Voith initially fitted 25 locomotives and 100 wagons with 200 rail-car and 50 hybrid couplers for SBB Cargo under a pilot programme in May 2019.

Trains using the new couplers will operate to 11 terminals from June 2021, up from the current six.

Voith says the CargoFlex is optimised for rail freight traffic, and features a modular design to allow existing and future modules such as digital coupling to be added as required. The coupler is also compatible with the UIC530 directive, with no changes to the wagon structure necessary.

The coupler is one of four currently being tested as part of a project led by Shift2Rail to select a single solution for use across Europe.