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The fascinating world of single-wagon transport

Customers take a look behind the scenes at Munich North marshalling yard

The single-wagon network is the backbone of DB Cargo’s transport offering. Around 70 per cent of DB Cargo trains run within the single-wagon system.

DB Cargo operates an extensive network of marshalling yards, hubs and transhipment points. However, the complexity of the system is often incomprehensible for outside parties. For that reason, DB Cargo occasionally invites customers to take a look behind the scenes of the complex system – a great opportunity for them to learn how the individual process steps of their transport operations interlink. 

Rangierbahnhof München

Munich Regional Sales invited customers to its “A look behind the scenes of the single-wagon network” customer event at Munich North marshalling yard in October 2017. Twelve representatives from six customers in the chemical and mineral oil industry in the Munich region attended the event. “This initiative was an attempt to help customers to understand the single-wagon production processes and to illustrate our work in a transparent way,” says Marion Duldner of Regional Sales Munich. “To achieve that we invited our customers to visit us on site, at the heart of the production process. Several of our customers’ transport operations run via Munich North.”

A fascinating transport system

During a guided tour of the station, the group learned about the processes carried out between the reception and departure sidings. The shunting hump is used to separate wagons from incoming trains, sort them into the individual sorting sidings and assemble them into new outbound trains. Wagons that are rolling too quickly are slowed down by hump, trough and track retarders. Wagons that are rolling too slowly are pulled to the sorting sidings by marshalling conveyor systems.

Heiko Ruhfaut, Acting Head at Munich North marshalling yard, also gave an overview of the facility, which currently has a capacity of 3,000 wagons a day. The yard will undergo extensive modernisation and automatisation by 2020. In the single-wagon transport operations of the future, the process of sorting wagons using the shunting hump will be fully computer-controlled.

Regional Sales is considering organising the event again in 2018. “We were very satisfied with the feedback from our customers,” says Marion Duldner.