Innovative flat wagon tests begin

Modular flat wagonsVTG and DB Cargo have launched test runs with the modular flat wagons under their m² joint development project to construct innovative wagons. The two companies are carrying out several tests and the approval is expected for 2021. The approval will allow VTG and DB Cargo to market the wagons independently.

Successful brake tests performed by placing both block and disc brakes under various loads have been completed. In addition, the modular flat wagons also passed the first dynamic tests, including collision shock and push-back tests.
The next step will be to conduct noise level tests and static load tests.

The objective of the m² project is to develop new carrying wagon models that combine multifunctionality and modularity. The wagons will be tailored to different transport purposes depending on each customer’s distinct requirements. As they are assembled from standardised components, the flat wagon’s structure can be modified repeatedly, which includes the length, bogies, wheelsets and brake configurations. These can be selected individually according to the customer’s needs. This enables loaders to benefit from customised and optimised solutions for their transport services.

“The m² project places the focus directly on the customer. The new wagons can be adapted quickly and easily to individual transport requirements. This allows us to increase the flexibility of rail freight transport, thus strengthening its position in terms of competition with road haulage,” Heiko Fischer, the CEO of VTG AG, said.

The joint project builds upon the outstanding collaboration between VTG and DB Cargo over the past years, both having already enjoyed collective success as part of the “Innovative Freight Car” project financed by the German Federal Ministry of Transport in 2016. The two companies jointly developed four different wagon models and tested a total of 27 innovative components, helping to make rail freight transport not only more economical, but also quieter and more energy-efficient.

“With m², we’re developing the freight car of the future. The new system provides a variable platform for swapping out elements of the wagon flexibly, allowing us to react more quickly to our customers’ needs. Long waiting times for new wagons will be a thing of the past,” Sigrid Nikutta, CEO of DB Cargo AG, explained.

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