Deutsche Bahn tests longer train
German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said it has conducted a test run with a 1,000-meter freight train — 3,281 feet or more than a half-mile — between the Port of Rotterdam and the city of Oberhausen, Germany.
The project, funded by the German government, is designed to analyze the technical, operational and economic feasibility of using very long trains to increase capacity for extra trains on crowded Europe rail networks.
Deutsche Bahn’s system is currently designed to handle trains up to 750 meters (2,461 feet). Initial tests earlier this year involved 835-meter trains operated between Hamburg and Denmark.
The 1,000-meter train traveled the Betuweroute, the first rail line in the Netherlands exclusively dedicated to freight rail traffic.
DB officials said use of very long trains would require infrastructure upgrades such as increasing the length of passing tracks, and modifying command and control technology.
The trains are long by European standards, but not by U.S. ones. American rail operators routinely operate trains 6,000 to 8,000 feet in length on transcontinental routes, and BNSF Railway has begun using 10,000-foot trains as well.