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Interoperability, security and safety of goods movement with 1435 and 1520(1524) mm track gauge railways: new technology in freight transport including hazardous products

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Gauging Europe's way to rail interoperability

The prospect of European freight trains operating smoothly in other Member States and driving across different systems seamlessly is now closer than ever.

Climate Change and Environment icon Climate Change and Environment

Interoperability among freight trains can yield more cost-efficient transport, spur the economy and bring Europe closer together. Objectives of the EU-funded project Interguage to achieve these aims were to overall apply new transport technologies at all stages of the freight journey. The project aimed at developing cutting-edge freight movement technologies to allow interoperability between railways of different gauge widths by developing tank bogie cars with adjustable wheelsets. It aimed at faster operation and use of automatic new-generation track gauge changing stations. The Intergauge system comprised a rail vehicle with adjustable wheelsets, an automated track gauge switching station and new technology for switching stations. It was designed to reduce the time of transfer of hazardous cargo across borders significantly. The system's new-generation track gauge-change facility prototype and novel bogies with gauge-change wheelsets, among other components, were thoroughly tested and validated. Equipped with the electronic diagnostic system, the track gauge-change facility prototype represents an unattended stationary tool that uses sensors to assess and manipulate wheel gauge, axle load and other properties. The concept was successfully tested at the Ukrainian-Polish border railway station for a 32-car train, reducing track gauge-change time from 1,320 minutes to 240 minutes. If fully exploited, the novel equipment and technology could bring Europe closer and reap many economic rewards in terms of faster trade and transport.

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