DB Cargo PJM automatic brake testing

Automated brake testing technology developed by an alliance of SBB Cargo, PJM and Rail Cargo Austria is being trialled by DB Cargo’s Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn, supported by Technische Universität Berlin. Brake testing can be carried out by one person, with the time required reduced by 35 min for a 400 m long freight train. ‘It is high time to replace outdated work and tedious manual tasks with automated processes’, said PJM CEO Günter Petschnig. ‘Automation brings the urgently needed efficiency boost as well as increasing the profitability of rail transport. And it creates attractive job profiles.’

RM Rail has obtained certification for a Type 19-1272 hopper wagon for the transport of cement and other loose cargoes. Designed to replace the 19-1217 wagon produced since 2005, it offers a higher capacity of 72 m3 and 74 tonnes and a designed life of 32 years.

2022-0711_PI ÖBB RCG GrainLane (c) V_labs

ÖBB’s Rail Cargo Group and V_labs has launched the GrainLane to provide an ‘open and transparent’ online marketplace to facilitate grain exports from Ukraine by connecting farmers with retailers, consumers and logistics providers.

GBRf train

GB Railfreight has begun transporting a total of 315 000 tonnes of aggregate by rail from Shap Summit Quarry to Battleship Wharf in North Blyth for the foundations of a BritishVolt electric vehicle battery plant. Trains comprising a Class 66 locomotive and 22 MJA wagons will run daily until September, then twice daily until March 2023.

Kaliningrad station (Photo: RZD).

On July 13 the European Commission published further guidance to EU member states on the transit of goods from Russia following the attack on Ukraine. The commission confirms that the transit of sanctioned goods by road with Russian operators is not allowed, but no similar prohibition exists for rail transport, ‘without prejudice to member states’ obligation to perform effective controls’. Member states should check whether transit volumes remain within the historical averages of the last three years, that there are no unusual flows. The transit of sanctioned military and dual use goods is fully prohibited regardless of the mode of transport.


GB Railfreight has awarded Wabtec UK a long term contract for the maintenance and repair of a total of 720 wagons to be used by infrastructure manager Network Rail, of which 570 are owned by Wascosa. Wabtec’s Doncaster site will also overhaul wheelsets for the Wascosa vehicles.

Duisport and Deutsche Umschlaggesellschaft Schiene-Straße have partnered to offer rail-road transhipment at the Duisburg combined transport terminal from this month.

gb-Cemex terminal rail upgrading

CEMEX has reported a 28% increase in the volume of aggregates it transported by rail in Poland during the last year, with material travelling from 11 rail depots to 43 destinations. Its use of rail in the UK was up 3% last year, and 50% since 2012.

RM Rail and Russian Railways are to jointly develop a palletised goods van and a flat wagon for heavy containers with bogies suitable for 140 km/h running. ‘One of the goals of the Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2030 is to increase the speed of cargo hauling’, said Anatoly Khramtsov, Deputy General Director & Chief Engineer at RZD. ‘This will be an entirely different level of freight traffic quality and efficiency, it will lay the groundwork for the formation of fundamentally new transport and logistics products.’

2022-07-14_PI ÖBB RCG Smart Cargo (c) Markus Weixelbaum

Rail Cargo Group and supplier A1 have now equipped 11 000 wagons with SmartCargo telematics equipment providing position data, motion sensing and shock detection since the project was launched in 2019, with a further 1 000 to follow.