Service, supply and disposal for bus, rail and boats

Vogelsang service equipment - from pump systems and cleaning cabinets to online monitoring

In Germany alone, roughly 150 million people use long-distance trains or buses to travel from A to B every year (source: Destatis 2016). Europe-wide, over 9 billion passengers boarded trains in 2015 (Source: Eurostat File “Evolution of rail passenger transport”; 2015). The logistical achievement behind this is immense – and that includes drinking water supply and waste water disposal on buses and trains. In addition to the fundamental investment in technical installations for supplying and pumping, all kinds of national and international regulations must be observed for hygienic reasons. A tight regulatory framework the manufacturers of the corresponding equipment components can only master with in-depth expertise.

As principal supplier to Deutsche Bahn, Vogelsang is a market leader in supply and disposal for intercity transport operations in Germany. The company can look back on many decades of development and experience in the railway sector – from service, supply and disposal solutions and interior cleaning to operating data management and monitoring of supply and disposal systems. We also offer solutions for simple waste water disposal for buses and boats.

1 Source: Destatis 2016
2 Source: Eurostat File „Evolution of rail passenger transport“; 2015

“There's nothing else in the market that compares”

“There's nothing else in the market that compares”

How Vogelsang’s RoadPump will revolutionize the bus sector

Long-distance bus travel is booming. However, operators are facing a problem: more passengers means increased use of the on-board toilets. How can passenger comfort be kept at a high level while also satisfying the operator requirements of disposing of waste water from the on-board toilet and washroom simply and in an environmentally-friendly way? The Vogelsang RoadPump solves this problem simply and effectively.

View how the RoadPump works

Applications in Railway, Bus and Boat

Flexibility and functionality are indispensable properties of technical systems that contribute to vacuum extracting fecal matter and waste water reliably and simply from passenger carriages and the central waste water system of a rail or maintenance station. Powerful pumps and user-friendly stationary and mobile supply and disposal systems on the platforms now ensure greater cleanliness in washrooms and far shorter train stoppages. Waste water and fecal matter tanks of passenger trains can also be drained almost anywhere.

Fresh water and cleaning equipment can also be made available directly on-site.

The VacUnit as a central pump unit

Especially with multiple-station systems, the capacity and reliability of the pump play an important role, as it can otherwise cause trouble and delays which are difficult for passengers to understand. The heart of every system is the Vogelsang rotary lobe pump developed specially for viscous media, and media contaminated with foreign matter, which have proven themselves in this sector for decades in the form of a redundantly designed VacUnit. It is a compact, robust vacuum system that is not only easy to maintain, it also offers high suction performance.

Stationary supply and disposal systems in rail depots

To make waste water disposal and drinking water refilling as efficient as possible, T-Units are installed on many rail platforms around the world. Connected to the supply and disposal system, they permit direct access to vacuum extraction supply hoses and thus ensure the passenger trains are available rapidly. The problem is that there is not much room on the railway sidings – especially as certain safety clearances must be observed and accessways must be kept free.

The particularly compact T-Units by Vogelsang are also equipped with automatic hose retraction systems, also making the service staff’s job easier with sophisticated options such as integrated automatic deactivation.

The choice of the supply and disposal system always depends on the application location: Is it well lit and guarded, or located in an isolated area? What are the local weather conditions? Vogelsang’s weather-resistant supply cabinets for efficient and simple waste water disposal and drinking water refilling of passenger carriages offer an equally reliable and user-friendly alternative to the usual T-Units.

Hygiene requirements must also be observed for waste water disposal and drinking water supply, as these two processes must always be spatially separated. Regulations like the German BGI even govern how drinking water hoses are handled.

Stationary supply and disposal systems in rail depots - WaterUnit

In addition to this, the Vogelsang drinking water filling stands Hygiene Eco and Hygiene Plus are equipped with an intelligent hose retraction system so that the hoses can be returned directly to the holding and security device. This ensures that they remain clean and prevent dangerous tripping hazards. Optionally, even the required fill quantities can be preset.

There are even solutions for railway stations with little space for drinking water supply and waste water pumping systems. Hose roll-up systems installed near the ground or recessed into the ground are ideal due to their compact dimensions. User-oriented, high-performance models like easywinch by Vogelsang also have an electrically operated reel with a remote control.

For hygienic reasons, the optimal connection of the vacuum extraction system and the WC tank nozzle on the train must be considered to prevent soiling on decoupling. To avoid incorrect application and associated hygiene problems such as contamination, they can therefore optionally be equipped with the EasyConnect non-drip suction coupling for Vogelsang disposal systems.

Mobile solutions for location-independent supply and disposal

Where stationary waste water disposal and drinking water refilling systems cannot be built, mobile alternatives are a good way of setting up economical workflows anyway. In addition to the scope of work to be performed, the space available also determines the type of supply and disposal vehicle. For instance, working and traffic routes constricted by technical facilities limit the options or existing working platforms limit the vertical clearance.

Accordingly, choosing an efficient pump technology is the key, as not every technology is suitable for mobile applications. The compact, space-saving design of Vogelsang rotary lobe pumps offers an essential advantage when it comes to practicality and mobility. Even the simple version mounted on a hand cart permits flexible and hygienic vacuum extraction of waste water and pumping into the sewage system. The self-propelled supply and disposal vehicles impress with their excellent ratio of transport capacity to size. For transport platforms like low-emission and noise, battery-operated mobile disposal units, Vogelsang relies exclusively on cooperation with renowned manufacturers to guarantee long-term trouble-free operation.

