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New Brake Monitoring System

Siemens Mobility GmbH and VTG Rail Europe GmbH have signed a contract to test the innovative Brake Monitoring System (BMS) for automated brake testing of freight trains to prove the system’s operational capability. The BMS ensures an automatic brake test on each wagon of a train. The expected efficiencies generated for freight operators will result in a great market potential across Europe.

Reduction of CO2 emissions is on top of the global agenda. A shift of transport volumes from road to rail is an important enabler to achieve climate targets, hence the need to make rail freight transport more efficient becomes more important.

“The Brake Monitoring System, developed by Siemens Mobility, is a crucial step towards a further automated and digitalized freight railway. Reduced time-consuming manual processes, increased efficiency and guaranteed availability, are key drivers to make sustainable rail transport more competitive.” said Anne Fischer, Head of Rail Automation Products, Siemens Mobility.

“The idea for a brake monitoring system was born at VTG back in 2016 and first developments started early. With Siemens Mobility we have found a strategic technology partner with whom we can continue to drive innovations forward and develop smart cutting-edge rail technology. The overriding premise of the project is to have direct productivity and efficiency effects for the industry. With the implementation of the Brake Monitoring System, the network capacity can be used more efficiently, train staff will benefit from reduced workload and overall safety will be enhanced,” said Dr. Hanno Schell, Head of Technical Innovations at VTG.

As part of the one-year trial, individual components of the system are being tested and optimized. The first of two wagon sets has been fully equipped with the BMS and tests have been running since November 2020. The system provides train staff with status data visible on each side of the wagon, as well as automated reporting of complete wagon-status, and live updates of all wagon-settings on a display in the locomotive. BMS also improves overall security, allowing for detailed visualization of incorrect settings, tightened hand brakes or other problems with wagon components upon inspection by the wagon inspector and directly before the departure. The data obtained helps to prevent unexpected outages, reduces maintenance costs and provides early indication of wear and tear.

The initial concept of the BMS was developed already at the end of 2016. After one year of successful field tests all over Europe and some enhancements of the system until 2019, the results of the current joint trial operation are an essential input for development of a series product by Siemens Mobility.

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