HÖRMANN Vehicle Engineering, a HÖRMANN Group company, has developed a modular chassis on behalf of SBB Cargo that can be used flexibly for various transport applications and superstructures with higher payloads. ‘Thanks to our extensive manufacturing expertise, we were able to bring the lightweight structural construction principles of commercial vehicles to the railways, allowing us to use a more economical production process,’ commented Mike Juntke, project manager at HÖRMANN Vehicle Engineering. This was achieved by leveraging synergies within the HÖRMANN Group, consisting of product development on the one hand (HÖRMANN Vehicle Engineering GmbH) and production-orientated product design on the other (HÖRMANN Automotive Gustavsburg GmbH).

The development of the 5L chassis is a continuation of SBB Cargo’s 5L Train project. 5L is a name derived from German-language descriptions of the wagon’s characteristics: quiet, lightweight, robust, compatible with logistics applications and optimised for life cycle costs. The aim of HÖRMANN Group was to develop a chassis and manufacture a prototype that blended the attributes of modularity, lightweight design, cost-effective production and a high level of automation in the production processes. There is less welding involved, with the design making use of high-strength steels, joining them using riveting and integrating them in a modular structure. 


Innovative solution for a modular chassis

‘In terms of the chassis design, we had the pursue an entirely new approach to finding significant weight reductions while simultaneously increasing payload and taking all the necessary strength-related safety requirements into account. Thanks to the load-optimised head sections and lightweight lattice structure in the central segment, we managed to reduce the weight by more than 20% relative to a conventional container wagon,’ said Alexander Hügl, head of technical analysis at HÖRMANN Vehicle Engineering. 

In-depth talks with potential customers continued at the transport logistic trade fair in Munich. These revealed that there is plenty of demand among rail logistics companies for new rolling stock that will stand the test of time.