CORDIS - EU research results

Model-based estimation of railroad wheel-to-rail profile change and contact forces

Project description

On track to advance railway engineering and safety

In the face of the climate crisis, the EU urges a shift towards eco-friendly train travel. However, the continuous, high-frequency operation of trains at 2 or 3-minute intervals, poses a significant challenge. Moreover, efforts to monitor the railway infrastructure without disrupting operations have proven difficult, reducing the likelihood of timely failure detection. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the DETECT4WE project aims to revolutionise rail safety through real-time monitoring using smart sensors. Specifically, it will offer a cost-effective and efficient solution to ensure the longevity and safety of railway equipment. This innovation not only promises cost-effective instrumentation but also facilitates shared computer analysis systems, benefitting vehicle manufacturers.


The EU wants to encourage train travel due to the current climate crisis and innovations to the railway system are necessary.

Because trains run around the clock in 2–3-minute intervals, it is difficult to monitor the status or the conditions of a railway equipment efficiently without interrupting railway operation and it only reduces the likelihood of its failure. DETECT4WE will offer a novel solution to help keep infrastructure safe. In this project, the condition of the tracks and the in-service trains are continuously monitored by smart sensors and the collected measurement data and safety analysis of trains are processed in real time. Therefore, a highly detailed forecast is ensured. This approach promises cost savings for vehicle manufacturers because of relatively inexpensive instrumentation techniques and shared computer analysis systems. And because more timely and accurate accident prevention will be available, train travel will become safer, leading to zero fatalities.

The DETECT4WE project will be carried out by the experienced researcher who worked during her PhD thesis on the pure computational analysis of railway vehicle multibody dynamics and wanted to practice her research into applied railway engineering using experimental methods and make connections within railway industry. She will collaborate with Prof. José L. Escalona at University of Seville, Prof. Zili Li at Delft University of Technology. Both supervisors have strong background in computational and experimental dynamics of railway vehicles and tracks. In the end, a final six-months non-academic placement will be carried out at the company ProRail Ltd. under the supervision of Prof. Rolf Dollevoet. The academic and non-academic stay will give her the unique opportunity of modelling, experimentally testing, and validating innovative methods in the field of railway engineering, importantly extending her professional training towards becoming a self-supporting scientist.


Net EU contribution
€ 206 641,20
41004 Sevilla

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Sur Andalucía Sevilla
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (2)