In 2000, Deutsche Bahn and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development set themselves the target of reducing rail-induced noise by half by the year 2020. Retrofitting the existing fleet of freight wagons owned by all wagon keepers with low-noise composite brake blocks plays a central role in this project.
Installation of the new “LL” brake blocks can be achieved relatively inexpensively. The UIC “EuropeTrain” project has conducted test runs of more than 200,000 kilometres over a period of two years. The results were positive and the competent UIC bodies have approved the project report as well as the related application guidelines. Based on the results of “EuropeTrain” UIC standards were developed, on the basis of which the first UIC certificates for LL blocks were issued. Thus LL blocks will shortly be available on the market and the wagon keepers can start retrofitting their freight wagons with noise-reducing brake blocks.
At the invitation of Dr Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General and Dr Rüdiger Grube, Chairman of the Management Board, Deutsche Bahn AG, further details will be given during the course of an event where the first DB Schenker Rail freight wagon will be symbolically retrofitted with LL brake blocks on 24 June at a DB depot in Berlin-Grunewald.
Further information will be available in the next edition of UIC eNews.