Wabtec, Fret SNCF and RDT13 to expand rail freight in Europe through MONITOR Project

Wabtec, Fret SNCF and RDT13 to expand rail freight in Europe through MONITOR Project
From left to right: Frédéric Delorme, President Fret SNCF; Paul Sillou, CEO RDT13; Lilian Leroux, Wabtec Transit President

Wabtec Corporation, French national operator Fret SNCF and regional operator RDT13 (Régie des Transports des Bouches du Rhône) have launched the MONITOR Project, the first innovation project of the French Rail Freight of the Future (4F) coalition to accelerate the development of rail freight in Europe.

The MONITOR Project consists of equipping wagons with sensors to monitor and prevent the risks of derailment and premature braking, and to reduce train preparation time. Ultimately, it could help reduce maintenance costs and contribute to the European Union's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

"The MONITOR Project has the potential to transform the development of freight rail in Europe,” said Lilian Leroux, President of Wabtec Global Transit and Freight Europe. “We are delighted to bring our experience of innovative railway technologies to develop fully digitalized freight train operations. By developing the attractiveness of rail in Europe, we will contribute to the European Union's goals of doubling the modal share of rail to 30% by 2030, helping to reduce CO2 emissions."

The MONITOR Project focuses on four key technologies, brought together for the first time:

  • radio communication between cars along the train
  • brake monitoring
  • bogie monitoring
  • automated brake testing

Fret SNCF is playing a major role in the MONITOR Project, an essential brick in preparing the autonomous freight train of tomorrow, by sharing its expertise and feedback on freight train operations, and by testing new solutions in real conditions on board its locomotives and the wagons it operates," said Frédéric Delorme, president of Rail Logistics Europe at SNCF.

This project has been funded by the French government as part of France 2030, managed by ADEME, the French Agency for Ecological Transition. It will last for three and a half years. The solutions will be developed by Wabtec based on the needs identified by the consortium, before being tested in real conditions on SNCF and RDT 13 rolling stock.

"Rail freight uses six times less energy, emits eight times less pollution and nine times less carbon than a comparable journey by road, said Paul Sillou, CEO of RTD 13.” We are proud to contribute to this innovative project that will bring major benefits to French and European rail."

MONITOR is the latest in a series of freight innovation projects involving Wabtec in Europe.

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