Efficient rail freight transport: VTG relies on automation of brake testing with PJM
VTG, Europe's leading private operator of freight wagons, will offer PJM's automatic brake testing system as a project-related equipment option.
VTG is thus consistently pursuing its digitalisation strategy in order to achieve further increases in efficiency in the handling of freight trains.
Hamburg and Graz, October 20, 2023. 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 typically 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.
PJM is an internationally renowned railway system specialist and has successfully implemented projects in 30 countries on 6 continents. PJ Monitoring GmbH is specialised in the automation and digitalisation of rail freight transport, while PJ Messtechnik GmbH acts as an accredited testing laboratory according to ISO/IEC 17025.
Headquartered in Hamburg, VTG GmbH is an international asset owner and logistics company with a strong focus on rail. Besides hiring out rail freight wagons and tank containers, it also provides multimodal logistical services and integrated digital solutions. The company's fleet includes around 84,000 rail freight wagons – mostly tank wagons, intermodal wagons, standard freight wagons and sliding-wall wagons – as well as about 5,000 tank containers.
This diversified service portfolio gives VTG's customers a robust platform for international freight transportation, based on which the company develops made-to-measure logistical solutions for any and every industry. Over many years, VTG has accumulated granular expertise across the entire transport chain – expertise that is now flanked by smart technology. The Group likewise combines a wealth of experience with a specialized knowledge of the transportation of liquid and sensitive goods in particular. Its customers include a plethora of leading companies representing the chemicals, petroleum, automotive and paper industries, agriculture and virtually every other sector besides.
VTG posted revenue of EUR 1,306 million and an operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 467 million in the 2022 financial year. Effective December 31, 2022, VTG employed around 2,100 people worldwide.