Engine off - efficiency on


Stop-start system for locomotives

    Making freight transport by rail more efficient – that is our goal. The question of how we achieve this together with you is what moves us.

    The locomotive's traction diesel engine is a crucial starting point. Loading and unloading as well as line bottlenecks result in long waiting times every day in rail freight transport. As a consequence, shunting locomotives are operated at idle for up to 70% of their service life. This is where the automatic stop-start system OnEfficiency.StopStart comes in. By switching off the engine during waiting times, high operational savings are possible. Thanks to simultaneous monitoring of the auxiliary operations by our system, nothing stands in the way of continuing the journey. Together with us, take the decisive step towards efficient rail freight transport. Our experts can handle the full support on your behalf – from design to certification.

    Contact our experts FAQ

    Reduce idling with OnEfficiency.StopStart

    Portrait picture of Sebastian Piffka
    Our G1206 shunting locomotives have a high idle share that cannot be further reduced operationally. For both economic and ecological reasons, we have therefore decided to equip our fleet with OnEfficiency.StopStart.
    Sebastian Piffka, Head of technology division, RTB CARGO GmbH
    Red signal light indicates that the block section ahead is occupied and the train must stop.
    The stop-start technology reduces the idle time of the engine by 720 hours per year on average.
    On average, 30,000 kg of CO2 can be saved per locomotive in one year.
    An average of 20,000 € can be saved per locomotive each year thanks to reduced fuel and maintenance costs.
    An average of up to 11,000 liters of fuel saved per engine every year results in lower fuel costs and fewer refueling stops.

    Efficiency calculator

      Calculate the savings potential of your fleet

      Discover the individual savings potential you can realize in your fleet per year and over the entire remaining service life.

      Your fleet data

      Fleet size


      Working hours per day


      Working days per year


      Average remaining service life per locomotive


      Fuel price per liter

      Engine operating costs per hour

      Idle time share

      Idle consumption

      1€/hour for the increased wear and tear caused by the stop-start system is included in the calculation.

      Additional functions

        With OnEfficiency.StopStart, we support you in achieving your maintenance goals: The highest possible availability with the lowest possible maintenance effort. You can also benefit from additional functions with the technology behind the automatic stop-start.

        Freight train travels towards sunrise through a mountainous landscape while a digital data network is spreading out from the vehicle.

        Fleet management systems provide you with the information you need to continuously optimize your vehicles and maintenance processes. Therefore, we enable you to integrate such systems as OnCare.Asset Rail with the technology behind the stop-start system.


        Predictive maintenance makes it possible to recognize potential failures in advance and to prevent them by means of targeted maintenance measures. For maximum availability, the technical platform of the stop-start technology therefore facilitates the predictive maintenance of your fleet.



          With which locomotives and vehicles is OnEfficiency.StopStart compatible?

          In principle, OnEfficiency.StopStart is compatible with all diesel locomotives that are already equipped with an electronic control system (e.g. KM-Direkt). Diesel-electric locomotives can also be equipped with the system.

          Where is OnEfficiency.StopStart already being used in commercial operation?

          Several locomotives of our customers are already equipped with OnEfficiency.StopStart. The system is in use on the locomotives of Rurtalbahn (G1206), ETF (G1206) and Northrail (G1206).

          Is stop-start operation a safe option for diesel engines?

          Voith has been working closely with engine manufacturers on this question since the development phase of OnEfficiency.StopStart. We considered expert advice from Caterpillar/Zeppelin and MTU in the design and parameterization of the stop-start function. The result is a system that respects all the essential conditions specified by the manufacturers for the stop-start operation of modern diesel engines and prioritizes their protection:

          • The engine is started and stopped only in the operating conditions approved by the engine manufacturer
          • Engine-internal protective functions are not bypassed
          • The load on the engine is kept low by only shutting it down after a long shutdown time is detected with the associated low starting frequency

          If you would like individual clarification with your motor manufacturer, we will be happy to assist you.

          Is OnEfficiency.StopStart a plug-and-play solution?

          Yes. We offer a standardized solution for G1000 and G1206 locomotives that can be implemented quickly and easily.

          How long does the installation of OnEfficiency.StopStart take?

