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18th International Rail Vehicle Conference Dresden – a review

Vom 22. bis 24. September 2021 fand in Dresden die 18. Internationale Schienenfahrzeugtagung statt. Highlights waren u.a. der flexible Schienenbus (r.o. & l.u.) der RWTH Aachen sowie die MonoCab Fahrzeuge mit nur einer Schiene von der FH Bielefeld I © M.Sc. Dominic Stork/ ISyM, FH Bielefeld; ifs, RWTH Aachen, Design Benno Schiefer

Even after completing one’s professional training, further training and the exchange of knowledge remain an important part of our professional development, for which unfortunately there is usually little time and only a tight budget. Conferences are offered to promote this process.

In the area of rail vehicle technology, these are, for example, the so called International Rail Vehicle Conference in Dresden and the Conference  “Modern Rolling Stock” in Graz. There are also offers on special topics: Here, as an example, reference is made to the events of IFV Bahntechnik Berlin or the acoustics conferences of Müller BBM in Munich.

The conference takes place in the congress centre in front of the river Elbe I © X-Weinzar, Wikipedia 2007; CC_BY-SA 3.0

The 18th International Rail Vehicle Conference took place in Dresden in September. The appeal of these conferences is that, after the plenary event, 4 presentations are offered in parallel, from which the participant can choose. The latest findings from research and practice are showcased, but special knowledge from the field of rail vehicle technology will also be shared. Almost as important as the high-quality presentations are the conversations between the participants, which can be deepened in the evening events – Dresden’s restaurants in historical vaults, the small castle courtyard and the transport museum provide an impressive background for that. Young people in particular have to build up a professional network of friends.  When you have a serious technical problem, friends help, it has always been the case.

At the 18th conference, the automatic central buffer coupling for freight traffic was once again a central topic. With the new generation, not only the coupler proper and the compressed air connection should be established, but a data bus line and the power line will also be connected, which creates the prerequisites for further automation steps such as an automatic brake test or telematics.

  • In the area of local transport, the following interesting lectures were offered:Gerlach, T. and team: Methods for the development of low-noise wheels with regard to rolling noise, squeaking in curves and ground vibrations.
  • Rissmann, M .: Development of an engineering tool to combat the screeching of curves.
  • Alten, K, and Mittermeyer, K .: Detection of damage to the grooved rail switch using a track measuring vehicle
  • Hoffmann, J .: RegioTrans – can catenary battery vehicles effectively replace diesel traction in regional railway operations?
  • Foyer presentation (poster) by a team from FH Bielefeld: MonoCab simulation-based development of a gyro-stabilizing monorail vehicle – a completely new, futuristic approach, the principle of which can be found on the project homepage: https://www.monocab-owl.de
  • Schindler, Ch .: The Aachener Rail Shuttle – development of rural areas with driverless rail buses.

The driverless Aachener Railshuttle (see also ZEV Rail 143 (2020) 9, pages 346-351) consists of a chassis with two single-axle undercarriages and all units, on which either a passenger cell or a container can be placed. It was good to see that freight transport was included in this branch line project from the start, albeit with a restriction to containers (with obvious reloading from the freight train to the distribution transport mentioned in the presentation).

Sensors and cameras are installed in the vehicle’s front to monitor the track.

The conference proceedings can be purchased at the following link:


The 19th International Rail Vehicle Conference takes place from March 1 to 3 2023.

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