Multifunctional and modular for the future of rail freight transportation – the next phase of m², a joint project between VTG and DB Cargo, is about to begin. Following the successful construction of the wagons, an extensive testing procedure has been initiated. The brake tests, performed by placing both block and disc brakes under various loads, have already been completed without any issues. In addition, the wagons also passed the first dynamic tests – including collision shock and push-back tests – with flying colors. The next step will be to conduct noise level tests and static load tests. The project partners aim to have the wagons approved by 2021; VTG and DB Cargo will then market them independently.
Focus on customer requirements
The objective of VTG and DB Cargo’s joint m² project is to develop new carrying wagon models that combine multifunctionality and modularity and that can, therefore, be tailored to different transport purposes depending on each customer’s distinct requirements. As they are assembled from standardized components, the flat wagon’s structure can be modified repeatedly, meaning the length, bogies, wheelsets and brake configurations can be selected individually according to the customer’s needs. This enables loaders to benefit from customized and, therefore optimized solutions for their consignments.
“The m² project places the focus directly on the customer. The new wagons can be adapted quickly and easily to individual transportation requirements. This allows us to increase the flexibility of rail freight transportation, thus strengthening its position in terms of competition with road haulage,” says Dr Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG AG.
“With m², we’re developing the freight car of the future. The new system provides a variable platform for swapping out elements of the wagon flexibly, allowing us to react more quickly to our customers’ needs. Long waiting times for new wagons will be a thing of the past,” adds Dr Sigrid Nikutta, CEO of DB Cargo AG.
Collaborative innovators – VTG and DB Cargo
The m² project builds upon the outstanding collaboration between VTG and DB Cargo over the past years, both having already enjoyed collective success as part of the “Innovative Freight Car” project financed by the German Federal Ministry of Transport in 2016. Back then, the two companies jointly developed four different wagon models and tested a total of 27 innovative components, thus helping to make rail freight transportation not only more economical, but also quieter and more energy-efficient.