Whisper brakes

The rail noise of freight trains will be halved. TRANSWAGGON also participates in noise abatement measures, supported by the federal government's keeper bonus and the CEF funds of the European Union. Rail noise soon belongs to a loud relic of the past.

Residents living near railway lines and racked by noise can breathe a sigh of relief. Currently, the brakes of all wagons in freight trains travelling through Germany are being converted - and thus significantly quieter. Since the quiet brake has been mandatory for years in new wagons, the innovative whisper brake replaces the previous cast iron brake blocks in the older fleet of existing wagons. Rail noise can thus be reduced by around ten decibels, which corresponds to about half the noise level. With the well-known C(omposite) brake blocks for new wagons and the new LL-blocks ("low noise, low friction") for existing wagons, the running surfaces of the wheels are not roughened as much as with the original cast iron brake soles. The wheel, smoothed by the composite brake blocks, runs much smoother and quieter on the rail. In July 2017, the German Bundestag passed the "Rail Noise Protection Act" banning the operation of noisy freight wagons with the approval of the German Bundesrat. The complete conversion of the wagons running on the German rail network is scheduled for the end of 2020. TRANSWAGGON as well as the other wagon keepers in Germany support this way and do everything in their power to convert the existing fleet in a timely manner.

For the last 53 years TRANSWAGGON has specialised in providing freight wagons throughout Europe for transporting all kinds of dry goods. TRANSWAGGON has invested for many years, even without legal obligation in new construction, in quiet wagons and gained early experience with the whisper brake. Until the year 2017, 22 % of quiet wagons were in TRANSWAGGON’s stock. This proportion is to increase to 100 % by 2020. In 2017 TRANSWAGGON successfully started to convert the brakes for existing wagons. At TRANSWAGGON, a total of approx. 10,000 existing wagons with cast iron brake blocks are to be replaced by LL blocks. The costs for the conversion of around EUR 20 million will be partly covered by a federal subsidy programme (keeper bonus). In addition, the European Union supports the project with the financing instrument "Connecting Europe Facility" (CEF). For example, the European Union reimburses TRANSWAGGON 20 % of the eligible costs for the conversion.