Autocouplers for the SBB Cargo operator

The delivery of the second batch of Voith CargoFlex autocouplers for the SBB Cargo intermodal fleet has begun. Upon completion of the order, all SBB Cargo intermodal wagons will be equipped with automatic couplers, which will expand the company’s range of services, reports Railway Supply magazine citing the Railway Gazette.

Autocouplers for operator

The second order covers supply of 206 autocouplers and 16 hybrid couplers featuring a coupler that folds up to reveal a conventional screw coupling below. Following a series of trials as part of the 5L freight wagon development programme, an initial fleet of 100 wagons was fitted with Voith CargoFlex couplers in 2018-19, paving the way for commercial operation from May 2019. Hybrid couplers were also fitted to 25 locomotives.

The next step will be to fit autocouplers to wagons used in SBB Cargo’s Express network of overnight wagonload services. SBB Cargo envisages that autocouplers will enable the average 45 min train formation time to be halved.

Voith CargoFlex couplers comply with the UIC 530 directive and can be installed without any modifications to the wagon. They must provide automatic uncoupling. This design is one of four types being tested under the EU’s Digital Auto-Connect Initiative.

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