Rail Services

Flash Butt Welding

The preferred choice for creating strong and reliable rail joints in the Australian railway industry - where durability and longevity are essential.

Flash butt welding offers several significant benefits, understandably making it a preferred method for joining rails in the railway industry.

In line with our best practice approach to service delivery, we have proven flash butt welding capability and a full range of equipment including three flash butt welding units, two mobile units (Holland DX170RW) and one static unit (Holland H-1000).

The units are designed with the ability to drag and position long lengths of rail, while being able to weld strings up to 400 meters. The welding heads are designed specifically for closure welding and have the capability to shear the upset and flash weld while maintaining constant tension on the rails.

We offer an experienced team focused on ensuring SRA remains a reliable and preferred contractor within the rail industry. We've developed our fleet and team capabilities to ensure we continue to provide the equipment and expertise our clients need, no matter your complex requirements.

“We have designed and fabricated a tri-gauge trolley for our static unit, giving us the flexibility to use this piece of equipment throughout Australia's entire rail network,” Director Technical and Risk, Gary Holden.

Find out more on our flash butt welding capabilities and fleet

Our team can provide more information on our fleet, application of flash butt welding and service approach.

Please click to download our capability statement

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Key benefits to Swietelsky’s flash butt welding

  • The FBW Intelligent control system provides unparalleled control over the flashing process and rail consumption. This system features real-time weld monitoring, control and diagnostics along with a detailed analysis on the completion of each weld.
  • High Strength: Flash butt welding creates a strong and durable joint that is typically as strong as the original rail material. No weld filler material is used which ensures the structural integrity and safety of railway tracks.
  • Continuity: Flash butt welding allows for the creation of continuous rail tracks without the need for bolted or jointed connections. This reduces the risk of track misalignment, wear and maintenance requirements.
  • Reduced Maintenance: Welded rail joints are less prone to issues such as track misalignment, which can lead to derailments and increased maintenance costs. Flash butt-welded joints are known for their longevity and reliability, reducing the need for frequent maintenance and repairs.
  • Improved Ride Quality: The smooth and nearly seamless weld created by flash butt welding results in improved ride quality for trains. This reduces vibrations, noise and wear and tear on both the tracks and train wheels, enhancing passenger comfort and safety.
  • Reduced Operational Costs: The long-term cost savings associated with reduced maintenance, improved track longevity, and fewer service disruptions makes flash butt welding a cost-effective choice for railways.
  • High Precision: Flash butt welding machines are capable of providing precise control over the welding process, ensuring consistent and high-quality welds. This precision is essential for maintaining track geometry and safety.
  • Environmental Considerations: Flash butt welding is an environmentally friendly process because it generates minimal waste and emissions. This aligns with SRA's sustainability and environmental responsibility goals.
  • Electrical Conductivity: Flash butt-welded joints sustain excellent electrical conductivity, which is crucial for maintaining signaling and electrification systems in railways.
  • Safety: Flash butt welding is a safe and controlled process when performed correctly. It minimises the risk of accidents associated with other welding methods, such as arc welding.
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Holland-Doosan DX170RW Mobile Flash Butt Welder (MFBW)

The MFBW is fitted with a K-945 welding head that is designed specifically for closure welding and has the capability to shear the upset and flash while maintaining constant tension on the rails.

The weld head is mounted on a Doosan DX170W Series excavator to form an all-terrain mobile welder. This combines the flexibility of a road/rail vehicle with the ability to perform high quality welds.

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Holland H-1000 Flash Butt Welder (FBW)

The static FBW welder is fitted with a Holland H-1000 (100t) weld head for the longest of rail strings. The FBW can drag and/or position long lengths of rail, while being able to weld strings up to 400m. The welding process includes a continuous pulse flashing process to ensure the consistency of welds. The FBW provides for high productivity welding and is suitable for welding heavy rail sections (60-70kg/m).

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