Skip to main content

Increasing Capacity 4 Rail networks through enhanced infrastructure and optimised operations

Final Report Summary - CAPACITY4RAIL (Increasing Capacity 4 Rail networks through enhanced infrastructure and optimised operations)

Executive Summary:
High objectives and expectations are put on railway transport, to be able to take a full part and respond to the upcoming growing demand for both passenger mobility and freight traffic.
In 2011, the White Paper on European Transport reasserted how fundamental transport was for society, for the mobility of European citizens and for the growth and vitality of the European economy. The Paper assigned ambitious challenges to the transport system, in terms of development, durability and competitiveness.
Rail has a major role to face these challenges in this transport system of tomorrow. The railway system has to take a leap forward in competitiveness, and complete its change toward efficiency, sustainability, and integration. Therefore, efforts must be focused on increasing the attractiveness of Rail System.
The Capacity4Rail (C4R) project aims at bringing today’s railway system to this future vision for 2030/2050. Five major criteria have been defined that describe the 2050 railway. The future railway system should be affordable, adaptable, automated, resilient and high-capacity.
With this vision, Capacity4Rail aims at offering an affordable increase of capacity, availability and performance to the railway system, by developing a holistic view on the railway as a system of interacting technical components driven by customer demand.
This plan is addressed by different ways:
o A more efficient use of existing resources, by optimizing operating strategies, enhancing traffic planning, improving transshipment procedures and improving automation and operational procedures to reduce the time needed to recover from traffic disruption (see SP3 “Operation for enhanced capacity”).
o A reduction of the non-operational capacity-consumers, through the design of resilient, reliable and low-maintenance infrastructure and vehicles, non-intrusive inspection, fast renewal and construction processes (see SP1 “Infrastructure”, SP2 “New concepts for Efficient Freight Systems” and SP4 “Advanced Monitoring”).
o An increase of the performance of existing resources, through significant improvements of wagons maneuverability and equipment to answer freight customers’ needs for higher reliability and performance (see SP2 “New concepts for Efficient Freight Systems”).
To this end, a coordinated approach was needed, in which combined progresses in infrastructure, freight system, operation techniques and monitoring technologies are defined and pushed further in a system vision. Besides, Capacity4Rail has defined a comprehensive roadmap to describe the necessary steps to develop and implement innovation and to progress from the current state-of-the-art to a shared global vision of the 2050 railway along realistic scenarios.
The Capacity4Rail project has been a continuation of and a contribution to the research and development effort of the European railway community, building on development of previous projects. The project builds on previous results and has deliver both technical demonstrations and system wide guidelines and recommendations that will be the basis for future research and investments.
In addition, the demonstration activities play a crucial role in Capacity4Rail as they enable the assessment of the innovations developed in the project, which will serve to identify room for improvement and will guide their further development.
CAPACITY4RAIL brings together a large range of major active stakeholders of all fields: railway operators; infrastructure managers; track systems suppliers; rolling stock manufacturers; wagon keepers; logistic providers; engineering companies; and research laboratories, all supported by universities on a firm scientific basis. The project has been developed by 46 partners from 13 countries.

