Freight wagons donated to rail training tunnel
Europe’s largest freight carrier DB Cargo has donated wagons to a regional firefighting school for what will be Germany’s first specialist rail training tunnel.
The freight operator is working with Thuringer State Fire Brigade and Civil Protection School (Landesfeuerwehrschule) to help develop the facility located at Crossen, in the east of the country.
DB Cargo said it had been a ‘mammoth project’ to move the six wagons using a 100-tonne DB Netz crane to position each of the retired wagons onto a special siding. The planned 300-metre tunnel will be completed by 2020.
The new facility and training building will be capable of training up to 400 firefighters a year to put out fires in railway tunnels. Firefighters currently need to travel to Switzerland for this type of specialist training. Uwe Berndt, Mayor of Crossen Municipality, said: “The training centre will be a boon for the whole region, far beyond Crossen. The unique facility means that the emergency training offered in Thuringia will be especially realistic.
“These practice exercises are important as the new Erfurt–Nuremberg ICE route requires around 4,000 specially trained firefighters to be available at all times.”
Kai Pfützner, one of the trainers, added: “Though the facility will not be finished for some time, firefighters will be able to use the wagons in the meantime to practice tactical approaches to fires or other emergencies. It will be possible to realistically reproduce underground transport fires at five points within the tunnel. This will make the facility on the railway-owned site unique in Europe once completed.”