Sensors for remote-controlled shunting in cargo traffic

Avoid consequential engine damage.

Increased safety and efficiency in cargo handling starts with the assembly and disassembly of freight trains

Remote-controlled shunting locomotives are used to handle growing volumes of freight and extended trains. Numerous challenges in shunting make coupling a critical moment

  • different types of carriages and their specific properties

  • filling level and number of freight wagons

  • environmental conditions in the switch yard

The safety of goods, people and machines must be guaranteed here. For this special application we develop in cooperation with one of our customers an innovative sensor based on our established acceleration products. The sensor measures a threshold value from the impact of the locomotive - if this exceeds a specified limit, the shunting unit is stopped urgently in order to avoid major damage to the engine suspension. Further problems on the entire traction unit due to unnoticed damage caused by the coupling impact can be avoided. If a collision is too heavy, the traction unit is checked and then returnes to service properly repaired - this saves resources and improves safety in shunting operations.


Shunting is based on  "driving on sight and stopping in front of obstacles". Coupling is particulary delicate moment. Huge forces act on wagons and the locomotive. When the driver is steering, he feels the impact. This enables him to assess whether the coupling speed was just right. In case of using a remote control system without sensors, the train driver receives no feedback as to whether the speed was correct.

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