Project Context and Objectives:
In 2011, the White Paper on European Transport reasserted how fundamental transport was for society, for the mobility of European citizens and for the growth and vitality of the European economy.
The Paper assigned ambitious challenges to the transport system, in terms of development, durability and competitiveness.
Thanks to its recognized environmental and energy advantages, rail has a major role to play in this transport system of tomorrow but in order to succeed in this role and to fulfil what is expected from it, the railway system has to take a leap forward in competitiveness, break with some handicaps of past heritage and complete its change toward efficiency, sustainability, and integration.
In order to make rail an attractive option to freight and passengers, a coherent approach needs to be adopted. The research and development on operations and infrastructure needs to be done with a rational systems approach, looking at increasing the capacity and resilience of rail networks, whilst reducing the cost of maintenance and ultimately the costs to the end users. This can only be done if an overall framework for research is adopted and implemented in a systematic and system wide manner, with a buy in from all of the stakeholders in the process.
Following the White Paper CAPACITY4RAIL proposed to bring a system vision of the railways looking towards 2030-2050, by developing new concepts in the fields of infrastructure, freight, operation and monitoring, towards an affordable, adaptable, automated, resilient, and high-capacity railway system through major step changes in infrastructure design, construction and maintenance (including advanced monitoring), operations management, incident recovering through real-time data management, freight operations with a particular focus on transshipment and improved specifications for rolling stock.
Affordable: for the customers and the investors, with limited capital and operational expenditures, minimised life cycle cost and lowest environmental impact.
Adaptable: the railway system will be able to cope with daily, monthly, yearly or seasonal variations of the demand, but will also have sufficient reactivity to adapt unplanned temporary modal shifts
Automated: for optimised performance and to help planners respond dynamically to planned and unplanned changes.
Resilient: able to recover not only from major disruptions, but also daily minor perturbations
High Capacity: a railway with virtually no constraints on operations, that can accommodate customer demand at any time and tolerate interventions with minimal impact.
This plan is addressed by different ways:
o A more efficient use of existing resources, by optimizing operating strategies, enhancing traffic planning, improving transshipment procedures and improving automation and operational procedures to reduce the time needed to recover from traffic disruption (see later SP3 “Operation for enhanced capacity”).
o A reduction of the non-operational capacity-consumers, through the design of resilient, reliable and low-maintenance infrastructure and vehicles, non-intrusive inspection, fast renewal and construction processes (see SP1 “Infrastructure”, SP2 “New concepts for Efficient Freight Systems” and SP4 “Advanced Monitoring”).
o An increase of the performance of existing resources, through significant improvements of wagons maneuverability and equipment to answer freight customers’ needs for higher reliability and performance (see SP2 “New concepts for Efficient Freight Systems”).

In order to best address this approach, the project has been broken into the following six sub-projects:
✓ SP1: Infrastructure
✓ SP2: New concepts for efficient freight systems
✓ SP3: Operation for enhanced capacity
✓ SP4: Advanced monitoring
✓ SP5: System assessment and migration to 2030-2050
✓ SP6: Management, Dissemination, Training and Exploitation.
The Capacity4Rail project has been a continuation of and a contribution to the research and development effort of the European railway community, building on development of previous projects, as described below.

INFRASTRUCTURE
Releasing operational capacity from infrastructure through a higher reliability, a lower need for maintenance and an optimization of maintenance and monitoring procedures have already been a recurrent concern in past projects, which provided significant advances and concept developments.
CAPACITY4RAIL has taken advantage on these results and achievements, also considering that significant progress in terms of track availability for running trains and increased resilience will come only through achieving a major breakthrough and step change in the design of the track system.
The ‘Infrastructure’ sub-project has three research streams:
o Innovative slab track concepts developed with a global LCC and RAMS-driven design approach, in view of potential application for mixed traffic, but also for very high-speed, with the following distinctive features:
o Affordability through cost savings in design and construction with prefabricated elements and modular construction techniques
o Advanced maintainability through health monitoring of actual deterioration status and plug-in-place for sub-systems replacement
o Low maintenance through embedded monitoring techniques (AMS, advanced monitoring systems).
o The performance of very high-speed track systems. The identified limiting factors and obstacles to very high-speed (above 350km/h) have been addressed, especially in the analysis of improved design methodology in terms of vehicle-track interaction and effect of track irregularities on bridges behaviour and settlement issues in transition areas.
o Switches and crossings are one of the most critical components in terms of reliability and maintenance needs. The main scope in C4R has been to investigate and propose innovative designs aiming towards improved railway turnouts (S&C) that reduces material deterioration (wear, plastic deformation, rolling contact fatigue) and failures.

