US-based Wabtec, along with French national operator Fret SNCF and regional operator RDT13 (Régie des Transports des Bouches du Rhône), has launched the MONITOR Project to expand freight rail in Europe.

MONITOR is claimed to be the French Rail Freight of the Future (4F) coalition project to advance the rail freight sector development in Europe.

The project includes the installation of sensors for railcars for the monitoring and prevention of derailment risks, untimely brake applications and lowering train preparation time.

It primarily focuses on four crucial technologies, including radio communication between cars along the train, brake and bogie monitoring and testing of automated brakes.

This project is anticipated to help cut down maintenance costs besides supporting the European Union’s goal of attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.

Expected to be completed in three and a half years, the MONITOR Project is financially supported by the French State as part of ADEME-operated France 2030.

ADEME is  the French agency for ecological transition.

Before being assessed in real conditions on SNCF and RDT 13’s rolling stock, Wabtec will develop the solutions as per the requirements of the consortium.

This project is anticipated to help Wabtec generate new jobs in France.

Wabtec Global Transit and Freight Europe president Lilian Leroux said: “The MONITOR Project has the potential to transform the development of freight rail in Europe.

“We are delighted to bring our experience of innovative railway technologies to develop fully digitalised freight train operations.”

In November last year, Wabtec signed an agreement to acquire Brazilian rail solutions company Super Metal for an undisclosed sum.