. Each oil change service includes the engine, ZF transmission, four axle gearboxes, a splitter/distribution gearbox and support bearing. Oil samples were taken regularly to provide test results.


Apart from a single adjustment to reduce the mineral oil content to below 5% in the ZF transmission, the initial trial machine has had only three engine oil changes in almost 15 years.

In the post, PANOLIN could only offer guidelines on the life expectancy of its lubricants, in particular, engine oil, due to outside influences such as fuel dilution and work patterns.

Data collected from the Plasser 08 4x4 4S-RT Tamper over the past 15 years supports the possibility of a complete overhaul of the oil change maintenance schedules. Product working hours visible in table 1.

Conclusion - Saving time, money and reducing CO2

These results show that machines can potentially spend more time doing productive work instead of undergoing maintenance. The result is less oil consumption and less oil disposal. PANOLIN oils also protect the environment- by reducing oil use, a typical tamping machine can save up to 2.7 tons of CO2 per l 000 hours of operation.

By using our CO2 calculator, our team can demonstrate how the PANOLIN product portfolio can reduce emissions, downtime, and costs for your application.