ggb tribological bearings and bushings for railway applications


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Railroad and tramway vehicles require heavy-duty bearings that can withstand harsh operating and environmental conditions. Thanks to their high load capacity, low friction, large operating temperature range, and resistance to both corrosive conditions and contamination, GGB self-lubricating plain bearings are ideal for helping to reduce noise and vibration, increase energy efficiency, and extend maintenance intervals.


GGB heavy-duty railway bearings for railway vehicle interiors and seat hinges

GGB understands the challenges facing the railway industry today. Tight budgets, the need to cut energy costs and demands for greener fleets all compete with passengers’ expectations for on-time service and a comfortable, pleasant travel experience.

Worn bearings can lead to unforeseen vehicle maintenance downtime, excessive noise, and increased vibration—all of which contribute to lower passenger satisfaction and decreased profitability. In addition, worn bearings reduce vehicle efficiency, resulting in increased energy consumption and carbon emissions (for diesel vehicles).

Premature and excessive rail bearing wear can be caused by several factors. Extreme weather, low or high temperatures, corrosion, contamination and high loads and shocks, among other factors, can greatly affect the bearing performance, especially if they are not resistant to such conditions.

Upgrading your current bearings to high performance bearings that are built for demanding environments is an economical way to help prevent the problems associated with worn bearings. Our fiber reinforced composite (FRC) bearings have proven themselves to be a superior replacement to traditional metal bearings in terms of durability, corrosion resistance and performance in a wide of rail bearing applications. Metal-polymer bearings, such as DP4®, and engineered plastic (EP) bearings are lightweight, durable solutions for interiors, hinges, ramps and pantographs.

How GGB Solutions provide competitive advantage

Here are just some of the applications in which our railway technology is used:

GGB railway market
  • Bogie System Components  
    • Brake linkages
    • Anti-roll bar bushes
    • Friction damper bushes
    • Horn block axial guide plates
    • Side bearer liners
    • Current collector bushes
    • King pin bushes
    • Center pivot liner
  • Door opening system bushes
  • Pantograph bushes
  • Couplings that connect train cars
  • Hook guide plates
  • Fold down seats hinges
  • Ramps for passenger accessibility
  • Railway barrier bearings
  • Various hinges for vehicle interior 


GGB maintenance-free plain bearings for railway applications & tramways

Working example Bogie

SoundTransit has been providing rail commuter services for Seattle since 1993. As its vehicles aged, the company found that the metal pivot pin and wear plate located in the bogies of its vehicles emitted a distracting amount of noise for its passengers during transit. GGB designed a rail bearing solution utilizing an HPMB® king pin plain bearing and HPF® flat sliding bearing that eliminated noise emissions.

Holding Graz Linien in Austria does maintenance on the tramway vehicles in Graz, Austria. Seeking a pin joint solution that resulted in smooth, maintenance-free, long-lasting operation with zero noise emissions, Holding Graz Linien turned to GGB. Our engineering team designed a solution that incorporated GAR-MAX® plain bearings and HPF® flat sliding bearing segments to satisfiy their requirements. It is now being used for all their pin joint restorations.

Working example Brakes

SRI experienced challenges on their high speed trains. When operating in extremely low temperature (minus 50 degrees) bearing performance deteriorated, resulting in the failure of the brake callipers. This effected the responsiveness of braking. GGB designed a maintenance-free sliding bearing with a renewed design that made the entire coupler self-lubricating and maintenance-free.


GGB railway bearings provide a wide range of benefits to help keep your vehicles on the tracks longer:

Low Friction with High Wear Resistance

  • GGB self-lubricating railroad bearings have low coefficients of friction, providing smooth operation, reducing wear and extending service life.

Low noise

  • GGB fiber reinforced composite bearings consist of a filament-wound structure, which reduces noise when compared to metal bearings.

Maintenance Free

  • Self-lubricating fiber reinforced composite bearings are ideal for applications that require long bearing life in operating conditions with infrequent maintenance or with inadequate or no lubrication.

Lower System Cost

  • GGB plain bearings reduce shaft costs by eliminating the need for hardening and machining grease paths. Their compact, one-piece construction provides both space and weight savings while also simplifying assembly.


  • GGB high performance bearings satisfy environmental regulations (such as EU RoHS) that restrict the use of hazardous materials in electrical and electronic equipment.


  • By using dry-lubricants, fiber reinforced composite bearings are resistant to rail and tram environments that would contaminate and compromise fluid lubricants, including exposure to dirt, corrosive fluids, high temperatures, and cryogenic temperatures.

Corrosion and Temperature Resistance

  • Fiber reinforced composite bearings have a large operating temperature range (-195°C to 160°C) coupled with an inert nature that results in excellent resistance to corrosive environments, including acidic and saline conditions. In addition, fiber reinforced composite bearings have low swelling and thermal expansion, granting them excellent resistance to wet and high temperature areas.

A RANGE OF railway bearing SOLUTIONS

GGB self-lubricating plain bearings for railways & railroad applications

Not all applications require the high load capability of GGB heavy-duty bearings. For lighter load applications, such as windshield wipers or seat hinges, thermoplastic engineered plastic bearings provide a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.

In dry and lubricated operating conditions, engineered plastic plain bearings have excellent wear resistance, low friction, low thermal expansion and corrosion resistance - all at a very good price-to-performance ratio.


Download our catalog On Track for Improved Railway Performance


High Performance Bearings for Railways



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