Automatic brake testing is a crucial factor in the preparation of freight trains, as it is obligatory to check the brakes each time a change is made to the wagon configuration or the wagon is stationary for more than 24 hours.. Hence, the potential savings for railway companies in this time-consuming process are high, both in terms of human labour and costs. With the automated system, the efficiency gain is enormous: for a 500 m long goods train, the manual check of the brakes requires around 40 minutes and two employees. In contrast to this, the automatic brake test is carried out by just one person in less than 5 minutes, which significantly minimises the downtime of freight trains with train drivers and locomotives.
Since 2017, the technology developed by PJM and SBB Cargo has been successfully tested in pilot freight trains. Based on this extensive testing, VTG will make this system available as an equipment option. The expansion of the equipment portfolio with the automatic brake test system supports the integration of the Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) and represents another important step in the digitalisation strategy of both companies.