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The driverless freight train: as imagined in Germany

Researchers from the German Aerospace Centre have developed concepts for what they are calling the freight trains of the future. What makes these trains different to current models?

The label ‘freight train of the future’ makes for good headlines, stirring interest across the industry and inevitably leading to questions regarding the validity of such a claim.

Embracing this, researchers at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have been fielding numerous queries since unveiling their Next Generation Train (NGT) Cargo project in April. According to the DLR, the trains will be driverless, to some extent, and  assembled from single wagons and end cars.

Concept images show wagons which have been designed with aerodynamics at the forefront; each wagon being fitted with electric drive systems, to store energy recovered during braking.

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