KSR News

Success story: Geismar delivers its 500th PEM!

Developed in 1995 at Geismar Provence, the PEM extendable handling gantry celebrates an historic milestone. Last week, the 500th unit came out of the workshop where it was born 27 years ago. Let’s have a look back on one of Geismar’s flagship machines.

Geismar Provence Teams, proud of their achievement

The PEM was originally created for SNCF as part of the renewal of large track turnouts for the South-East high-speed line. Starting from a prototype which was born in 1995, it was followed by a year of development. Successfully completing its first tests, 18 PEMs and 18 LEMs were ordered by the French operator.

Coming out of the workshop a year later — in February 1996 —, the PEM has now become the backbone of our systems for track and turnout laying and renewal and the most used method worldwide..

The railway networks’ best partner

Designed, developed, and manufactured by a small team led by Frédéric Ramirez at Geismar Provence, the PEM has been adopted by more than 40 customers and is in use in more than 20 countries around the world. Geismar’s PEMs contributed to many large projects such as the transport and laying of the largest track turnout (224 m long and weighing more than 200 T) for the Mediterranean high-speed line (LGV Méditerranée) inaugurated in 2001, and the renewal of many track turnouts in France, Spain, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Chile and many more. So many kilometres of track laid, that it’s estimated to be the equivalent of — at least — the Earth’s diameter.

Upgrading of the PEM has never stopped and over time it has been enriched with new technologies, so to always meet the market’s needs. Its popularity and commercial success are due above all to its technological advantages which allow it to have, amongst other things, the longest slewing and lifting strokes in the handling gantries category. All this while being remotely radio-controlled. This system offers significant productivity gains as a single operator can control up to 16 PEMs simultaneously.

Did you know:

·       17 track turnouts renewed in only one weekend at Gare de Lyon, Paris;

·       There is a fleet of over 200 PEMs and 200 LEMs in France;

·       Renewal contracts for over 300 track turnouts in Chile;

·       The PEM has a slewing stroke of 1,400 mm (55 in.), a lifting stroke of 2,850 mm (112 in.) and a capacity of 20 T;

·       The first PEM XL version came out in 2006 for Turkey.

The 500th PEM being celebrated is part of an order from Australia for 15 machines, a market where 40 PEM-LEMs will be in operation after this delivery. This obviously represents an important milestone for Geismar and demonstrates the reliability of our machines over time. A tribute to Geismar Teams’ unique expertise!