Innovative Rail Runner Europe was nominated as one of three finalists at the Future Logistics Award granted by the Logistics Initiative Hamburg and Süderelbe AG. Even though not named winner in the end, the innovative concept convinced the expert jury by its for advanced intermodal transport options.
Containers Suited for Road and Rail
The basic components of the RailRunner system are a tractor-trailer chassis designed to hold a
standardized container, and specialized “bogies:” sets of railroad wheels that fit under the chassis, front
and back, transforming it into a light rail vehicle – far lighter than a standard flatcar. A RailRunner chassis with a container looks essentially like a standard trailer. Once on the chassis, the container can be hauled over the road just like a traditional trailer or it can be fitted with bogies to move by rail as far as is practical and economic. To load the chassis and container for rail transport, one bogie is inserted under each end. The bogies each have two steerable axles and a pneumatic cushioning system. Once the bogie is in place and attached to the railroad’s pressurized air system, the bogie’s pneumatic system raises the chassis so that the road wheels are sufficiently above the rails. The bogie’s pneumatic system also provides cushioning for the container and chassis en route.
Greener Mode of Transport
The RailRunner design thus provides a uniquely efficient means of transporting the chassis and container on
rail. In addition to the advantage of the light tare weight of the chassis and bogies – which means less
fuel required – the cars are more closely spaced. This results in a more aerodynamically efficient profile,
producing less air turbulence between the containers en route, and less aerodynamic drag on the train.
The automated steering of its articulated bogies reduces friction and thus wear and tear on the axles and
the track. This automated steering, coupled with the bogies’ air cushioning, also reduces the noise levels
during rail transport, further enhancing RailRunner’s benefits as a “green system.”
Great Recognition for Young Company
The young company was very pleased with the nomination as finalist. “We are proud that Railrunner has been chosen as one of the three finalists. This shows that our concept is even perceived by experts as an innovation”, commented Gerhard Oswald, CEO of Rail Runner Europe GmbH, on the success.
The Railrunner Europe GmbH, Hamburg, was founded in January 2015 in order to bring the technology developed by the parent company Railrunner NA Inc., headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, to Europe. With the new generation of bi-modal vehicles, Europe has now access to a technology used successfully and reliably for over 35 years in US-American freight transport. RailRunner’s certified technology has been operating flawlessly for more than nine years in the US.
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