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Intelligent freight train enters the next round

Mercitalia Rail on board of innovation partnership between RCG, SBB Cargo and PJM

The innovation partnership of the Rail Cargo Group, SBB Cargo and the metrology company PJM with the concept of intelligent freight trains is growing. Mercitalia Rail has now started work as an additional partner in the network. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for this collaborational purpose. The focus is to develop a standard for communication on the train and use this standard in various intelligent applications throughout Europe.

Investment in safety and the future

Brake tests are currently carried out manually. For each newly formed train, for example, the brakes must be checked for functionality by an employee directly on the wagon before departure. In future, this will be done automatically with regard to safety relevance - especially when it comes to shunting operations and safety in the track area.

For the system development of the automatic brake test, a procedure is used which enables official recognition for railway undertakings in other countries. This allows other railways to introduce the system and the automatic brake test as well. The aim is to increase the efficiency of freight transport, reduce production costs and thus increase competitiveness.

Innovation community growing

The joint and transnational development of products makes sense in rail freight transport, as the applications can be tested across national borders right from the start. This speeds up the application for regulatory approval in Europe.

Mercitalia Rail is now also joining the innovation partnership. This will test the intelligent freight train in Switzerland, Austria and Italy. The first pilot train has been traversing Switzerland since August 2017, the test phase in Austria began in April 2018 - Italy is set to follow. The groundwork for this is the hardware solution from PJM.

Digitisation creating new possibilities

Within the scope of digitisation in rail freight transport, the Rail Cargo Group focuses on the standardisation and automation of operating and production processes in order to significantly increase customer benefit and to optimise the use and maintenance of freight wagons. The aim of the system solution to be developed is to use it as a de facto standard in the future.

Apart from fulfilling customer requirements, the company works on technology in the areas of operation and production, maintenance, standards and safety as well as wagon use. Sensor solutions allow improvements in quality, safety, cost, speed and flexibility.