Source: Knorr-Bremse announcement

MUNICH — The growth of urban centers and rising mobility needs are placing rail transportation at the heart of the mobility of the future. With the evolution of its braking technologies, Knorr-Bremse is contributing to even more available and punctual rail transit: Reproducible Braking Distance (RBD) – achieved through the smart interaction of multiple brake components – will enable operators to increase the frequency of train services and transport more people in metropolitan areas.

A study by Knorr-Bremse, Nextrail and Via-Con, based on operational simulations on Hamburg’s commuter rail (S-Bahn) network, has once again highlighted the technology’s considerable potential.

Reduced train headway, increased capacity: simulated on Hamburg’s S-Bahn network

The partners simulated an RBD-optimized scenario and a baseline scenario (without RBD), first in dry track conditions, then in unfavorable conditions where the transfer of braking force is compromised by autumn leaves and rain. The simulations were based on a study on the introduction of the European Train Control System (ETCS) and ATO in Hamburg:

On dry rails, RBD can further reduce train headway times and increase transport capacity by another 10 percent. So in theory, it would be possible to run 1.5 more trains per hour on the same route. When combined with ETCS und ATO, the overall potential for improvement adds up to around 40 percent of additional capacity compared with the eight train-line timetable without ETCS, ATO or RBD.

In adverse weather conditions, the simulations showed significant improvements in punctuality. Operators could reduce uncompensated delays by up to 57 percent, so by more than half. In other words, trains fitted with RBD systems could run in adverse weather conditions almost as efficiently as if the rails were dry – in fall and winter, RBD would effectively bring “summer to the railroad”.

“These results show that in the future, Reproducible Braking Distance (RBD) technology could help improve mobility on existing rail infrastructure – especially when used in conjunction with other technologies,” concludes Matthäus Englbrecht, Vice President Global Brake Systems at Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems. “The technology enables trains to brake more precisely, even in bad weather. This means that RBD-equipped trains could run just as safely at more frequent intervals, while at the same time reducing delays and regularizing timetables – that is, achieving the punctuality which passengers rely on. Overall, this technology represents an important building block in the automation of train operations, offering operators an attractive alternative to building new track.”

To view the entire announcement, click HERE.