TÜV has evaluated and positively approved without further conditions the automated brake testing developed by PJ Monitoring GmbH (PJM) in cooperation with of SBB Cargo and Rail Cargo Austria.
This is the first system in Europe that meets all technical and formal criteria and is already undergoing widespread operational testing.
The basis for the automated brake testing is the digital WaggonTracker system that combines monitoring functions and automated applications such as brake testing or load weight monitoring.
Thanks to in-train communication, safety relevant data is transmitted to the train driver during the train journey. The heart of the WaggonTracker is the hub generator, which autonomously supplies the freight cars with plenty of power and hence facilitates to implement further applications.
The system’s design makes possible the expansion of the brake testing system to include future, safety-relevant applications and automated processes. “Due to the modular concept, our system can be connected with the future DAC with reasonable effort. Whichever European standard will be implemented in 2030, our system will be compatible. Thus, the urgently needed automated brake testing can be rolled out now and not just at the end of the decade,” Günter Petschnig, CEO of PJM said.
Automation is taking shape in European rail freight. Interest in automated brake testing has increased sharply, as has demand for automatic load weight monitoring. The motives which have long been known include the shortage of skilled workers and shunting personnel, which will intensify in the coming years due to demographic developments, the urgently needed boost in efficiency, and the increase in cost-effectiveness in order to be able to achieve the increase in rail transport set in many European countries in the coming years.
The system for automatic checking of the wagons’ brakes and semi-automated train preparation is in use on more than 200 SBB Cargo freight wagons and 18 DB Cargo wagons as part of the AmaBPro project. RCG has currently a prototype train equipped with the automated system.
“In cooperation with SBB Cargo and Rail Cargo Austria, the vision was to completely replace the time-consuming, manual activity of checking the brakes by an automated process. In addition, the modular design of the system offers a simple, scalable digital solution that can be adapted exactly to the wagon-specific requirement. Today we have a functioning and reliable automated brake testing system, yet it is the platform for tomorrow’s technical applications”, say Günter Petschnig and Martin Joch, CEO of PJM.
Within the project AmaBPro, a pilot train of DB Cargo will be equipped with the PJM system and then operationally tested. AmaBPro is part of the “Future Rail Freight Transport” programme initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. In addition, Mercitalia Intermodal will have a pilot train for intermodal transport.