Power supply on freight wagons – VTG facilitates rail transportation of refrigerated cargo

- Generators for cooling containers used for transporting pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs

- Tried-and-tested Swiss system now also approved across Europe

- VTG exclusively markets innovative technology


Smart solutions for transporting pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs by rail – with the rCE Powerpack, VTG will in future enable its customers to use container wagons to transport refrigerated goods by rail. A generator, driven by a hydraulic pump, converts kinetic energy into electrical energy, which is used to temper goods such as fruit, vegetables, frozen foods and medicines appropriately. The system was developed by the Swiss logistics company railCare, a subsidiary of the Coop trading group. The rCE Powerpacks have been used successfully in Switzerland since 2016 and have now been approved for use throughout all of Europe. Marketing is carried out by VTG. “The intelligent railCare solution enables us to make rail freight transport accessible for completely new kinds of cargo,” says Sven Wellbrock, Managing Director of VTG Rail Europe GmbH. “In doing so, we are not only improving our services for our customers, but also boosting the railway as a mode of transportation.”


Energy conversion allows for a power supply for cooling

The modular rCE Powerpack can be mounted on any carrying wagon for swap bodies or containers and consists of an adapter frame with the entire power supply system embedded in it. A hydraulic pump mounted on a wheelset drives a generator that produces electricity when speeds in excess of 30kph are reached. This energy is used to both supply the containers’ refrigeration units and to charge the power packs, ensuring an uninterrupted power supply at all times – even when the wagons are stationary. The number of power packs therefore determines how long cooling is guaranteed. The specific services required can be adapted individually on consultation with the customer.


Data transmission via cellular networks

The special feature of rCE Powerpacks is that location data, speed, power pack charge status and the energy consumption of the containers connected to the system are transmitted via cellular networks. This data is transmitted to the customer’s company headquarters, can be called up at any time using an app and documents how the electricity is allocated.