EuropeTrain’s operations have now come to an end, with an overall mileage of over 200,000 km.
The “Europe Train” test train, which has been travelling across Europe since December 2010 to test low-noise brakes – equipped with composite “LL” brake blocks” – before it goes into series production to retrofit the existing European freight wagon fleet, has completed its 16th run in Austria and Hungary. The previous run in July involved 12,000 km of successful operation in Italy.
“Europe Train” is a project managed by UIC on behalf of the international railway community. To date, 29 railway companies, four industry suppliers and the sector organisations UIC, CER and EIM have signed the resolution for the preparation of “Europe Train”. This UIC project is managed by Mr Johannes Gräber from Deutsche Bahn.
After the train left the DB Systemtechnik test centre in Minden on 1 September 2012, it travelled down to Salzburg via Hanover, Würzburg and Munich. The train was handed over to Rail Cargo Austria the same evening and arrived in Salzburg at around 10 pm.
Due to damages on some wagons (not linked to LL blocks) that needed urgent repair, the train could only start its first cycle on 3 September via Linz and St. Pölten to Vienna, via the Semmering Pass to Klagenfurt and Villach, and via the Tauern Pass back to Salzburg. Thanks to the great effort of the Austrian colleagues the wagons were repaired very quickly and could be re-fitted to the train the next day for another two cycles in Austria.
On 7 September the train was transferred to Hungary via Hegyesshalom for a 5,000 km trip in Hungary, under the coordination of MAV. Under the permanent supervision of Dr Czippán, the train shuttled very steadily between Györ, Budapest and Szeged. On 12 September the train was handed back to RCA in Hegyesshalom after a successful 5,000 km of operation on the Hungarian network.
Thanks to the very flexible planning of RCA and ÖBB, the train managed another cycle in Austria before it was handed over to DB Schenker Rail in Passau on the evening of 14 September.
On 20 September the train started its return trip back to Minden, where it arrived at the test centre before midnight.
This successful end to EuropeTrain’s operations constitutes a very important step towards the final homologation of LL blocks.
Directly after the return, the last measurements of wheels and brake blocks were taken as usual. Based on the results of all 16 runs, the EuropeTrain’s international expert team will draft a report and will make decision proposals regarding the conditions for the final homologation of LL blocks. This work is planned to be finalised by end of the year.
Johannes Gräber, UIC Project Manager EuropeTrain, would like to use this final run as an opportunity to thank all those who that have supported the train’s operations, namely (in the order of runs):
- Denmark Mr Alex Skovly Nielsen and Mr Claus Jensen
- Sweden Mr Sven Eriksson
- Netherlands Mr Frank Sesterheim
- Belgium Mr Goethals Lieven
- France Mr Michel Rocher
- Poland Mr Adam Osiak
- Switzerland Mr Hans Hauri
- Italy Mr Pierluigi Corsetti, Mr Domenico Zigrino, Mr Frederico
- Stafforte and Mr Fabrizio Nannetti
- Austria Mr Alfred Öttinger and Mr Alfred Pitnik
- Slovakia Mr Peter Červenka and Mr Friedrich Zdeněk
- Luxembourg Mr Marcel Theis
- Hungary Mr László Czippán
And last, but definitely not least, Mr Martin Knörr from DB Schenker Rail, who did a fantastic job in coordinating all the 16 runs, and without whom the EuropeTrain operation could never have happened.
Thank you very much to you and all your colleagues behind you!
Pictures and current information on the EuropeTrain project can be found under http://EuropeTrain.uic.org