GERMAN Rail (DB) is modifying its car transporter wagons in view of the increasing popularity of “e-mobility”, or use of electric vehicles.

By mid-2023, more than 800 open-sided type Laaers 560 car transporter wagons owned by DB Cargo Logistics, DB Cargo's specialist subsidiary that serves the road vehicle industry supply chain, will have been converted. 

Four contractors were selected for the conversion programme through a competitive tendering process, with DB Vehicle Maintenance securing by far the largest share of the contract, particularly due to the time-critical nature of the project and the large capacity it has available at its Paderborn plant. Conversion of the first wagons has already been successfully completed.

Conversion of the wagons is necessary to meet health and safety requirements and to adapt the wagons to changing customer requirements. DB says that after the conversion process, the wagons are safer and easier to handle.

DB Vehicle Maintenance says that because the conversion work is being undertaken within Germany, the time the wagons spend out of service is particularly short compared with other companies involved in the competitive tendering process.

“We awarded a large part of the conversion of the car transporter wagons to DB Vehicle Maintenance, because of our good cooperation with them as well as the technological prerequisites and large capacity at the Paderborn plant,” says DB head of vehicle projects, Mr Tomasz-Jakub Paczesny. “They make it possible to combine the conversion work with other planned maintenance measures in a sensible and economical way.”

“We have the capacity to convert a large number of vehicles,” says head of DB Vehicle Maintenance’s Paderborn plant, Mr Oliver Ditrich. “We also have competent employees with the right know-how. With our special infrastructure, we are also able to convert large numbers of vehicles in a short time - that is our unique selling point.”