GERMANY: Trials have begun with a modular platform wagon that can be adapted for use with a variety of cargoes. In a joint development programme called M2, DB Cargo and wagon leasing group VTG have completed initial dynamic tests with the first vehicles and will now commence noise and static load testing.

Announcing progress on June 17, the partners said that they aimed to have the design approved for commercial use in 2021, after which VTG and DB Cargo would market the wagons independently.

Building on developments funded under the federal government’s ‘Innovative Freight Wagons’ project dating from 2016, the partners have produced a platform wagon that can be adjusted to the needs of individual customers. Its modular structure enables customers to choose wagon length, bogie and wheelset type and braking configuration.

‘Customers are at the heart of the M2 project’, said VTG AG Board Chairman Dr Heiko Fischer. ‘The new wagon can be quickly and simply adapted to individual transport requirements. In this way we are enhancing the flexibility of rail freight and making it more competitive with road transport.’

Asserting that ‘with M2 we are developing the freight wagon of the future’, DB Board Member for Freight Dr Sigrid Nikutta said that ‘with the new system we have an adjustable platform and can change the wagon structure. This means we can respond much more quickly to the needs of our customers. The time when there was a long wait for new wagons is over.’