The German Aerospace Center (DLR), known for its innovative railway research projects, has come up with a concept design for a high-speed freight train.
NGT Cargo, part of DLR’s Next Generation Train (NGT) programme, is one of several pieces of research being presented by DLR at this year’s InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin.
DLR said NGT Cargo would be made up of individual cargo wagons, which can be driven autonomously, and high-performance locomotives which will enable it to tackle issues like pollution, noise and congestion.
To overcome the aerodynamic challenges associated with running high-speed trains through tunnels, DLR said it has developed special hoods which can be attached to the tunnel portals to allow built-up air to be released sideways or upwards through “special inlets”.
Karsten Lemmer, DLR executive board member for energy and transport, said: “With its research, DLR not only looks at rail vehicles, but rather at the complete transport chain – from sender to receiver.
“The reinforcement of rail transport as a competitive mode of transport is an important element of the transport revolution. To make rail more attractive for cargo and passenger transport, we have to increase its capacity, speed, reliability and cost-effectiveness.”
As well as NGT Cargo, DLR is looking into alternative drive systems for non-electrified railways and methods for ensuring high-speed trains are able to cope with strong crosswinds, for which DLR has developed a system which uses electromagnets to stabilise the train.