FREIGHT
With regard to freight, CAPACITY4RAIL has analysed the still existing gaps and bottlenecks which undermine the modal shift of freight traffic to rail and proposes technical and operational solutions for attracting shippers and logistic operators towards a competitive and sustainable rail transport system.
Considering the most important concerns of shippers with regard to a competitive, frequent, reliable and highly reactive service with continuous flows of information on the transport progress, CAPACITY4RAIL has developed innovative concepts in view of a major evolution of the performance of both combined transport and industrial block trains.
Several technological step changes are considered in the project, including:
o Higher breaking performances allowing better manoeuvrability of freight trains for a better interleaving into mixed traffic
o Automatic coupling and decoupling of wagons, associated with RFID identification for industrialised operations in marshalling yards
o ‘Intelligent’ sensor-equipped wagons allowing faster break testing and continuous monitoring of the wagon condition
All these innovations supported by fundamental investigations on the vehicles design, structural stresses and wheel/brake shoe contact conditions.
Infrastructure design and operation procedures will inevitably account for these new characteristics of the freight traffic.
Economic assessment of the potential benefits have been carried out to ensure that such innovations are not only affordable but can also be efficiently inserted into the current practice.

OPERATIONS
The ‘Operation’ sub-project is building on the previous European on-going project results, aiming to achieve automated and resilient operations that will enhance capacity on the railways. These projects developed new improved timetabling and real-time traffic management techniques, as well as real-time information to traffic controllers and drivers in order to help maximise the available capacity on the European railway network, decrease delays and improve traffic fluidity.
CAPACITY4RAIL has taken the work further and develop what will be decision support systems into automated systems. This will enable the future controllers of the railway to focus on fulfilling the challenges of, for example, running ‘on demand’ train variations in resource allocation and collaborative working within and between countries, an improved efficiency of transshipment at nodes, while the systems take care of routine operations and recovery from small or even medium perturbations.
In addition to these developments for a higher level of automation, the ‘Operation’ part of CAPACITY4RAIL has specified guidelines for emergency and requirements for incident management plans to handle large incidents including those caused by extreme weather.

ADVANCED MONITORING
Previous European activities aimed at squeezing extra capacity by reducing the time available for infrastructure maintenance operations and planning.
This requires a high level of quality monitoring information in order to have a continuous knowledge of the system condition to carry out the right maintenance at the right time, meaning that monitoring strategies have to be optimised to obtain relevant information when needed that can be cross-correlated with other sources.
Moreover, the monitoring process itself needs to be non-intrusive, i.e. with no impact on operations, and maintenance free.
Monitoring systems currently in use on railways are often designed to proceed with measurements at one time and/or at one specific location.
But outside the railway industry, advanced monitoring technologies are already in use, including low-cost, miniaturised, low-power consuming autonomous sensors, associated with wireless data transmission facilities.
Learning from other industries, CAPACITY4RAIL has investigated ways to implement such components into both future and existing infrastructure, and to develop associated strategies for a non-intrusive and highly automated monitoring.

THE SYSTEM ASSESSMENT AND MIGRATION TO 2030/2050
The work in CAPACITY4RAIL has been designed in such a way to guarantee the greatest interaction between the working groups and ensure results that are relative to the research community and will be deployed in the field.
Whilst the first four SPs will take a top-down approach to the research, by examining the state-of-the-art and working on the key elements that will move the technologies forward, SP5, ‘System assessment and migration’, takes a bottom-up approach and first looks at the boundaries and requirements that exist within the rail system and defines the constraints to the overall system approach. SP5 has been a horizontally oriented sub-project and cuts across the technical work streams of the other technical sub-projects.
The general objectives of SP5 have been,
o To define the scenarios and migration paths from existing railway system to the future one, considering the innovations and technologies identified/validated in the project.
o To assess the technologies and scenarios and their ranking, through two complementary methodologies: a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), supplemented by a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) that help take into account non-economic aspects that are usually not captured in a CBA.
o To perform the demonstration activities - on operated railway infrastructures or in specific laboratories with real-scale test facilities- for the assessment of the innovations and the most promising designs developed in the project:
o Modular integrated design of new concepts for infrastructures (2 slab-track innovative designs)
o Switches & crossings for future railways
o Monitoring Technologies and sensors, including AMS Advance Monitoring Systems integrated in the new concepts for infrastructure
o To review/update the vision of the railway/system 2030/2050 based on the progress achieved in the project
o To provide recommendations for further actions presented as a collection of prioritized set of demonstration actions, cooperative research activities and required developments to be undertaken at the European scale in order to progress toward the Vision for Rail, within research and development initiatives of Horizon 2020 and further.

