• Digital coupler ‘opens door to automation’

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by David Benton
 
"GERMANY: Deutsche Bahn has launched a programme to test digital automatic couplings in live freight traffic.

Speaking during a demonstration of prototype couplers at the DB Systemtechnik Minden research facility on August 31, Sabina Jeschke, DB’s Board Member for Digitalisation & Technology, said that the technology ‘opens the door to comprehensive automation and digitalisation of rail freight’. This would significantly increase the capacity of marshalling yards, she continued, which ‘means a digital revolution for freight on rail’."
https://www.railwaygazette.com/freight/ ... 2020200904
  by kato
 
From article:
David Benton wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:14 am DB confirmed that the ultimate objective was to re-equip Europe’s wagon fleet. Work could start in 2023, and the target would be to complete the programme by 2030 at an estimated cost of €6∙5bn to €8∙5bn, with conversion of the German wagon fleet alone costing €1∙5bn.
For more concrete numbers, DB plans to rebuild a fleet of 60,000 waggons whenever they finally have a working, tested product in the future. European-wide up to 490,000 waggons (and 17,000 locomotives) could be rebuilt. Cost per waggon is estimated at 15,000-17,000 Euro, although that seems to be a high estimate (i've seen 5,000 for the coupler, 2,500 for installation and 5,000 for telematics quoted).

Tentative planning for that is to start by 2023 or 2024, mostly because end of 2022 is when the federal grant for the project runs out. The project has been going on for a couple years now, the current test phase - started in September - is trialling products from four supplier companies. All four suppliers are well-known and -established in railway brake technology - Voith from Germany, Dellner from Sweden, CAF from Spain and Wabtec - formerly Westinghouse - from the US. The 24-waggon test train from the article will run once one of these four is selected, planned for spring 2021.