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Locomotive remote control tested in Switzerland

27 March 2024
Reading time ~ 1 min
The remote control console for the shunting locomotive
The remote control console for the shunting locomotive. Source: SBB
Krechetov Dmitry, Editorial Contributor
Reading time ~ 1 min
Yashchenko Olga, Editorial Contributor to International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Switzerland: According to the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), the tests announced in summer 2023 are completed successfully.

A total of 24 train drivers operated an electric shunting locomotive at a speed of up to 30 km/h using the Alstom remote control console. The tests were conducted at the Zurich Mulligen marshalling yard under live operational conditions. To ensure safety, a train driver and a test ride supervisor were always on board the remotely operated locomotive. According to the Swiss operator, such tests conducted during on-going operations are among the first in Europe.

As it was noted by SBB representatives, remote train operation could be especially useful for moving trains between storage and departure tracks, driving a malfunctioning train to a safe zone, providing overhaul or maintenance service, and other similar operations with short-distance movements. However, the implementation of the new technology requires the developing of a strong regulatory framework aligned with other EU countries.

Remote operation of the electric locomotive using the Alstom remote control console. Source: SBB

Besides, in 2024 and 2025, SBB plans to test automatic train start-up, acceleration and braking in freight transport, as well assistance systems in signal and obstacle recognition.

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