          For the installation of the standardized solutions (for G1000 and G1206), a workshop time of 2-3 days can be expected.

          For other locomotive types, the time required for installation must be estimated individually.

          Does OnEfficiency.StopStart lead to higher wear on the starter, engine or other components?

          No increased wear was found both in Voith’s test locomotive (standard starter, 1,000 kW engine output, 10BB locomotive), which has been equipped with the Stop-Start system for seven years, nor in the joint pilot projects with our customers.

          Are there any references?

          OnEfficiency.StopStart is already being used by several customers. The system is in use with the locomotives of Rurtalbahn (G1206), ETF (G1206) and Northrail (G1206).

          Does OnEfficiency.StopStart place a greater load on the battery system?

          Theoretically, a higher load on the battery system is conceivable, however, no corresponding wear has been detected during the current test projects (Voith test vehicle, customer vehicles).

          In addition, we offer a retrofit with UltraCaps, which enables the starting process to be carried out completely via capacitors and optimally protects the vehicle's on-board network against wear.

          Do I need a further certification when equipping a locomotive with the stop-start system?

          The system is delivered with an expert opinion and is subject to notification. However, due to the special system architecture, there is no need for further certification.

          Does OnEfficiency.StopStart also work in radio remote control mode?

          Yes, OnEfficiency.StopStart also functions without restriction in radio remote control mode.

          What is the lifetime of OnEfficiency.StopStart?

          The components of the system are maintenance-free and durable. The exact service life depends on various environmental factors, but is at least 16 years.

          Does OnEfficiency.StopStart meet all standards?

          During the development and design of the stop-start system, all relevant railway standards such as EN45545-2, EN50155 and EN50567 were taken into account.

          Does OnEfficiency.StopStart have an influence on the safety deadman circuit?

          No, OnEfficency.StopStart does not influence the safety deadman circuit.

          When using OnEfficiency.StopStart does the software of the vehicle control system have to be adapted?

          No, this is not necessary. OnEfficiency.StopStart is designed in such a way that there is no need to interfere with the existing software architecture.

          Can OnEfficiency.StopStart be switched on and off manually?

          Yes, it is possible to (de)activate the system manually. A permanent deactivation is also possible via an optional mating connector.

          When does OnEfficiency.StopStart become active?

          After checking various conditions, the system switches the locomotive’s diesel engine off and on again automatically.

          Activation sequence of OnEfficiency.StopStart

          Can the parameterization of the stop-start system be adjusted after commissioning?

          We transfer the software for parameterization after commissioning, so that parameter adjustments by the vehicle keeper are possible at any time.

          In which countries can OnEfficiency.StopStart be used?

          The system can be approved and displayed in all countries. Currently, OnEfficiency.StopStart is installed for customers in Germany, France and the Netherlands. The new ERA approval also simplifies cross-border use.

          At what stop time is the use of the automatic stop-start function appropriate?

          As the stop-start system only switches off the motor after a waiting time of approx. 3 minutes, we recommend using it in case of a holding time of at least 5-10 minutes. This is also the practice of our customers.

          How long does it take for all systems to be up and running again?

          The engine system can be started directly via the traction lever, and the locomotive is immediately ready for operation after the engine has been started. It takes about 3-5 seconds to start the engine. Other systems such as the brake system and GSM-R are active continuously.

          How does the installation of the stop-start system by Voith proceed?

          A rebuild carried out by Voith is performed in 2 to 3 working days, depending on the locomotive type. This work can be done during maintenance, for example. In addition, the rebuild can be carried out "in service" on customer request, for example on the sidetrack.

          What changes are caused by the installation of OnEfficiency.StopStart on the vehicle?

          An additional control cabinet, compressed air pressure sensor and illuminated pushbuttons are installed in the vehicle. However, no changes are made to the existing vehicle control system, and OnEfficiency.StopStart has no effect on the existing vehicle system. The complete StopStart system can be easily retrofitted at any time. Optionally, the original configuration of the vehicle electrics can be restored with a mating connector. The OnEfficiency.StopStart control cabinet is completely decoupled from the vehicle with the optional mating connector, which may be necessary, for example, before the change display is enabled.

          At what intervals must the stop-start system be serviced?

          The complete OnEfficiency.StopStart system is maintenance-free.