As a technology partner and pioneer, Voith has set itself the goal of energy-efficient mobility for people and goods. In order to cope with the problem of constantly increasing transport volumes, Voith has developed the CargoFlex coupler for more safety, efficiency and transport performance in rail freight service. Recently, four automatic freight couplers each were installed in test cars of DB Cargo and GATX in Germany as well as Green Cargo in Sweden.
The official start of the test series, which is being commissioned and financed by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in Germany and Shift2Rail in Sweden, is planned for October 5, 2020. The project runs from June 2020 to the end of 2022. By spring 2021, all couplers of the participating manufacturers are to be thoroughly tested, including their winter suitability, and a decision for a Europe-wide introduction of a standardized coupler head is to be made.
Automation for maximum efficiency
Since May 2019, the Voith CargoFlex has already been successfully deployed in day-to-day operations at SBB Cargo, a subsidiary of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). For the tests, this coupler was upgraded with a digital component that enables power and data transmission. The electric head used for this purpose functions purely mechanically, so that no change in the brake pipe is necessary. The CargoFlex is also compatible with the UIC530 directive and ensures that no modification in the wagon structure is required. Furthermore, the coupler is optimally adapted to the high loads in rail freight traffic and, thanks to its light yet robust design, is created for extraordinary reliability and a long service life. The whole system is complemented by a modular concept for expansion with existing and future modules as required, for example, automatic uncoupling.