TÜV Rheinland Analysis Confirms Major Advances in Bi-modal Technology by RailRunner®
Study will contribute to approval process for use of RailRunner in the European Union
WALTHAM, MA, September 14, 2010 – TÜV Rheinland Group has issued a report identifying the innovative bi-modal technology of RailRunner NA as promising for approval for use in the European marketplace. The study focuses on the “lower lifecycle costs end environmental benefits, which result from the technical innovations of the RailRunner system itself.” It describes the cost-saving potentials of the RailRunner technology as “outstanding” and concludes that the prospect is good that the technology will win approval by the European Rail Agency under its Technical Specification of Interoperability.
TÜV is a globally recognized company that documents the safety and quality of new and existing products, systems and services. The intent of the review was to examine the economic and environmental benefits of the RailRunner technology and its viability as a direct solution to improve and expand intermodal transport within the European Union. The report was commissioned by RailRunner at the request of several European approval authorities who sought an authoritative and independent review of the company’s technology. While the report specifically addresses the European market, the report findings may also be applied to the North American market, as well.
This report serves as a supplement to the recent Analysis and Comparison of Intermodal Transport Chains in European Markets by Studiengesellschaft für den Kombinierten Verkehr (SGKV). The TÜV report concludes that, as a result of RailRunner’s significant advancements, the technology can meet the latest Technical Specification of Interoperability (TSI) standards as issued by the European Rail Agency (ERA).
“As a result of the innovative elements developed and being part of the RailRunner technology this bi-modal system promises to be successfully implemented in Europe,” the report says.
It reviews the political and economic reasons for the failure of previous bi-modal systems in the European market. But the report explores the recent political and economic changes, such as
- The privatization of previously state-owned railways
- The accompanying increased competition among carriers (across national borders)
- Higher highway transport costs and
- Increased concern about environmental issues, including noise reduction
The report cites the RailRunner bogie as “the most important and valuable innovation” of the RailRunner technology. The articulated design reduces friction, thus reducing wear and tear on wheels and track, as well as noise, while improving energy efficiency. It also reduces maintenance costs on both the bogies and the track.
TÜV’s report also cited a number of advantages of the RailRunner chassis, which can operate on road and rail and include air springs.
The report concludes that:
- Reduced friction and better aerodynamics could reduce fuel consumption by 15%
- Maintenance and spare parts costs could be reduced by as much as 30%
- More operating time should increase fleet profitability and
- Future track fees, which depend on the amount of wear and noise “will make RailRunner even more competitive”
TÜV Rheinland (http://www.tuv.com), with 490 locations in 61 countries is one of the world’s leading groups of companies providing technical and homologation services. At the heart of the company, founded in 1872, is the sustainable development of safety and quality in interaction between man, technology and the environment. Key to the company and its staff is the philosophy that social and industrial development cannot be achieved without technical progress. In this respect, the safe and responsible use of technical innovations, products and facilities is crucial. As an independent third party, TÜV Rheinland tests, monitors and certifies products, installations, processes, management systems and services based on statutory requirements, relevant performance indicators and standards.
The company itself is actively involved in developing those standards. In certain fields, the Group also performs tasks on behalf of the public sector, for example in the technical inspection of automobiles and industrial plants, and holding of driving tests.
RailRunner (www.railrunner.com) is an innovative rail products and services company bringing a new Road-Ready intermodal rail product to shippers worldwide. RailRunner’s worldwide patented container-carrying bi-modal system is designed to quickly; simply and efficiently shift chassis and container to and from highway to rail and back. With RailRunner’s low-investment Terminal Anywhere™ technology, no flatcars, pocket or well cars, huge cranes, high-value lift equipment or expensive terminal infrastructure are involved. Road-Ready trailers or chassis extend trucking or container services to markets and locations not previously reachable, improving shipping efficiency, lowering fuel cost, and reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, thus supporting environmental goals of transferring freight transport from road to more environmental-friendly rail. The company is privately held and based in Waltham, MA.
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