Ever since train wheels have rolled on tracks, these important components of the wheel / rail system have been subject to wear. Therefore immediately after the founding of Elektro-Thermit GmbH in 1919, in addition to joint welding the first tests were also conducted with deposition welding on rails. Initially arc welding was used in local transport networks and then later on the German national railways.
In the early fifties the ELLIRA process (Elektro Linde Rapid ) invented by the Linde company was further developed as a submerged arc-welding method for use with rails to become the ETEKA 5® and RIFLEX® welding process. In the course of time these processes established themselves as the standard technique used in the maintenance of tracks in local transport networks inside and outside of Germany.
The increasing importance of these activities finally resulted in the founding of Elektro-Thermit Service GmbH which since January 1, 1997 has been responsible for the research, development and services in this special field. Today mobile working units carry out welding operations on rails and switches.
The plant in Essen works with systems developed in-house to weld-temper brand new rails which are then transported to their place of use. The application areas of electrical deposition welding include the repair of curved rails and wheel bearing rail elements subject to heavy wear with also a considerable amount of welding work for switches, in particular on the frogs, and repair of operational-related damage.
In the summer of 2006 the former Elaugen group companies comprising Elektro-Thermit Dienstleistungs-GmbH, P.C. Wagner Elektro-Thermit Schweißgesellschaft m.b.H. and Elektro-Thermit France SARL. merged to become Goldschmidt Thermit Railservice GmbH. This brought together almost 90 years of experience in joint welding with over 50 years of expertise in efficient welding and grinding services for rails.