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Revolutionary iWagon freight train catches Rail Minister's eye  

During a visit to Somerset 16 May 2024, Rail Minister Huw Merriman was introduced to the new iWagon freight train which, it is hoped, will improve rail freight performance through enhanced safety measures, operational efficiencies, and increased wagon availability.  

The iWagon has been developed in a partnership between VTG Rail UK, Mendip Rail, and Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) and integrates state-of-the-art sensors, data analytics, and automation. Together, these are designed to transform the safety, performance, and reliability standards of rail freight wagons. 

The iWagon features real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance capabilities, which increase efficiency by optimising wagon utilisation and reducing downtime. Axle lock detection and Wheel Flat Prevention (WFP) technology monitor wheelset slide and brake condition.  


Generators at the end of the axles provide power to the WFP system and provide power for digital real-time maintenance, temperature monitoring, and harmonics frequency monitoring.  

Logistics UK’s Senior Policy Advisor, Ellis Shelton said: “The iWagon is a groundbreaking development in rail freight technology. It highlights the transformative potential of collaboration and innovation, promising a future where rail transport is more efficient, safer and even more reliable.

"The iWagon sets a new benchmark for the industry, paving the way for continued advancements and improvements in rail freight technology.” 

During the minister’s visit, it was revealed that the 20-year partnership between VTG and Mendip Rail removes the equivalent of 400,000 lorry movements every year from the roads, with a 76% reduction in CO2. 

Merriman added: “I'm a strong supporter of the rail freight sector, which has a huge role to play not only in keeping our economy moving but in an environmentally friendly way too. 

“Exciting new developments like this are a perfect example of the industry using cutting-edge technology to power toward our ambitious growth target.” 

Published On: 30/05/2024 15:00:00


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