The ViWaS Project: Future-proof Solutions for Wagonload Transport

Rail transports of single wagons or wagon groups are an indispensable part of the transport chain, such as for the forestry and the chemical industry. However, high production costs and low quality standards have led to a continuous decline in market shares in recent years. In order to counteract this tendency, ten European companies and research institutions, covering the areas of rail transport and logistics, have combined their forces in the scope of the research and development project ViWaS (Viable Wagonload Production Schemes). The goal: Innovative and simultaneously practical solutions for a sustainable wagonload transport. The applicability of these solutions and their effects have been proven with the aid of business cases in terms of field tests and pilot operations. The following main innovations have been achieved within the ViWaS project: (1) Improved “last-mile” operating concepts incorporating hybrid locomotives and bi-modal shunting engines (by Bentheimer Eisenbahn, Fret SNCF and SBB Cargo supported by HaCon and NEWOPERA): The new production method for last-mile delivery is based on the idea of separating train movements and sidings shunting processes by deploying bimodal road-rail tractors. Processes within the sidings have been simplified; as a result costs for equipment and staff could be reduced considerably. Hybrid locomotives are fundamental in securing a seamless access to regional distribution rail networks. Potential cost advantages have been identified comparing different traction combinations of real-life transport chains. (2) Modular wagon technologies for a flexible and efficient use of resources (by Wascosa and SBB Cargo): In detail, three components have been developed up to prototype status: Wascosa's Flex Freight Car is a light container wagon with an accessible floor and thereby applicable for various transport purposes. The Timber Cassette 2.0 is a new superstructure for log wood transport that features foldable stanchions and can be used in combination with a container wagon. In case the Timber Cassette is not loaded, it can be removed and stacked at the terminal or on a container wagon. Empty runs will be minimized generating efficiency improvements. Additionally, SBB Cargo has developed the so-called Container Loading Adapter, another add-on to a container wagon. It facilitates container loading and unloading in sidings. SBB Cargo will deploy this new component within the “Swiss Split” production system, combining intermodal with wagonload transport. (3) Smart wagon telematics allowing improved tracking at reduced costs (by Eureka): A separate abstract “Smart Telematics Enabling Efficient Rail Transport” (Contribution ID 875) has been submitted for TRA 2016). 4. A new simulation tool for planning and optimizing single wagonload networks (by ETH Zürich): WagonSIM is an agent-based simulation tool for rail freight networks to facilitate the optimization of SWL production schemes. It is based on the OpenSource software MatSIM. The tool models the routing of freight wagons according to the routes within the real SWL network. Therefore, the modelling of two network levels is required, the production network and the physical infrastructure. The ViWaS project is co-financed by the European Commission in the scope of the Seventh Framework Programme.


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  • Accession Number: 01607927
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:33AM