Freight trains will become significantly quieter in future. Swiss railway SBB Cargo, who presented their "freight train of the future" at the trade fair transport logistic in Munich, is working towards this goal.
The "5L-demonstrator train" stands for the five features quiet, lightweight, strong-running, logistics-capable and life-cycle-cost-oriented. "The freight train shall become as quiet as a passenger car," Urs Walker of the Swiss Federal Department for the Environment (Bafu) said. The modern wagons shall yield higher market shares for the railroad in international transport business.
The train consists of container cars equipped with a myriad of innovative components. Included are, for example, radially adjustable pivoted bogies, which lower noise and wear compared to permanently mounted ones. Disc brakes are used instead of conventional block brakes. Furthermore, the wheel sets receive mufflers. These measures shall lead to another significant noise reduction of five to ten decibels even compared to already noise-refitted freight wagons. This would make the freight wagon insignificantly louder than a passenger train.
An important step towards automation is the usage of automatic couplings, which significantly increase efficiency at marshalling yards. After its approval, the train will be employed in regular operations starting mid-2017 and will achieve a mileage of at least 400,000 kilometers during the project duration of four years. The train shall first operate in Switzerland, then internationally starting in mid-2018. 16 wagons in total shall be converted to "5L-trains" and employed by mid-2017.