Reports 25 May 2016

Longer trains: Facts & Experiences in Europe

Longer trains are one way to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the rail freight system, allowing more efficient operation and an increase in transport capacity. Railway undertakings (RUs) see longer trains as a key approach to competitive rail freight, whereas infrastructure managers (IMs) could face a major investment effort. A win-win situation for both RUs and IMs has to be established as the necessary investments are mainly on the infrastructure side. Maximum allowed lengths of trains vary in Europe. Infrastructure planning has to consider additional elements for necessary length of tracks. First published in 2014, the main aim of this paper is to develop an overview about the current activities of trains longer than 740 m. Now updated for its new release in May 2016, the document explains the technical, operational and economical aspects of longer trains as well as providing an overview of experiences and solutions implemented in different countries.