NGT CARGO - High-speed freight train


The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is researching pioneering train concepts. The main objectives of DLR's activities in this area of transportation are to shorten travel and transport times with low specific energy requirements, reduce noise, increase comfort, improve driving safety and reduce wear and tear as well as life cycle costs.

Based on this, an operating concept was developed for the trains of the Next Generation Train (NGT) family. The high-speed railcar train (NGT HST) runs at timetabled speeds of up to 400 km/h on high-speed main lines, supplemented by an intercity railcar train (NGT LINK) with speeds of up to 230 km/h, which transports passengers from the surrounding areas to the hub stations on the high-speed HST line. In addition, an autonomous railcar freight train (NGT CARGO) is currently being developed together with the associated logistics concept, which can be integrated into the operating concept of the passenger multiple units.

NGT CARGO: Intermodales Terminalkonzept
Mit dem NGT CARGO erforscht das DLR ein Logistikkonzept für den Güterverkehr der Zukunft. Dabei wird nicht nur das Fahrzeug als zentrales Forschungsobjekt, sondern die komplette Transportkette vom Sender bis zum Empfänger betrachtet. Dies beinhaltet neben dem Fahrzeug auch Be- und Entladeeinrichtungen, Umschlagsanlagen und das Betriebskonzept. Ein zentrales Element der Transportkette stellt das intermodale Terminal dar. Erst der Umschlag der Sendungen auf weitere Transportmodi wie z. B. Lastenfahrräder, autonome Fahrzeugkonzepte wie das ebenfalls am DLR entwickelte U-Shift ermöglicht es die komplette intermodale Lieferkette

The NGT CARGO trains are made up of individual wagons and high-performance power cars as required. The individual cargo wagons have their own low-power drive and an on-board energy storage system. This enables them to operate sidings autonomously and independently, either individually or as a Cargo single wagon formation. The train is formed and separated fully automatically without the use of shunting locomotives. The individual Cargo wagons are connected to each other with automatic couplings. In addition to power, energy and data are also transmitted.

NGT CARGO - High-speed goods train

For high-speed operation, Cargo single wagons and Cargo single wagon formations are put together with one or two power cars. The power cars provide the additional traction power required for high-speed transport. The number of individual cargo wagons and power cars can be varied according to customer requirements by adjusting the maximum speed, whereby the system is designed for speeds of up to 400 km/h in the fastest configuration.

Several NGT Cargo railcar trains can be virtually coupled together via a remote coupling, which increases operational flexibility. Coupling with the other trains in the NGT family (NGT HST and NGT LINK) is also possible. This makes it possible to operate dynamically. This means that the railcar trains can couple and uncouple remotely during the journey. This bundling of passenger and freight traffic makes it possible to make optimum use of the available line capacities.

The NGT CARGO combines flexible fine distribution in single wagonload traffic with low personnel costs and short transport times. Various load carriers are automatically loaded and unloaded at open sidings and in centralized logistics centers. Even small quantities of high-value or urgent goods can be transported as required and at reasonable cost.

The NGT CARGO concept shows what the freight transport of the future could look like. The NGT CARGO is the core of a comprehensive logistics concept with rail as the central mode of transport. With the NGT CARGO high-speed freight train, a flexible means of freight transportation is being developed that is competitive and ecological in intermodal competition.

NGT Logistics Terminal

The associated NGT Logistics Terminal complements the NGT research landscape and makes the topic of automation in the transfer of goods between rail and road much more advanced.


Tjark Siefkes

Director of the Institute
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Vehicle Concepts
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart