Automated Brake Test

Highly efficient shunting operation by automated processes.

The issue

Brake tests for freight trains are personnel- and time-consuming and complex. In contrast to passenger trains, the state of the brakes has to be checked manually. An employee has to check every single axle, if the brake blocks were applied. This has to be verified whenever wagons were separated or the train had stopped for 24 hours. Given a 500 m long freight train, this check takes up to 40 minutes.

The solution

The international innovation alliance of SBB, RCG and PJM has developed a perfect solution: The “automated brake test”.

The patented monitoring system WaggonTracker by PJM has had a revolutionary impact for intelligent freight trains. The WaggonTracker was upgraded by a further functionality – the automated brake test. This feature results in a time saving of up to 30 minutes (given a 500 m long freight train). The stuff benefits from avoiding the time-consuming manual check directly on the train, which would be absolutely essential, even in adverse weather conditions.


How does it work?

The WaggonTracker is a comprehensive monitoring system captivating by its autonomous power supply and automated process. Highly precise measurement sensors acquire relevant data on the freight train. The data is processed and visualised on a mobile terminal in real-time.

In the SBB user case, the WaggonTracker was upgraded by the feature of automated brake test. Therefore, the PJM team designed an additional sensor system enabling an automated check of the brakes. The results and analyses are shown on the tablet of the train conductor or the person in charge.

The automated brake test fulfils all safety-related regulations in terms of operation and vehicle.


Automated Brake Test


Will be a thing of the past quite soon: The manual brake test which is time-consuming and exhausting.


Felix Egger-Cimenti

  • Waagner-Biro-Straße 125
    8020 Graz, Austria

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