DB Cargo announced that 70,000 wagons in Germany will be fitted with modern sensors and telematics systems, by 2020. Currently, a total of 1,000 wagons have already been equipped with smart technology. Some 19,000 wagons will be retrofitted this year, with the remaining 50,000 to follow by 2020. The Management Board of DB Cargo recently approved tens of millions in investment in smart wagon technology between now and 2020.
Also, this year, the company will retrofit with “whisper” brakes nearly 11,000 more wagons by 2020. Currently, two-thirds of DB Cargo’s own fleet has already been retrofitted. Whisper brakes keep the wheel service smooth when the brakes are applied, halving the noise emissions generated by the wheels as they roll.
“In a world of ever-increasing digitalisation, today’s customers expect a high level of service – they want to know, in real time, where their freight is, when it will arrive and what condition it is in. This is why we are retrofitting our entire fleet with digital technology. We are also dedicated to sustainability, and so we are making sure that our wagons are also low-noise. We want to offer a digital, low-noise wagon fleet which shows our customers how serious we are about performance, and which ultimately helps shift more traffic to rail,” Roland Bosch, the CEO of DB Cargo said.
Wagons equipped with GPS and other sensor technology will benefit DB Cargo customers directly. GPS will enable direct, constant wagon tracking, which in turn will make it possible to calculate estimated time of arrival. The sensors will also provide information about whether each wagon is full or empty and about the temperature and humidity levels inside the wagon. Such information is key to ensuring effective end-to-end supply chains for customers. The wagon sensors will also be able to detect mechanical factors, such as bumps that occur during shunting.