A sustainable and efficient freight transport in Europe plays a vital role in having a successful and competitive economy. Freight transport is expected to grow by some 50 % (in tonne-kilometres) by 2020. However rail has, in many areas, been displaced from a dominant position as road transport services have grown and developed in capability and levels of sophistication that have not been matched by rail service providers.
SUSTRAIL aims to contribute to the rail freight system to allow it to regain position and market and the proposed solution is based on a combined improvement in both freight vehicle and track components in a holistic approach aimed at achieving a higher reliability and increased performance of the rail freight system as a whole and profitability for all the stakeholders. The SUSTRAIL integrated approach is based on innovations in rolling stock and freight vehicles (with a targeted increased in speed and axle-load) combined with innovations in the track components (for higher reliability and reduced maintenance), whose benefits to freight and passenger users (since mixed routes are considered) are quantified through the development of an appropriate business case with estimation of cost savings on a life cycle basis. In fact, a holistic approach to vehicle and track sustainability has to be taken, since improvements in track design and materials alone are not enough as demands on the rail system increase.
Contributions from the different topic areas (vehicles, track, operations) will be demonstrated on real routes, offering geographic dispersion as well as differences in type, speed, and frequency of traffic.
A strong multidisciplinary consortium committed to concrete actions aligned toward a common outcome has been grouped for the achievement of the challenging objectives of the project with a balanced combination of Infrastructure managers, freight operators and Industry, including Large and Small enterprises, with support from Academia.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-IP - Large-scale integrating project
NW1 2DN London