Technology company Voith has introduced an automatic OnEfficiency.StopStart system that is expected to increase the efficiency of rail freight transport in the future.

Operators can save on fuel and decrease costs and emissions by turning off the locomotive’s traction engine during long waiting periods.

The daily loading and unloading operations, bottlenecks or the train formation process results in long waiting times.

Due to this, the locomotives are idle for more than 30% while they are in operation.

Voith’s OnEfficiency.StopStart will allow the engine to shut down automatically and restart during these times.

The system monitors the major status variables of the engine and auxiliary systems, as well as automatically starts the engine when needed.

The system does away with long set-up times, enabling the vehicle to be operation-ready even in stop mode.

Voith has stated that the technology decreases the locomotive’s idle time by an average of 720h each year. This offers fuel savings of approximately 11,000l, which results in reduced operating costs.

Additionally, the number of refuelling stops and emissions are said to decrease.

In a statement, Voith added: “Besides these advantages, the reduction in engine operating hours offers the possibility of extending the maintenance intervals depending on the operating hours, thus saving maintenance costs.

“By installing the OnEfficiency.StopStart system, locomotives can contribute to future-oriented and environmentally friendly rail transport.”

Voith’s technology has received approval from the German Federal Railway Authority (EBA).

Last month, Voith and European private rail freight operator Lineas signed a contract for the overhaul of 30 locomotives type HLD 77.

In May, Voith and PCS Holding announced plans to purchase a combined 59% stake in Traktionssysteme Austria (TSA).