Partnering opportunity

Innovative railway technology: energy efficient wagon construction for freight trains / freight rolling stock


A University from Berlin (Germany) has developed a new hopper wagon design for freight trains that solves issues other wagon-designs have in regards to aerodynamic efficiency. While increasing aerodynamic efficiency the design at the same time ensures that loading as well as transport are not negatively influenced by the new design. The cooperation type they would be interested in is a license or a research cooperation agreement.

Partner sought

The university is looking for partners for a license or a research cooperation agreement. In the framework of a license agreement a partner's role would be the development of a ready to the market product. Partners could be SME or industry. In a research cooperation agreement the partner could be a SME or a university / research entity to further develop the technical aspects of the technology.


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 behavior 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 Berlin-based university active in the field of railway technology – in cooperation with a regional company – have developed 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 even airstream at low transportation speeds. The university is interested in the following cooperation possibilities with potential partners: R&D Cooperation: to work together with partners with the aim to further develop the technology, License Agreement: rights would be transferred to a third party for a fee or a share of royalties.

Advantages and innovations

- improvements in aerodynamics during transport - increases stability of wagon structure - decrease of the vehicle's weight - larger load capacity of the wagon - even fine-grained bulk cargo is safe from drifting away

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted,Patents granted

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