The Weather Machine
Manufacturers of all kinds of rail vehicle prototypes as well as large street vehicles, come to Vienna in order to test and certify their efficiency with regard to climate impact. Temperatures from minus 50°C to plus 60°C and wind speeds up to 300 km/h are generated within the 30 m and 100 m long test tracks; solar incidence, rain and snow are simulated at every possible level of air humidity while vehicles are tested on the chassis dynamometer test bench. Stop-and-go as well as changing climate conditions (tunnel entrance in Italy, exit in Switzerland) cane simulated. A private-public-partnership enterprise incorporating all large European manufacturers of rail vehicles runs the world’s biggest climate wind tunnel in the north of Vienna. Clad in a silvery metal blanket, this complex consists of an office building with a high level of partly imposing communication rooms, preparation halls in which prototypes are equipped for the test in the climatic chamber under strictly confidential regulations, buildings containing electrical high voltage equipment and refrigerating machines, as well as the main hall that houses the wind tunnels.