Innovations in rail transportation - how are they changing the industry?

Innovations in rail transportation

Innovations in rail transportation

how are they changing the industry?

Cargo transportation by rail is very successful in individual countries, throughout Europe, and beyond. However, to maintain the interest of investors, it is necessary to improve the freight transportation offer using innovative solutions constantly. We present a selection of them.

Advantages of rail freight transport

Interest in rail freight transport is due to the undeniable advantages of this solution. These include, for example, financial savings when transporting goods over a long distance. The cargo size, which is almost unlimited and can also include oversized items, is also significant.

In the context of rail delivery, the much more optimistic safety statistics than road transport are also worth mentioning. Accidents involving trains are infrequent, and adequately secured cargo should be protected en route. The chances of everything arriving at its destination intact are, therefore, high.

Rail is also a relatively weather-proof option that delays delivery in the case of other modes of transportation. A train can take to the tracks even in freezing weather, a snowstorm, or gusty winds - without compromising its safety or the goods being transported.

The only major limitation is that the train can only move on tracks that do not reach everywhere. Nonetheless, the rail network across Europe and Asia is well developed, and many medium and large logistically relevant cities belong to it.

With the organization of rail transport of goods, investors can cope on their own or use the support of rail transport specialists, such as AsstrA. This will make the whole process smooth and almost maintenance-free, and most importantly, the goods will arrive on time and without damage.

What innovations can improve the quality of rail transportation services?

The intensive development of rail innovation is mainly due to the European Union, which sees this solution as another step toward more sustainable, green freight transport. The FFL4E project, financed with its funds, plays a unique role here. What is worth knowing about it?

The goal of the international team assembled for the project was to develop technologies that would improve rail freight transportation and make it more environmentally friendly. The project ended in mid-2019 of the proposal and brought many significant changes for the entire industry.

Of particular note is the radial torsion bogie created as part of it, which minimizes wear and tear on wheels and tracks while reducing noise levels generated by rail transportation.

Developing a hybrid propulsion system that makes it possible to store energy and then use it to traverse non-electrified sections of railroad tracks also proved to be an important discovery.

Also crucial in increasing the efficiency of trains is a radio remote control system for distributed power, which allows trains to be longer and carry heavier loads than before.

The planned changes also address the issue of catenary construction, namely the use of silicon carbide in the process. Also on the agenda are modular train design, new systems for safe driving control, and innovative traffic management systems to improve safety are also on the schedule.

And we must remember emission-free fuel cell trains. Work on the first vehicles of this type is already at an advanced level. This could be a real industrial revolution and completely change the perception of freight transportation by rail.

The FFL4E project is just a slice of a much larger program operating under Shift2Rail. Its goal is to enrich the rail industry with digitization, automation, Big Data, and cyber security solutions.

The goal is to increase rail transport's freight market share by improving its efficiency and safety. There is also the not-insignificant issue of reducing emissions and carbon footprint, which is expected to make trains one of the greenest modes of freight transportation.

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