German government grants 15 million to Helrom for non-cranable trailers 15/02/23

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Helrom, a railway undertaking focusing on the transport of semi-trailers, will get 15 million euros from the German federal government for the market launch of their Herlom Trailer Rail technology. The money will be used to build a rail network throughout Europe where Helrom can deploy its wagon technology and boost the modal shift to rail, especially when it comes to non-craneable trailers.

As Helrom claimed, their technology is the only one “facilitating the horizontal loading of truck trailers without a loading terminal”. A Helrom trailer wagon can open up on the side, allowing trailers to be quickly shifted on it. The innovative aspect of this technology, therefore, is that truck trailers can be loaded on the wagons right next to the rail track without the need for terminals. All that is needed for this procedure is, in fact, an asphalted surface next to the track, making it easier and significantly cheaper to carry out such operations.

Since 2020, Helrom’s Trailer Rail wagons were being used on the rail corridor between Dusseldorf and Vienna. “Up to the end of 2022, more than 680 Trailer Rail trains have already traveled this route”, said the company. This equated to around 16,000 trucks being removed from the road connecting the two cities and over 10,000 tons of CO2 being saved. Roman Noack, Helrom CEO, emphasised the importance of this funding. “We not only offer big corporations a real alternative to road transport, we open use of the railways for the first time to all small and medium-sized companies”, he concluded.

> Watch Helrom video

The Future Rail Freight Transport program

The 15-million-euro funding is part of the program Future Rail Freight Transport created by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). The federal program is intended to provide financial support for field trials and market launches of innovative future technologies. The funding started on 20 May 2020 and is valid until the end of 2024. Around 30 million euros per year are currently available for funding.

The program is open to all German companies, associations, and institutions willing to invest in innovative technology or processes for rail freight transport. The program is intrinsically international since the implementation of cross-border projects is also included in the funding guideline. The program has two lines of funding, as BMDV pointed out. Funding Line 1 contains the testing of innovative technologies in the context of test fields and pilots or demonstrators. In Funding Line 2, market launches of innovations that are not yet market standard are financially supported.


Author: Marco Raimondi