DB says the innovations being tested on the flat wagons, container wagons, tank wagons, and car transporter wagons range from the use of new lightweight components to save energy and reduce noise, to new digital modules that optimise wagon operation.
The intermodal wagon has been redeveloped as a container wagon to accommodate the widest possible variety of container combinations, with particular emphasis on a weight-optimised design. The combination of disc brakes and a telematics module also allows longer maintenance intervals and higher availability.
The double-deck car transporter has also achieved a high loading efficiency, especially when transporting tall and heavy vehicles such as SUVs and vans, and is also suitable for the transport of other vehicle types. The wagon has a flexibly adaptable upper loading level and adjustable elements on the lower loading level.
The tank wagon is 2m shorter than existing types (14.4m) while maintaining the same volume (77m3), allowing more wagons per train, which DB says was possible by creating a larger tank diameter using a new material. A variety of combinations of low-noise wheelsets, wheelset coatings and wheel noise absorbers are being trialled on the wagons. The tank wagon also features lighter insulation with lower density.
The six-axle flat wagon has been designed to transport steel products and can carry both slabs and coils as well as containers, removing the need to convert the wagon for the different loads.
“I am pleased with the results of the first measurements,” says federal transport minister Mr Andreas Scheuer. “They show that all wagons clearly undercut the permitted noise limits and save energy. Freight transport by rail may in future be quieter, more energy-efficient and more economical. This is an important step in bringing more goods to rail and increasing the overall acceptance of rail freight.”
The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (BMVI) is contributing €18m towards the two year, which was launched in October 2016, while DB Cargo and VTG are bearing the €6m procurement costs for the freight wagons and components themselves. DB says the remaining test runs will show whether the developments also pass the practical test from an economic point of view.