Special systems for BioUnit toilet systems

Train toilets equipped with a BioUnit for cleaning waste water must be cleaned at regular intervals to ensure long-term operation. Disposal systems developed specially for these toilet systems should also be equipped with shredding technology in addition to the usual pump, as the solid matter present in the waste water cannot be pumped without treatment. Also, as all BioUnit toilets are not built in the same way, there are different standards and requirements for the disposal units. Stationary or mobile fully-automatic Vogelsang solutions can therefore be planned and built precisely to customer specifications.

Large railway depots have countless technical systems which all play their part in economical and reliable operation. However, they can only do so if they remain ready for use to an equal extent, the devices are perfectly matched and with optimal time management. Reliable monitoring is required: on one hand to keep system operating periods as high as possible, and also to record rail traffic at station entrances and exits and service and maintenance stations precisely.

Online monitoring of operating messages and problems in systems

Highly-compatible web-based control applications like the Vogelsang VEBSys fault portal allow operating data of all systems connected to the program to be accessed from anywhere. Above and beyond status documentation of Vogelsang devices like the double pump station, the T-system or the MSV cleaner cabinet, data from air conditioning, washing or alarm systems can also be output. That not only ensures that they are ready for operation, it can also be used for quality control.

Identifying rail carriages and determining their location

As rail carriages in the EU are marked with a specific UIC number, they can be located reliably with appropriate optical camera systems – even at night using the Vogelsang UICScan. In addition to the vehicle number, the date and time, the columns mounted on the railway platform also record the respective passage speed. It is transferred either to Vogelsang VEBSys or another pre-installed online documentation system. No changes must be made to the vehicles themselves.

From a hygienic point of view, intercity bus companies have some catching up to do compared with passenger trains. Not least due to the continued lack of infrastructure, which cannot cope with the increasing intercity bus traffic, professional and hygienic disposal of waste water or fecal matter tanks is not a given everywhere, for example. In many cases, the disposal devices are still simple manholes connected to the sewage system. The bus drives over it and the driver simply opens the discharge under the on-board toilet, pouring the waste water including all solid matter and paper over the grate. If the bus driver does not find any supply and disposal facility for the bus toilet at a stop, they must close it, resulting in unsatisfied passengers.

However, bus stations, depots and service stations are adapting to the new circumstances. Service-oriented gas stations are increasingly offering vacuum extraction stations, where bus drivers can drain the waste water tanks of their buses while filling up gas. Depending on the size and the traffic volume, these disposal points are equipped with mobile or stationary pumping units. The RoadPump Plus stations developed specifically by Vogelsang for bus stations, bus depots and other stopping areas offer a functional double solution for hygienic drinking water filling and waste water disposal. They not only satisfy hygienic requirements, they reduce the workload of bus drivers and bus companies via simple and rapid operation of the devices. The passengers are satisfied and the service and filling station operators also benefit: More buses at their facility also means more customers in their restaurant or station store.

Refilling the on-board toilet with drinking water is just as simple, as Vogelsang relies on a hose with a standard 0.5 inch quick coupler for connection.

All kinds of utensils are required for professional cleaning – besides cleaning agents and devices, hot and cold water and an environmentally friendly disposal option for graywater. In order to minimize the time and distance required for vehicle interior cleaning, cleaning agents and the associated installations must be provided to the user at easily accessible, strategically located places.

That is precisely why Vogelsang developed its CleanUnits. The MSV CleanUnits, made of high-grade weather resistant stainless steel, are particularly robust and durable. In addition, they can be equipped with useful optional extras such as automatic feeders for cleaning agents and disinfectants, for example. 

Anyone traveling on lakes and oceans with sailboats and motor boats knows appreciates the beauty of nature. Water sport is increasingly popular, creating demand for hygienic and simple waste water disposal systems. Irrespective of the increasingly stricter requirements for harbor operations with berths for yachts and boats when it comes to disposing of fecal matter and waste water, the skippers’ environmental awareness is also on the rise. Instead of simply emptying waste water tanks into the water body, professional disposal stations, which can also be operated by anybody, are an important criterion for demanding boat owners when choosing their harbor.

Depending on the location, harbor size and number of berths, there are several questions for harbor operators: What capacity disposal station is required? Is a stationary pump sufficient, or do I need a mobile solution? And who actually pays for this service?

Customer-oriented, high performance models like the PierPump by Vogelsang are easy to operate and also allow bilge water or graywater to be pumped directly into the sewage system. The integrated rotary lobe pump means that the PierPump is not susceptible to foreign matter, so that the vacuum extraction process does not come to halt if the wastewater contains oil or other foreign matter. Wastewater tanks are vacuum extracted in five minutes on average, and the voyage can continue.

Case Studies for applications in the transportation sector

Vogelsang RoadPump

Problem: insufficient sanitation during disposal; issues with odors and soiling
Solution: Vogelsang RoadPump with CollectingMax

go to case study


Vogelsang product categories for railway, bus and boat