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Economical, energy-saving, quiet: Halfway through the test runs of the "Innovative freight wagon"

DB Cargo/VTG consortium presents Federal Transport Minister Scheuer with the initial results of the "Construction and testing of innovative freight wagons" research project

The freight wagons of the future should be more energy-saving, economical and quieter. In the "Innovative freight wagon" project financed by the Federal Transport Ministry (BMVI), the DB Cargo/VTG consortium is therefore developing and testing four new wagon types. The wagons have been in operation since March and have already completed half the required 150,000 test kilometres. Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer gained a personal impression when he visited the workshop in Berlin today.

The innovations ranged from the use of new lightweight components to reduce energy consumption and noise, to customer centric modifications for the cargo, to new digital modules for optimising the dispatch of freight wagons.

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer: "Our research project is putting high-tech wagons on the rails. We are subjecting digital innovations and state-of-the-art sound-proofing technologies to an acid test. I'm pleased with the results of the initial measurements. They show that all the wagons are well below the permissible noise limits and are saving energy. Freight transport by rail can be made quieter, more energy-efficient and more economical in future. That's an important step in bringing more freight onto the rails and increasing the general popularity of rail freight transport."

Alexander Doll, Member of the DB Management Board for Freight Transport and Logistics: "This partnership is driving innovations to the benefit of our customers and creating urgently needed competitive advantages for rail." The multi-function flat wagon was specially built for DB Cargo customers in the steel industry: it takes steel slabs to the rolling mill and returns with ready-made coils. "Instead of the two wagon types needed up to now, we will get by with just one wagon – a huge benefit for the entire transport chain. And thanks to a lightweight construction inspired by the aerospace industry we will also save energy."

Dr Heiko Fischer, Chairman and CEO of VTG AG: "The project already demonstrates the massive potential of rail freight transport when everyone pulls together." The automatic braking test piloted in the project can alone save around 30 minutes during vehicle readiness control, he points out. "Rail is therefore becoming more competitive." This is party thanks to optimised design of the VTG wagons: "The lighter weight enables a greater useful load and thus makes rail transport more economical."

The "Innovative freight wagon" research project was launched in October 2016 and continues until the end of 2018. Trial running began in March 2018. The wagons will be tested for a further 75,000 kilometres on the European rail network. The BMVI is contributing a total of around EUR 18 million to the project. DB Cargo and VTG bear all the procurement costs for the innovative freight wagons and components themselves, a total of more than EUR 6 million. The results so far are very promising and demonstrate the opportunities offered by the technological innovations. The remaining test runs will show whether the developments also pass the practical test from a commercial viewpoint.

Additional information, illustrations and documentation on the "Innovative freight wagon" research project can be found on thewww.innovativer-gueterwagen.de website.