Deutsche Bahn

Rolling stock

Services for high speed, light rail, conventional rail or metro

The rail industry is facing a growing pressure to make trains more reliable, have them run at higher speeds and increase the network capacity, whilst improving the experience for passengers. Innovative, creative thinking is required to address these demands, whilst focusing on cost effectiveness and sustainability.

DB provides a comprehensive portfolio of rolling stock services that can help address today’s challenges.  From preparing technical specifications, to design/redesign, component and vehicle testing, and predictive maintenance, we have solutions and global technical experience to tackle any rolling stock concern. With UK rolling stock engineers and an office at the heart of the rail industry, in Derby, we have played a significant role in the development of the UK’s rolling stock. This knowledge, when coupled with our global experience, makes us a strong rolling stock partner.

Whether high speed, light rail, conventional rail or metro, DB have a global understanding of it all:

We are facing a constant challenge to make rail transport faster, safer, more reliable, increasingly sustainable and more cost effective.

Rail vehicles are becoming increasingly complex beasts, comprising of many interacting mechanical and electrical systems and components. Therefore, it is critical when adding or modifying a system, that the installation and design requirements are developed, not just with a particular part’s functionality in mind, but also those of the interacting systems. It is also extremely important to consider the influence of human interaction (passengers, drivers, maintainers) and how this may influence the requirements, design and cost.

DB has a wealth of experience, not only in the design and development of new rail technologies themselves, but also in the integration and investigation of vehicle enhancements. We have an experienced team of proven rail mechanical and electrical systems engineers that are able to support the introduction of new technologies onto rail vehicles, new or old.
DB has 18 in-house test facilities, where we can help our customers to obtain all the approvals necessary to install new material onto a rail vehicle.

We provide specialist rolling stock engineering in the following areas:

  • Brake system technology (WSPER) - for further information see below
  • Driveline modelling
  • Designated/Notified/RIS 2700 Third Party Verification
  • Fire Testing to EN standard
  • Homologation & Testing of vehicles and components
  • Maintenance optimisation
  • Non-destructive testing
  • Risk assessment & root cause analysis
  • Structural analysis
  • Vehicle performance & specification
  • Wheel/rail interface
  • Finite element analysis
  • Electrical integration of PIS, DAS, RCM, passenger counting systems etc.
  • Procurement support
  • Accident analysis



DB has a wealth of experience in the testing, approvals and commissioning of new train fleets for customers around the world, including the Velaro Eurostar, ICE 4, FLIRT, Vectron and Desiro. In addition, DB is working with Hitachi Rail Europe in the UK, to support them with the testing and homologation of their new Intercity Express and ScotRail AT200 fleets.

We can provide the following:

  • Planning and control for all required assessments and certifications, both on track and in laboratory
  • Planning for the required testing scope in all applicable countries, optimisation of the test duration and coordination with the relevant authorities
  • Execution of testing routines
  • Coordination and organisation of documents and reports required by the bodies and authorities involved
  • Proof of conformity as NoBo, DeBo and AsBo
  • Verification of documentation and quality
  • Drafting of documentation and assessment in test reports
  • Explanation of results

  • Planning and implementation of the required test runs as an independent railway transport operator:

    -Organisation of pertinent legal approvals, including network access
       for test runs

    -On-line running tests

    -Acceptance of the trial testing vehicle

    -Planning and control of all required testing activities

    -Creation of assessments and expert appraisals for network
       access/permits from licensing authorities

    -Submittal of timetables for on-line running tests

    -Execution of on-line running tests

UK train operators are under increasing pressure to deliver a safe and efficient rail service on a network that is pushed to capacity. Operators can ill afford to have trains out of service for unscheduled maintenance or have them breaking down whilst in passenger service. Optimising rolling stock maintenance is key to delivering a successful rail operation.
DB can support operators with their maintenance programmes, provide engineering services in the fields of conceptual design, implementation support, introduction of testing and diagnostics equipment and automated condition monitoring systems.

Remote Conditioning Monitroing (RCM)
Remote condition monitoring can help to optimise maintenance, vastly improving performance and availability of rolling stock and DB have the expertise to support operators in this area.
DB  has a wide range of experience in RCM and maintenance optimisation, having employees with backgrounds in depot maintenance, new build maintenance plan creation, fleet operations planning, refranchising support, RCM systems development and ‘big data’ analysis. Bringing all this expertise together allows DB to use a holistic approach to maintenance optimisation that looks at the whole system in which the fleet operates. Our skills with ‘big data’ analysis allow us to mine the data to find potential savings or develop new ways of managing maintenance risks. Equally, our expertise in the field of RCM and data analysis is supported by our wealth of experience in rolling stock engineering.  We also have UK experience in designing, approving and installing RCM systems onto trains.


DB offers Infraview, predictive maintenance through the use of intelligent data diagnostics and analysis. Infraview allows the monitoring of all assets, from different manufacturers, in one system. This proven system is already operational in Germany, monitoring 10,000 points, point heaters, level crossings, interlocking and trains.


WSPER - more Information:


DB ESG's wheel slide protection evaluation rig (WSPER) is a real time ‘hardware in the loop’ simulation facility, which improves operational safety and vehicle availability, reduces whole life maintenance costs of wheelsets and consistently maximises braking performance in all adhesion conditions.

WSPER is used by railway organisations such as London Underground, Bombardier Transportation, Siemens Transportation, Knorr-Bremse AG, KBRS (UK), Faiveley Transport and KES GmbH to evaluate the low adhesion braking performance of braking systems, as well as low adhesion mitigation equipment.



Rolling Stock Owner

Improved availability & reduction in whole life maintenance cost of wheelsets
Consistently maximised braking capability in all adhesion conditions
Simplification of obtaining product approval

Train Operating Company

Improved operational safety due to a reduction in poor brake performance incidents
Improved availability & reduction in whole life maintenance cost of wheelsets
Consistently maximised braking capability in all adhesion conditions

Vehicle Manufacturers

Consistently maximised braking capability in all adhesion conditions
Improved availability and reduction in whole life maintenance costs of wheelsets
Improved operational safety due to a reduction in poor brake performance incidents

Brake System Manufacturer

Simplification of obtaining product approval
Reduced cost and time savings compared to track testing
Consistently maximised braking capability in all adhesion conditions

Validation, Accreditation and Standards

Combined with the real track based adhesion profiles, the WSPER facility has gained recognition in the UK and overseas for its ability to accurately represent the low adhesion behaviours observed in service.

The multiple car simulation and sander simulation features have been validated against real world measurements using an instrumented train set. DB ESG is currently in the process of obtaining EN17025 accreditation. WSPER has the capability to provide testing to meet the requirements of:

  • EN15595
  • UIC541-05
  • GM/GN2695
  • LU E6127