On 6 February the EuropeTrain returned to Minden after two and a half weeks and ca. 14,000 km of successful operation in Switzerland and Germany without any trouble or incidents.
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 eleventh run through Switzerland and Germany. The previous run took place in Belgium and in the Netherlands last December.
“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 for Basel via the Rhine Valley on 20 January 2012, it was transferred to Rotkreuz (50 km north of Erstfeld) and down to Chiasso on 22 January.
During the Transalpine Loop in Switzerland, the EuropeTrain shuttled seven times (one cycle a day) from Rotkreuz to Chiasso, back to Erstfeld and finally to Chiasso and back to Rotkreuz – crossing the slopes of St. Gotthard each time. Once again, SBB Cargo organised some special braking tests on steep gradients. On 29 January the train returned to Minden for several kilometres on a flat winter loop in Germany. From Minden the EuropeTrain shuttled seven times to Rostock and back. The final return to Minden was on 6 February.
Directly after the return, the measurements of wheels and brake blocks were taken as usual. Before the next run, the EuropeTrain’s International Analysis Team (IAT) will discuss the results again, define further activities and in particular decide which wagons will participate in the next run. In parallel the second edition of the interim report is under final discussion among the experts of the project team and will be issued by March 2012.
Train operation will start again on 2 March 2012 for the twelfth run, with a second run on the Scandinavian winter loop. The return is planned for the end of March 2012.
Pictures and current information on the EuropeTrain project can be found under