Swiss Post and SBB Cargo are testing an innovative shuttle train

Two dual fuel EEM 923 locomotives between 6 freight cars to streamline logistics processes and rail transport, limiting CO2

The tests of the joint shuttle train SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post
The tests of the joint shuttle train SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post
(Photo: © SBB CFF FFS)

Swiss Post and SBB Cargo have joined forces to develop a prototype shuttle train with a new composition.
The aim is to speed up logistics processes and transport more goods by rail, thus reducing CO2 emissions.
This new train is also making an important contribution to achieving Switzerland's energy and climate goals.
The principle is both simple and innovative: for the pilot project two dual-fuel EEM 923 locomotives were used, one at the front and the other at the rear of the train, and 6 freight wagons in the middle capable of accommodating 12 easily interchangeable containers .

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Unloading Swiss Post mail from a SBB Cargo train carriage
Unloading Swiss Post mail from a SBB Cargo train carriage

Convoy of 12 "passenger type" containers between Daillens, Härkingen and Frauenfeld

This makes it possible to compose a freight train in a similar way to a passenger train.
The train is also equipped with automatic coupling and automatic brake testing, which represent the future of Swiss rail freight traffic.
This train runs between the large postal parcel centers in Daillens (Vaud), Härkingen (Solothurn) and Frauenfeld (Thurgau).

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The tests of the joint shuttle train SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post
The tests of the joint shuttle train SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post
(Photo: © SBB CFF FFS)

At the end of the line, no engine change and direct entry to the parcel terminals

At the terminus it is therefore no longer necessary to change locomotives and the dual power supply allows the compositions to enter directly into the parcel center terminals.
Shunting operations are no longer necessary and processes are faster and more efficient.
The pilot project aimed to measure the time-saving potential and calculate the additional volume that can be transferred by rail, in order to avoid trucking and thus reduce CO2 emissions.
The test also had to analyze the effects that this new procedure would have on Postal logistics if this new system were introduced.

Swiss rail freight traffic grows with automation

The tests of the joint shuttle train SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post
The tests of the joint shuttle train SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post
(Photo: © SBB CFF FFS)

The automation of brake and coupling testing is decisive and safe

Finally, the project set out to gather experiences with the automation of brake and coupling testing.
The automation elements make it possible to prepare trains faster, more flexibly and also safer for the personnel.

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Johannes Cramer is the Head of Logistics Services at the Swiss Post
Johannes Cramer is the Head of Logistics Services at the Swiss Post

Johannes Cramer: “The goal is to save time and have better tracks”

“Swiss Post intends to increase rail transport”, said Johannes Cramer, Head of Logistics Services at Swiss Post.
"We hope that this new type of logistics in cooperation with SBB Cargo will save us significantly more time throughout the entire process and enable us to get better tracks."
And yet: “Analysis of the results will make it possible to understand where and how it is possible and sensible to use shuttle trains for the transport of containers. The central element of rail transport is the availability of faster paths”.

Photogallery, the Automatic Digital Coupling of trains

Désirée Baer is the CEO of SBB Cargo AG
Désirée Baer is the CEO of SBB Cargo AG

Désirée Baer: “Finding creative and customer-friendly solutions is the strategy”

Désirée Baer, ​​CEO of SBB Cargo, is also pleased with this partnership: “We are very happy with the results of the tests. This is yet another example of the implementation of our strategy to find creative and customer-friendly solutions”.
“Together with Swiss Post, we now want to take further steps to encourage the transfer of goods from road to rail, thus making an important contribution to Switzerland's energy and climate goals”.

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The tests of the joint shuttle train SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post
Testing of the joint SBB CFF FFS Cargo-Swiss Post shuttle train (Photo: © SBB CFF FFS)