Enterprise Europe Network

Energy-Efficient Wagon Construction

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Partner keyword: 
Design of Vehicles
Railway Vehicles
Body and main parts
System and transportation
Hoists, cranes and conveyors
Industrial trucks and tractors
Process control and logistics
Manufacture of railway locomotives and rolling stock
Technical testing and analysis


A German university has developed a new hopper wagon that shows big aerodynamic advantages. The institute is interested in a cooperation in the framework of a license or a research cooperation agreement.



It is well known that especially on the top side of open wagons, like hopper wagons, even at low speeds air flows are created that counteract to the forces that accelerate the wagon. Current approaches to enhance the aerodynamic behaviour of wagons are solid closed covers or tarps. But such solutions entail several disadvantages, particularly the complications while loading bulk cargo, but also the disadvantage that the fastening system requires a higher maintenance effort.

To solve the above-mentioned problems, scientists at a German university have developed - in cooperation with a regional company - a hopper wagon that shows big aerodynamic advantages, despite a permanent opening on its top side, and independent from the loading level. The main advantage of this solution is the enhanced aerodynamic efficiency during transport. The novel construction of the wagon functions simultaneously as a strengthening element for the wagon structure. It thereby enlarges the profile of the wagon and reduces its weight. Both aspects finally increase the vehicle’s load capacity. Moreover, the new wagon design protects fine-grained bulk cargo from drifting away, due to the airstream even at low transportation speeds.

This new type of freight car can be used in freight transport, transport, the railway industry or logistics and is more energy-efficient than conventional models due to its aerodynamically advantageous design.

The university is interested in a cooperation in the framework of a license agreement or a research cooperation agreement. A future licensee would have the authorization to use the technology in return for a fee or a share of royalties. The client is also open to agree to a research cooperation agreement that aims at the joint further development of the technology.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
- Lighter wagon construction; higher vehicle load capacity - Improved aerodynamic behaviour in non- or only partially loaded state - Lighter wagon construction reduces energy need for traction significantly

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The university is looking for partners from the railway and railway technology industry (including its suppliers) and from relevant research institutes for a license or a research cooperation agreement. In the framework of a license agreement partners like industry, SMEs or academic would be authorized to use the licensed technology, e.g. for the development and production of new forms of wagons. In a research cooperation agreement the partner could be industry, a SME or a university to further develop the technology together.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500


schematic view of the goods wagon


real application of the goods wagon