Winter is approaching fast in Vienna, Austria and the mountains are already covered with a fluffy white blanket of snow. Soon the streets of Vienna will turn white and slippery as well. Keeping the city’s streets and tracks free of snow is a annual challenge for Vienna’s public transportation. It’s nothing they haven’t seen before at Wiener Linien, the public transportation organisation of Vienna. They’re all set a for the worst that Mother Nature can provide!

Winter service is on the job!

Wiener Linien has a well organised ‘winterdienst’ - their winter service team. With over 300 dedicated workers they keep public transportation in Vienna running as smoothly as possible throughout  the winter season, doing whatever must be done. It’s a pretty impressive job taking care of such icy business, and the winter service team employs  an  extensive fleet of high tech machinery: more than 120 snow-plows, salt-spreaders, tractors and special machines are ready to tackle bus lanes and tram rails, clearing them of ice and snow. The cities depots are filled to the brim with sacks of sand and salt. When slippery situations are predicted, the winter service team is deployed to ensure safe travels for the people of Vienna!

Winter in Vienna
Winter in Vienna. Source: Wiener Linien

The tramways of Vienna

Vienna’s tram tracks are extra vulnerable to snow and ice. The tramways of Vienna are the fifth longest city tracks in the world, and Wiener Linien needs 70 special purpose vehicles to keep the tracks cleared. Railway switches and crossings are highly susceptible to problems caused by snow and ice, and to prevent the switches getting stuck by frost over 1,000 of them have rail switch heating. Unfortunately the heating doesn’t always suffice and problems can still arise, especially at busy crossings. Cars and trucks will compress the snow and ice in between the crossings, so even track heating can’t prevent switches from getting stuck with heavy snowfall.

AquaJet met roestvrijstalen onderdelen
AquaJet customized with lots of stainless steel parts and a special pump

AquaJet defrosts tramways

In order to do the job of clearing the switches and crossings of dangerous ice and compressed snow, specially designed  machines are necessary.  Also Rioned built a custom AquaJet for this challenge, at Wiener Linien’s request. This AquaJet clears the tracks with high pressure and a special salt solution. To prevent erosion damage from the salt, as well as ensure the longevity of the Aquajet, all critical parts of Wiener Linien’s AquaJet are made out of stainless steel as well. The custom-made unit has a unique pump, also made with stainless steel parts. A good example of listening to our clients and customizing our machines to fit their needs, making sure that they can get the job done!

If you’d like to learn more on this or our other machines, feel free to get in touch with our customer service department! We are glad to help you with your specific high pressure cleaning job!

Snowplough rushes through the streets of Vienna. Source: Wiener Linien