Styrian governor Christopher Drexler visits PJM

A lot is happening at our location. This week, we were honored to welcome the Governor of Styria at PJM. IT was a pleasure to report Christopher Drexler on our technologies and discuss developments in the railway industry.

Styria as an industrial centre is home to internationally renowned companies and world market leaders. The railway industry also creates products, technologies and services that are known far beyond the borders of this green province. A few figures at a glance:

  • R&D ratio: 5.17% of GDP
  • R&D expenditure: EUR 2.67 billion
  • Universities & Universities of applied sciences: 9
  • Students: 63,000
  • Number of companies: 100,000+ (including sole proprietorships)


State Prize for Digitalisation 2023 for PJM

A railway project was honoured with the Austrian State Prize for Digitalisation 2023. The automatic brake testing system from PJM emerged as the winner in the ‘Digital Transformation and Innovation’ category. State Secretary Claudia Plakolm and Harald Kräuter, ORF Director of Technology and Innovation, presented the award to CEO Günter Petschnig and COO Christoph Lorenzutti from PJ Monitoring GmbH.

 ‘We are delighted to receive this award for two reasons. The fact that a rail project was honored underlines the importance of rail freight transport in an economic and climate policy context. 10 years of development work, high investments and perseverance have been rewarded. This is great recognition for our entire team,’ says Günter Petschnig. He adds: ‘SBB Cargo is a great development partner. Such complex projects can only be successfully completed if all project partners pull together. A big thank you for the commitment, the belief in the technology and the great collaboration.

Short video on the automated brake test and its benefits

Press release 

The quality of the projects awarded this year as part of the State Prize for Digitalisation is impressive. You can see how much innovative strength there is in Austria in this core area, which is crucial for a successful future. I am delighted that we have been able to bring some particularly outstanding ideas to the fore with today's awards. On behalf of ORF, I would like to congratulate all of the award winners,’ emphasised Harald Kräuter, ORF Director of Technology and Innovation.

The jury of experts evaluated the open-topic submissions according to a catalogue of criteria such as degree of innovation, quality of implementation, high usability, added value for users and market potential. The submission phase was organized by the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency). The jury's statement: ‘The submission Digital Rail Transport - Automated Brake Test enables the digitalization of the previously manual inspection of brakes in rail transport using special sensor technology and remote evaluation via mobile operating devices. This reduces the manual effort and duration of the brake test. By automating this inspection process, the physical strain on staff and the time required for the inspection are reduced. This means that the rolling stock can be put back into service more quickly and enables rail transport capacities to be increased. This patented system has already been approved and is being used successfully by the SBB Cargo.’


Staatspreis für Digitalisierung 2024


The State Prize for Digitalisation shows that Austria is a strong location for digital innovations. We must continue to develop our qualities in a targeted manner and, above all, further strengthen digital skills throughout Austria. They are an important basis for successful digital transformation and innovative companies. I would like to congratulate all the award winners who are making new digital success stories possible for the whole of Austria and are attractive role models for other companies and institutions,’ said State Secretary for Digitalisation Claudia Plakolm.

Digitalisation is a decisive factor for growth and broad prosperity, which we must use in a targeted manner in Austria. Openness to technology is the indispensable basis for innovations that secure our competitiveness and thus our entire way of life. I am impressed by the achievements of the award winners and congratulate them warmly. Because they tackle and implement - that is the right spirit for the future,’ said a delighted Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer.



Nomination for the State Prize for Digitalisation

The most innovative digital projects and products were sought, evaluated and selected by a top-class jury according to a wide range of criteria. The submission phase took place together with the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency). We are delighted that our project "Digital Rail Transport: Automatic Brake Test via Tablet" has been nominated. The decision on the State Prize Digitalisation 2023 will be made at the JOYN ORF 4GAMECHANGERS Festival 2024.

Watch live on TV or via Facebook:

14 May 2024 at 8.00 pm

Further (German) information on:

Innovation Award for automated brake testing system

The brake testing system is the best digital project and was honoured with the Innovation Award 2024. The coveted award was presented by Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, member of the Styrian government, and Christoph Ludwig, Managing Director of SFG.

Renowned jury members, including Sabine Hertlitschka from Infineon Technologies and representatives from institutions such as the Austrian Patent Office, the Institute of Industrial Science and AWS, determined the most outstanding projects in the categories of sustainability and digitalization in a two-stage selection process. The assessment criteria included innovation content, overall economic effect and market opportunities.

The award was combined with a personal visit from the Provincial Councillor for Economic Affairs, who not only showed great interest in the automatic brake test, but was also impressed by the entire PJM service portfolio, the headqaurters and the technical equipment. Provincial Councillor Eibinger-Miedl warmly congratulated and emphasised: "Mobility in particular is a field of strength in Styria and PJM is one of the innovation companies." Günter Petschnig was delighted with the award. "We have a great team and a great network with our partners such as SBB Cargo. We have had massive investments for  developing the automatic brake test and further innovations, and we keep drive forward new technologies. The award is a great pleasure for us!"