THE CONTEXT AND THE C4R CONSORTIUM
CAPACITY4RAIL brings together a large range of major active stakeholders of all fields: railway operators; infrastructure managers; track systems suppliers; rolling stock manufacturers; wagon keepers; logistic providers; engineering companies; and research laboratories, all supported by universities on a firm scientific basis. The project has been developed by 46 partners from 13 countries.
This ensures a deep integration in the railway industry, a full awareness of the customer’s needs and of the system constraints and abilities, as well as an intimate connection to past and on-going research and to future research initiatives.

Project Results:
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ADVANCED MONITORING
Key issues and objectives
The overall scope objective of C4R was to increase capacity, availability and performance of the railway system through major step changes in the infrastructure design, renewal and maintenance, including advanced monitoring.
C4R has focused on:
- Developing new concepts for the railway track of the future by low maintenance and modular designs of slab tracks
- Understanding and solving the current obstacles to very high-speed traffic in track components and analyzing the dynamic solicitations for bridges structural design and innovation for transition zones
- Investigating the failure modes and developing breakthrough innovative concepts to improve the reliability of switches and crossings.
- Establishing a systematic and documented approach for infrastructure upgrading in order to meet the new demands on freight operations.
- Developing new concepts for railway structural and operational monitoring combined with automated maintenance forecasts and a prediction of the structural lifetime. The work has been directed toward the use of innovative simple and cheap sensors and a migration to intelligent components with in-built monitoring for new tracks structures and for existing ones.
Results
Plain Track -Slab Track
Two new slab track concepts have been designed, developed and prototyped, with the following particular distinct features:
- Cost and RAMS oriented design.
- Modular design in order to enable “Plug&Play” for rapid construction or maintenance.
The two concepts are, the “Multi-Moulded Modular Blocks (3MB)” and the “Ladder Track (L-Track)”
The 3MB modular slab track is composed of prefabricated elements that are partially assembled before the transport to the construction site. This characteristic is also an advantage in the need of replacing any elements that has been damaged or broken.
On track site, the modules are laid over a concrete layer previously constructed. The fastening systems and the rails will be assembled over the blocks by following a Top-down construction procedure.
Main advantages of the concept:
- The system allows a certain flexibility if any geometry or alignment correction in the modules has to be done There is no need to have a precise subgrade layer levelling and as a result a precise positioning of the slab because final track alignment is achieved by top-down adjustment.
- Design is completely modular thanks to standard elements. There are two stiffness levels: Fasteners and under block pad.
- Realignment of the tracks because of soil settling is easy to achieve.
- Every single element can be repaired separately.
- Block replacing is easy to achieve
- Heavy machines are not required to repair or to change an element except for the slab panel.
- The elastic pad situated between the block and the module means an additional elastic layer that reduces the vibration emission.

The “L-Track” slab track system is a reinforced concrete precast slab made of 2 longitudinal beams supporting rails and 2 transversal beams connecting them. As with the “3MB” concept it is designed for both mixed traffic and high-speed traffic. Rails are continuously supported. A mortar is poured between the slab and the asphalt layer to achieve final track geometry.
The LT is composed of one module. The rail seats on the module on a continuous way and it is fastened discretely with a direct system to the module. The system simplicity reduces the number of critical points and defects. The continuous rail support will extend the life in service of the rail and reduces the maintenance works associated.
Main advantages of the concept:
- There is no need to have a precise subgrade layer levelling and as a result a precise positioning of the slab because final track alignment is achieved by top-down adjustment.
- Design is completely modular thanks to standard elements.
- Slab is easy to make thanks to its simple design.
- Every single element can be repaired separately.
- Heavy machines are not required to repair or to change an element except for the slab panel.
Both typologies of slab-track concepts developed in C4R include an innovative monitoring system specially implemented for its design and special features. Data from the monitoring could be used in order to optimize the maintenance tasks what meaning a cost reductions and improvements in the level serviceability of the infrastructure. See 2.1.2.4.
The 3MB system has been tested and prototyped in the CEDEX track-box, where a specific real-scale track is available for testing a large range of track configurations. The tests and the subsequent analysis of the results show that the developed systems are compatible with current European rail regulations and provide additional features and advantages of significant value.
Furthermore, the developed concepts have been deemed worthy of intellectual protection by their IPR owners, a fact that speaks high volumes of the great potential of the envisioned solutions and has substantiated in formal patent applications to the World Intellectual Property Organization under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
However, to this date the business case and cost estimation for production, logistics, installation and maintenance remain in very early, approximate and qualitative stages of definition, and require more extensive work to be considered mature.
It is the firm intention of the collaborating partners to pursue the optimization, further development and industrialisation of the production and installation procedures, with the objective of achieving fully developed, marketable and competitive versions of the two novel slab track concepts.

