Railshape VM8000

Railshape VM8000

The VM8000 is a road rail vehicle (RRV) fully equipped for rail grinding purposes.

As a leading member of the Goldschmidt-Thermit Group of companies, Thermit Welding (GB) Ltd has access to an array of service vehicles; one of which is the VM8000 family of Rail Grinders.

This purpose built 4 wheel drive machine incorporates improved grinding control and recording, and offers maximum environmental protection with noise reduction equipment, dust extraction, spark elimination, and a water curtain to reduce risk of fires etc.

Currently the VM8000 vehicle has been approved for track-use in accordance with DeutscheBahn directives 8249030 for main line use, and by BOstraB/BVG Berlin for Metro/tram Authorities.

The vehicles can be prepared and positioned on the rail in under 5 minutes, and apart from changing the grindstones, no routine maintenance will be required during the shift. The vehicle is usually supported by a team of 2 – 3 controlling the grinding and replacement of the stones. While the vehicle may be driven on public roads, for long distances it is normally carried on its purpose built transporter and service module.

The range of grinding applications for which the unit has been deployed include:

  • Restoration of the running edge
  • Removal of surface corrosion and films (electrical contact)
  • Removal of Corrugation
  • Control of G.C.C.
  • Full rail running surface re-profiling

This model has been in operation for over 10 years giving sterling service to metro, tram and mainline systems throughout Europe and America.


Thermit currently has access to two different models of the VM8000. The VM8000-8, an 8 grindstone vehicle, and the VM8000-12, a 12 grindstone vehicle.

The VM8000-8 is an 8-stone rail grinder that has its grindstones arranged in two sets of pairs either side of the vehicle; one set of pairs each side has a 45o to 45o movement across the head of the rail, whilst the other set of pairs each side gives a swing of 72o to 20o, enabling complete coverage of the rail head.

The VM8000-12 is an 12-stone rail grinder that has its grindstones arranged in three sets of pairs either side of the vehicle; two sets of pairs each side has a 45o to 45o movement across the head of the rail, whilst the other set of pairs each side gives a swing of 72o to 20o, enabling complete coverage of the rail head. The VM8000-12 is also capable of grinding on S & C, by connecting a purpose-built unit, that allows the operators to grind to the specific angle required.  This increases the productivity and performance of the vehicle. This will also be the standard specification for all new vehicles in the VM8000 series.