On 17 March the Europe Train returned to Minden after two weeks and ca. 13,500 km of successful operation in Germany, Denmark and Sweden combined 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 twelfth run in Sweden. The previous run took place in Switzerland and Germany in February.
“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 2 March, it passed very quickly through Denmark and crossed the border into Sweden the same night.
The following morning on 3 March the train started its operation in Sweden, completing its first trip from Malmö up north to Kiruna. After that it shuttled three times between Boden and Gävle before travelling to Borlänge for a weekend stay at the workshop for inspection. After returning to Kiruna on the morning of 12 March, the train then headed for Vassijaure on the Norwegian border. As the train left Krokvik (near Kiruna) there was bright sunshine, as and it went further north, the weather got worse and worse until a thunder snowstorm broke out just before it reached Vassijaure, causing high banks of snow. This created ideal test conditions for the train. During this run, some test brake actions were performed under various circumstances and the brake performance was always considerably higher than calculated, although the train was mainly braked with LL blocks (most of the brakes on the cast iron braked wagons had to be isolated due to high block wear).
The next day, the train continued its operation in Sweden with a return back to the south of the country and a circle trip in southern Sweden travelling via Hallsberg, Karlstad, Göteborg, Jönköping, Nässjö, Hallsberg, Karlstad, Göteborg and finally back to Malmö.
On 16 March the EuropeTrain left Sweden after nearly 12,000 km of successful operation in the country.
The measurements of wheels and brake blocks will start on Monday 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.
Train operation will begin again on 16 April 2012 for the thirteenth run, which will once more take the shape of a German Loop.
Pictures and current information on the EuropeTrain project can be found under http://EuropeTrain.uic.org