See the deliverables,
D11.3 Design requirements, concepts and prototype test results (Final)
D55.4 Report from Laboratory demonstrations

VHST Very High-Speed Track
The objectives of the project in this area have been:
- to analyse the impact of the pass-by of Very High-Speed Trains (VHST) in the current railway track sections, and
- to identify changes that are necessary to implement in the railway track design in order to improve dynamic performance under VHST circulation.
A numerical train/track FEM finite-element-method model, focused on estimations of track response to very high speed trains circulation. Some of tests performed in CEDEX Track Box (CTB) on ballasted tracks subjected to the pass-by of trains were selected. The results obtained were used to calibrate and validate the numerical models developed.
Two in-situ test campaigns were performed to analyse the track dynamic behaviour and to create a data base of the vibrations measured in a real track produced by passing-by of different trains travelling at high speeds (around 300 km/h). This data base will be used as a source to validate the test results obtained in CEDEX Track Box (CTB).
The model has served,
- To evaluate the predicted dynamic response of different track design cases (having the CTB reference case as basis) when equipped with different combinations of railpads and undersleeper pads (USPs), including the study of the impact of increasing train speed
- To optimize the track design (several specific combinations of railpad and USP stiffness) to improve dynamic performance at very high speeds (up to 400 km/h).
The objective of the track design optimization process performed with the FEM model was placed on identifying track solutions that would minimize both peak ballast accelerations and displacements, maintaining acceptable sleepers vibrations and desirable global track vertical stiffness. After some optimization procedures, analysis came up finally with some track design solutions to be further evaluated consisting of variants of the reference track model (CTB) equipped with combinations of rail pads and USPs having different stiffness, as following:
- Rail pad stiffness: 40, 60, 80, 100 kN/mm
- USP stiffness: 40, 60, 80, 100 kN/mm
- Train speed: 300, 320, 330, 350, 360, 380, 400 km/h.
Afterwards, from results obtained, four track design solutions were selected.

The introduction of USPs results in a significant reduction in peak vertical displacement and acceleration levels within the track supporting layers, ballast layer included, for all the track design solutions tested.
However, it must be highlighted that these improvements are accompanied by increases in peak vertical displacement and acceleration levels on track components supported by the USPs, as the rails and the sleepers.
Notwithstanding, the results also suggest that incorporating stiffer USPs may reduce peak acceleration levels within the ballast layer while preserving peak sleeper acceleration levels.
See D12.1 Innovative designs and methods for VHST (Intermediate)

