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DGAP-News: VTG and Evonik begin test phase for low-noise freight wagons

VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Key word(s): Miscellaneous/Miscellaneous

12.02.2014 / 11:53

Press release

VTG and Evonik begin test phase for low-noise freight wagons

- New brake blocks pledge to achieve up to 50 percent less rail traffic noise

- The test phase begins in March 2014

- Noise reduction is the most important environmental issue for rail freight transport

Hamburg, 12. February 2014. VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999), one of the leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies in Europe, has just begun to convert the first wagons to low-noise brake blocks as part of a pilot phase for the chemical company Evonik Industries. Through this measure, both companies seek to further extend their dedication to noise protection and gain experience with the new brake blocks. This conversion could enable rail traffic noise to be reduced by up to 50 percent.

In collaboration with Evonik Industries, VTG has begun a test phase with a first set of chemical tank wagons which will be equipped with considerably quieter LL-brake blocks (LL = low noise, low friction). This pilot project is an opportunity to collect information about kilometric performance and any additional maintenance requirements. 'We are very pleased to be able to commence the test phase with our partner, Evonik Industries', said Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. 'Noise reduction is a social responsibility to which we have committed ourselves. This project demonstrates that we are able to find effective solutions for this issue, together with our customers.'

'In our position as one of the leading specialty chemical companies in Europe, rail is one of the safest and most environmentally-friendly method of transport and we intend to further promote noise protection through this project,' explains Matthias Heil, Vice President Logistics Procurement from Evonik Industries. 'We are convinced we have found the right partner in VTG, not only because of the company's longstanding expertise in wagon construction but also owing to the extensive experience VTG has gained through operating thousands of freight wagons.'

The first converted wagons will be up and running from the end of March 2014. A total of twelve wagons shall be in operation over the next one-and-a-half years and they will provide the necessary empirical values. The experience collected over the course of the pilot project shall determine whether it is possible for additional wagons to be equipped with LL-brake blocks.

Noise reduction is one of the most important environmental issues in rail freight transport. The Federal Government has made it its goal to halve rail traffic noise by 2020. VTG has already been equipping its new build wagons with noise-reducing K-brake blocks since 2005 and 20 percent of the entire VTG fleet is now fitted with low-noise braking blocks. In addition, VTG tested other noise-reduction measures in 2011: wheelset coating, low-noise wheelset discs and a noise damping bogie running gear. The current pilot project is another of VTG's steps towards further reducing noise emissions from freight wagons. 'However, funding conditions for noise reduction have to be improved in order to achieve significant results', adds Fischer. 'This is a task for Europe and we need the regulations and support programs to directly benefit wagon keepers on a European level in order to extensively achieve a

reduction in noise emissions. To this end, all parties involved have to be brought together: the governments and associations, network operators, wagon keepers and the customers.'

About VTG:

VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe's leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies. The company has the largest private railcar fleet in Europe. Globally, the fleet consists of some 52,700 railcars, with a focus on tank cars and state-of-the-art high capacity freight cars and flat cars. In addition to the hiring of wagons, the Group offers comprehensive multi-modal logistics services, mainly around rail transport, and global tank container transports.

With the combination of its three interlinked divisions Railcar, Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics, VTG offers its customers a high-performance platform for international transport of their freight. The Group has many years of experience and specific expertise, in particular in the transport of liquid and sensitive goods. Its customers include numerous well-known companies from almost every industrial sector, for example the chemical, petroleum, automotive, paper and agricultural industries.

In the financial year 2012, VTG generated revenue of EUR 767.0 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 173.8 million. Via its subsidiaries and affiliates the company, which has its head office in Hamburg, is mainly present in Europe, Asia, Russia and North America. As at 31 December 2012, VTG had 1,188 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007, VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and also on the SDAX (WKN: VTG999).

Media contact

Monika Gabler Yvonne Studier

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