Freight wagons, new risk control procedures for Block Brakes

Freight wagons, new risk control procedures for block brakes (LL)

As a result of the activities carried out within the ERA (European Railways Agency), the National Agency for the safety of railways and road and motorway infrastructures on  10/02/2022 the Italian NSA (ANSIFSA) has issued new procedures for mitigating the risk for freight trains having in composition vehicles equipped with organic low friction coefficient (LL) brake blocks (IB 116* type).

These brakes, with composite material introduced to lower noise emissions, caused accidents and problems related to the overheating of the apparatus, with the consequent risk of fire or deformation of fundamental parts for the stability of the trains in Italy and in other European countries. Just to recall the recent relevant steps:

-on November 2nd,2021 the ANSIFSA introduced, among the other measures,speed restrictions for freight trains with IB116* and

-on  November 30th, 2021 the JNS Urgent Procedure was started to analyse the incidents and to define short-term risk control measures as a replacement for the Italian measures.

The results of the analysis carried out by the ERA – within the urgent procedure – show that the negative  effects of occasional cases of severe tread deformation due to fixed brakes can be further reduced by the short-term risk control measures which represent the best practices and measures that should be adopted by all the Member States.  ERA established short-term risk control measures in operation and maintenance of wagons whose adoption has been recommended in all European countries. These measures affect both the braking of the trains and the detection of any overheating and deformation of the wheels. The adoption of the provisions indicated by the ERA allows to exceed the speed restrictions urgently imposed by the ANSFISA.  In the meantime, the JNS will continue to analyse the impacts and the relevant risks within the framework of a “normal procedure” which has the aim to develop harmonized medium and long-term measures at EU level, based on even more analysis in-depth.