S&C Switches and crossings
The main scope in C4R has been to investigate and propose innovative designs aiming towards improved railway turnouts (S&C) that reduces material deterioration (wear, plastic deformation, rolling contact fatigue) and failures.
Based on numerical simulations of dynamic vehicle-track interaction using validated models and software, it has been demonstrated how rail and track degradation can be reduced by optimization of geometry and stiffness properties of the turnout, leading to reduced Life Cycle Cost (LCC).
The adopted approach incorporates studies of short-term design measures for improving current S&Cs, a medium-term strategy where improved solutions are incorporated in an existing railway system and a long-term vision where radically innovative solutions can be introduced without a need for compromising with existing structures.
The investigated short-term solutions for minimizing loads and rail profile degradation in the switch panel include selection of,
- rail profile and rail inclination,
- rail grade, and
- friction management.
The calculations have shown that a design with inclined rails (1:30) is superior to the case with vertical rails. The selection of rail grade R350HT instead of R260 leads to an expected reduction in wear.
The predicted influences of rail grade and friction management on RCF are uncertain due to the wide range of factors influencing RCF initiation.
It has been shown that both wear and RCF are reduced significantly by maintaining a low friction coefficient in the wheel-rail contact. In particular, situations with dry wheel-rail contact (high friction) should be avoided as these lead to very high RCF damage impact.
The investigated medium-term solutions have focused on improving the performance of the crossing panel. These solutions have included:
- geometry optimization of the crossing to minimize impact loads and reduce the steering force damage in the contact areas.
- dynamic load mitigation (ballast protection) through rail pad stiffness optimization and the use of under sleeper pads (USP) or connecting elements between sleepers, and
- novel materials in crossing nose and wing rails to resist fatigue, wear and plastic deformation.
The investigation in crossing geometry has highlighted key differences in current design practice and machining tools used for “half” and “full” cant (UK terminology; 1/40 and 1/20 respectively) geometries, leading to quantifiably different damage behaviour. The interaction between wheel shape and the crossing wing geometry is a determining factor in the level for vertical impact force, lateral dynamics and resulting rail damage. The crossing with a higher inclined wing rail showed better performance across all wheels simulated. The peculiar behaviour of hollow wheels has been quantified and shown to be more reactive to one of the crossing types. High conicity wheels are also potentially leading to higher dynamic impact. All this needs to be considered in the design process. On that basis, the proposed methodology can enable a fast and effective optimization process of the crossing wing rail geometry minimising vertical impact loads, wear and RCF on both wing rail and crossing vee.
A methodology has also been proposed for the optimization of rail pad stiffness in crossing panel, showing that low stiffness rail pads (ca 80 kN/mm) provide a suitable mitigation for ballast pressure, sleeper acceleration and minimizing contact forces, while maintaining acceptable bending stresses of rail components. An investigation into the role of under sleeper pads (USP) in mitigating vertical dynamics loads has been presented, highlighting the importance of careful selection of USP properties, so that the system response is fully understood while designing or upgrading an S&C. An investigation in linking sleepers together in the areas of load transfer of a crossing panel has shown some benefits in protecting the ballast layer while making the panel behave more like a slab.
Next generation of S&C, long-term solutions, are based on a whole-system approach including enhanced design, materials and components and incorporation of modern mechatronics for improved system kinematics and control.
Operation of S&Cs in extreme weather conditions is a challenge to railway administrations. Common problems occurring due to situations with strong winds at low temperatures and heavy snow fall, as well as at high temperatures and due to heavy rain fall and flooding has been analyzed.
Innovative designs and operational practices to ensure resilience to extreme weather conditions have been suggested.
As part of the demonstration activities, the following innovative S&C concepts has been tested:
- New crossing material: installation of bainitic crossing
- Battery driven wireless sensors for S&C: installation of wireless, battery based accelerometer sensor for dynamic measurements
- Material testing for wear and RCF resistance under realistic wheel-rail contact conditions
- Laser profile measurement equipment for crossing
- Controlling switch heating by weather prognosis
- Development of decision tool for S&C maintenance based on track geometry
See the deliverables,
D13.2 Innovative concepts and designs for resilient S&Cs (intermediate)
D13.3 Innovative concepts and designs for resilient S&Cs (Final)
D55.4 Report from Laboratory demonstrations
D55.4 Report from on-track demonstrations
Platform - Structural design requirements for VHST
C4R also intended to analyze the impact in VHST in terms of severity of dynamic solicitations for structural design and to identify bridge design requirements under these conditions of traffic, apart from upgraded freight services categories, as seen in next paragraphs.
The dynamic response of railway bridges on high-speed lines is limited by a set of serviceability criteria (e.g. the vertical deck acceleration) which may sometimes be over conservative. More accurate design limits may result in the use of slender bridges and enabling upgrading of more existing bridges to higher speeds, with a required safety limit.
Increased understanding of the real dynamic manner of action by experimental testing can hopefully result in more accurate predictions of the dynamic response and model updating and hence less need for safety margins in the models.
The main scope in C4R was to investigate, both numerically and experimentally, the dynamic behaviour and requirements for load bearing structures intended for very high-speed trains (e.g. for speeds up to 480 km/h) focusing on common types of railway bridges.
See D12.2 Innovative designs and methods for VHST (Final)

