NGT CARGO - Automated Freight Train for the Future

Particulate matter, nitrogen oxide emissions, traffic noise, congestion, climate change – these are all things that we encounter and must cope with on a day-to-day basis. Ways to address these problems and challenges include increasing the efficiency of rail transport and shifting freight transport from road to rail.

DLR is working specifically on NGT CARGO, a logistics concept for the intermodal freight transport of the future. In addition to research on the vehicle itself, the project takes into consideration the entire transport chain – from sender to recipient. This also includes loading and unloading facilities, handling facilities and an operational concept incorporating urban distribution. 


The NGT CARGO is composed of individual cargo wagons and high-performance locomotives. NGT CARGO wagons can be autonomously driven individually or as a group at a speed of 25 kilometres per hour, and have a range of up to 20 kilometres. They should be able to drive to industrial terminals under their own power along non-electrified tracks. Consequently, coupling and uncoupling of the trains takes place autonomously without the need for shunting locomotives or personnel. For high-speed operations, a group of individual cargo wagons is combined with one or two locomotives to make a complete, automatically driven freight train, directed from a central location. The number of cargo wagons and locomotives can be varied according to customer requirements by adjusting the maximum speed. Freight trains assembled in this way can be virtually coupled together with other NGT CARGO, NGT HST or NGT LINK trains to form longer train units. This pooling of passenger and freight transport makes it possible to optimise use of existing line capacities.


The concept shows how freight transport might look in the future. The NGT CARGO is at the heart of a comprehensive logistics concept in which rail is the central mode of transport. The development of the NGT CARGO freight train wagons represents a flexible, environment-friendly type of freight transport with intermodal competitiveness.