France: The American manufacturer has launched the MONITOR project. It implies fitting freight cars with sensors to monitor the condition of the braking system and bogies as well as radio communication.
Other participants of the project include the freight operator Fret SNCF (part of the national railway company SNCF) and the regional operator RDT13, owned by department Bouches-du-Rhône in the south of France.
Wabtec is to develop a sensor solution, after which it will be tested in real conditions on the SNCF and RDT13 freight car fleet. The project is financed by the French government in the framework of the innovation development programme France 2030 and is designed for 3.5 years. The technology seeks to reduce the risk of derailment and untimely breaking, cut financial and time costs of maintenance.
Earlier in 2022 Wabtec launched Precision Dispatch System, a platform developed by request of the operator Canadian National. The platform processes data from sensors installed on a rolling stock and railway infrastructure facilities, which help to determine the location, health and malfunctions of rail vehicles. The company states that it expects to implement the platform on CN’s network later this year.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Knorr-Bremse, which acquired a stake in the sensor manufacturer Nexxiot last year, has announced plans to lead the digitalisation of rail transport market in Europe. DB Cargo, the German freight operator, now has the largest number of telematics devices on its fleet. 63,000 of the company’s freight cars were equipped with Siemens telematics, as of 2021.