VTG builds first carbon-neutral maintenance workshop for its freight wagon fleet in Grossräschen, Brandenburg

In the rural town of Grossräschen in the German state of Brandenburg, VTG is investing tens of millions of euros to build a sustainable workshop for the maintenance and repair of its fleet of freight wagons.

The 1,700-m2 workshop will have the capacity to handle around 2,000 freight wagons per year, making the company more independent of external repair shop services. At the same time, it is a core element in the realization of VTG’s sustainability strategy. Going forward, some 40 new jobs should be created in Grossräschen, with the company looking for people such as fitters, welders, warehouse operatives, quality assurance staff and marshaling staff. The workshop is due to go into service in early 2024. At a ceremony today to break the ground, Sven Wellbrock, Chief Operating Officer Europe & Chief Safety Officer at VTG, welcomed Guido Beermann, Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Planning for the State of Brandenburg, along with members of the German Bundestag and the Brandenburg Landtag (State Parliament). 

“We are pleased to be ramping up our investment in Brandenburg,” Wellbrock said. “In doing so, we are significantly enlarging our footprint at an attractive location in the heart of Europe. For us, the workshop in Grossräschen will in future be a central maintenance and repair facility. We will thus be able to guarantee even greater wagon availability for customers and play our part in further developing the climate-efficient rail freight sector of tomorrow.” VTG has had a presence at the Grossräschen facility since 2020, where it currently processes wagons that are returned when their leases expire. 

“Building the new maintenance workshop in Grossräschen is a tremendously positive signal for Brandenburg and the rural spaces in our state,” Guido Beermann said at the ground-breaking ceremony. "The money invested here will create secure and highly qualified jobs as part of a sustainable, climate-friendly transport system. We look forward to seeing Grossräschen do its bit to advance green rail freight in Europe in the future.”

Shopfloor management for more efficient workshop processes
The project involves building a new workshop with adjacent office and warehouse space on the 65,000-m2 site, which boasts around 10 kilometers of sidings. In the future, a modern, app-based shopfloor management system will be introduced for the workshop’s administrative processes. The aim of this system is to optimize the value chain by adopting more accurate, just-in-time delivery to the workshop, thereby boosting productivity in a smaller space. Only in this way can investments in the future of rail freight pay for themselves. Work in Grossräschen will focus on intermodal wagons, covering everything from the repair of typical damage to major revisions. The local team will also be able to inspect tank cars and provide mobile maintenance service. 

A carbon-neutral workshop 
The new workshop in Grossräschen is central to VTG’s efforts to become climate-neutral by 2040. The entire complex will operate on a carbon-neutral basis: Thermal heat pumps will be installed, and most of the electricity needed will be generated by the workshop’s own PV installations. Beyond that, only green electricity will be sourced to run the facility. An electric marshaling engine will be deployed to move wagons around the workshop area. 
 

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Press Release: VTG builds first carbon-neutral maintenance workshop for its freight wagon fleet in Grossräschen, Brandenburg PDF

 

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René Abel, PhD
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