Photos: With courtesy of SFG / Oliver Wolf 

TRANSWAGGON includes automatic brake testing and digital monitoring as equipment option

Together with PJM, the TRANSWAGGON Group is making a key contribution to the automation and digitalization of rail freight transport in Europe. Wagon rental customers save time and increase safety in operation by equipping their wagons with automatic brake testing. Many other digital monitoring features are available for TRANSWAGGON customers. In addition, the energy self-sufficient and powerful WaggonTracker system can be expanded with customer-specific systems. The integration of automatic brake testing and monitoring functions into the TRANSWAGGON Group's equipment portfolio is a logical step.

"The automatic brake test saves time and increases safety during operation. It eliminates the need for a  time-consuming walk around the entire train. Train preparation can therefore be carried out more quickly and safely," says Bertram Wieloch, CTO and member of the TRANSWAGGON Group's Executive Board.

This is not the first cooperation between the TRANSWAGGON Group and the Austrian system specialist PJM. In the past, around 500 wagons were equipped with the so called LoadMonitor, an automatic load weight monitoring system, on behalf of Mercer Holz. The system analyses the load weight during the loading process and visually indicates the maximum load capacity. Since then, one of Europe's largest timber logistics companies has benefited from a better capacity utilization, avoids overloading thanks to the precise data and appreciates completely paperless documentation.

Media release

Photo: With courtesy of TRANSWAGGON Group


FS Logistics Business Unit continues fleet upgrade with PJM’s smart train portfolio

Combining transport efficiency with safety is an important requirement for Mercitalia Intermodal in daily intermodal transport. The Italian wagon operator has therefore been focusing on digital monitoring functionalities and automated processes for several years. The transformation of the existing fleet into Smart Train freight wagons is being systematically implemented. This year, at least another 180 wagons will be modernized, while around 200 wagons - mainly of the T3000 type - have been upgraded in the past two years. Mercitalia Intermodal began upgrading its freight wagon fleet back in 2017.

The benefits of the Smart Train functions are far-reaching: shorter delivery times thanks to automated processes in the track environment, predictive maintenance logic and condition-based maintenance models reduce costs while increasing reliability, efficiency and the general safety of rail transport.

Media release


1 year in 1 minute: The PJM review 2023

Our teams worked on 90 projects, we grew and fully automated a process for the first time in the history of rail transport. A short video portrait of our numerous activities this year.

2nd award for the "Smart Train" from Mercitalia Intermodal

2nd award for the "Smart Train" from Mercitalia Intermodal

The smartest goods train in Europe has been honoured for the second time. Following the Austrian Mobility Award 2023, which was presented to Günter Petschnig and Christoph Lorenzutti in Vienna in September, Mercitalia Intermodal - Polo Logistica Group FS was honoured as "Logistico dell'Anno 2023" in Italy. The goods train is equipped with a wide range of monitoring and automation functions based on PJM's WaggonTracker system.  Congratulations!

Details & all functions of Europes most intelligent goods train 

Artikel Auszeichnung (in italienischer Sprache)


The sensation in rail freight automation: BAV’s type approval for automatic brake testing

Now it's official: the automated brake testing system has been granted type approval by the Swiss “Federal Office of Transport” (Schweizer Bundesamt für Verkehr). Hence, the automated brake taste is the first approved system worldwide and the first far-reaching automated application in European rail transport. The system was developed with SBB Cargo and is a functionally safe application that has been trialled in various phases over several years. The project milestones in brief:

  • 2017: First test trains
  • 01/ 2022: Pilot train
  • 03/2022: Positive review by TÜV Süd
  • 11/2023: Operational approval by BAV

The automated application provides many benefits:

- Enormous time saving: for a 500 m long goods train, the time saved is around 75 minutes (35 minutes each for 2 shunters)

- Faster, more reliable and safer: the brake check can be carried out automatically by the train driver, is more reliable and increases safety (thanks to the consistent quality of the brake check and the system's objective evaluation criteria).

- Freight wagon downtimes are significantly reduced, while terminal turnaround times are increased.

- The implementation of an automatic brake test brings a concrete and - this is particularly important - immediate improvement for the railway companies.

- For the shunting staff and those responsible for brake testing, the automatic brake test means an improvement in the workplace situation. The interactive operation of a clearly displayed system replaces the strenuous, physically demanding manual inspection.

- The brake test is an essential part of the "1-person operation" that is gradually being implemented by railway companies such as SBB Cargo, particularly as a measure to manage the shortage of skilled labour resulting from demographic development.

Günter Petschnig, CEO of PJ Monitoring, looks back on several years of development: "It's a long way from the vision to the innovation of a completely new system. A major project of this size can only be successfully realised if the project partners work together step by step over several years. The teams at SBB Cargo and PJM have done a fantastic job. A big thank you to the stamina and commitment of everyone involved!"

Media release


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PJ Monitoring GmbH

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