After a two-and-a-half-year runtime including twelve operational months spent traveling 150,000 kilometers back and forth across Europe, the research project to develop and test innovative freight wagons has now been successfully completed. The DB Cargo/VTG consortium presented its findings during today's closing event at the German Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI). The final report was positive: The wagons use between two and three percent less energy. In addition, customer-oriented adjustments and new digital modules optimize both dispatch and operations, making them even more cost-effective.
At the start of April, Germany's "Privatbahn" magazine awarded the project the Innovation Prize for outstanding service to the railway industry. Both companies in the consortium remain committed to the ongoing joint development of multifunctional freight wagons with modular frames. The aim is to make rail freight transportation even more cost-effective by deploying wagons more flexibly.
VTG sees the project as a huge success that highlights the potential of rail freight transportation. "Our collaboration showed how rail transport can be made quieter, more cost-effective and more energy-efficient," notes Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG AG. "We are now carrying these findings over into our operations: The newly developed wagon types have been added to our regular rental portfolio and will be available to our customers in the future. That means we are making rail freight traffic even more attractive."
DB Cargo, too, is certainly convinced by the innovative freight wagons and has already placed an order for 300 of them. The new car transporter wagon and the multifunctional flat wagon for steel shipments (BraCoil) mark a logical next step in the freight carrier's modernization course – in line with its "agenda for better railways". "We are continuing to invest in our fleet and are opting for flexible freight wagons," says Dr. Roland Bosch, CEO of DB Cargo. "They improve the quality of our transports and make them more economical, but they also add value for our customers."
The innovative freight wagons project was launched in fall 2016, with test operations commencing in March 2018. The Federal Ministry of Transport contributed a total of around EUR 18 million, while DB Cargo and VTG shouldered all procurement costs, which added up to roughly EUR 4.5 million. More information is available at the project website: www.innovativer-gueterwagen.de
The car transporter wagon and the BraCoil are on display at DB Cargo's outdoor booth at the "transport logistic" trade fair in Munich in early June. The innovative tank car will be exhibited on VTG's booth.