Upgrading of infrastructure
Nowadays, new railway lines are constructed for high-speed operations. Almost none new railway lines are constructed specifically for freight traffic, but many existing lines are transformed towards more freight and regional traffic. Freight operators often propose enhanced operations (see 2.2 Rolling Stock and Terminals) but they cannot be attained if there are infrastructure limitations.
To achieve this, it is important that the upgrading is carried out in a systematic manner with a clear vision of the desired transport concept, and that state-of-the-art knowledge is employed.
The scope of C4R was to build an exhaustive and extensive Best Praxis Compilation founded on recent research and development projects to provide the infrastructure managers, contractors and regulatory bodies the tools to upgrade of infrastructure to answer the future operational needs.
See, D11.5 Upgrading of infrastructure in order to meet new operation and market demands (Final).
The techniques for the assessment of substructure conditions to identify the potential need of improvement have been analyzed including the interpretation and comparison of the results.
Existing methods for subgrade improvement have been examined. The selection of a proper method for the situation at hand includes factors such as the allowance of traffic during the repair, the type of soil suitable for the technique, the effectiveness in increasing each stability/strength aspect and the experience of the use of this particular technique. Besides, methods for reducing ground borne vibrations have been investigated.
The influence of the future operational demands (longer trains and increased train weights and consequently increased axle loads, loads per unit length or increased loading gauges) in bridges, culverts, retaining walls and tunnels have been explored.
For different kinds of bridges, specific areas for upgrading/repair are indicated. Examples are also given on methods to use. These include refined calculations, increased cross sections of the bridge structure, change of system for static load distribution, external pre-stressing and the use of externally bonded fibre reinforced polymers.
For tunnels, different cross sections and typical loading gauges are presented, as well as possibilities for working in tunnels with rail services in operation.
For culverts different types of damage and malfunctions are described and examples are given on measures that can be taken. For retaining walls, examples are given on how they can be constructed.
Consequences of upgraded operational conditions are investigated. Many upgrading scenarios tend to increase the track deterioration and that this deterioration needs to be addressed and mitigated. An overview of different deterioration phenomena and descriptions of potential consequences of different types of upgrading are presented in track and switches & crossings are presented.
A two-level approach to successively refined investigations is then outlined and exemplified. An Experience based methods and a Prediction based analyses. In this second level, the consequences of upgraded conditions in terms of increased deterioration are predicted in advance. This allows for a proactive approach where mitigating solutions may be employed and their efficiency estimated through simulations. An outline of potential analyses that to varying degrees of detail predict the influence of different track components have ben outlined.
See D11.5 Upgrading of infrastructure in order to meet new operation and market demands (Final)

Advanced Monitoring
Condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance of railway systems is increasingly important to infrastructure managers as part of the process of operating efficient and cost-effective railways.
Condition monitoring systems monitor the immediate state and general degradation of assets and faulty or degraded infrastructure elements can lead to inefficient operation, or even failures and thus downtime or even damage to the track and/or trains.
In C4R numerous technologies have been considered for their suitability for application as part of a condition monitoring system, either for current railway elements (i.e. retrofitting) or to be built-in to new elements during production or installation (as it has been proved in the new slab track concepts have been designed, developed and prototyped.
The technologies and systems being considered need to be low cost and low power, while maintaining high levels of robustness. The successful use of such equipment may lead to the development of prognostic systems which would in turn allow more efficient maintenance scheduling.

Monitoring strategies
The first purpose in C4R has been to provide an overview of possibilities and challenges in the infrastructure inspection.
C4R aimed at providing an overall approach in enhancing a holistic strategy for monitoring and inspection techniques. This strategy provides support in identifying, evaluating and ranking key operational parameters, identify cause–effect relationship and select methods for interpreting collected data. In addition, it establishes the inputs for deciding feasibility of monitoring, defining placement strategies and evaluating costs and benefits of an enhanced monitoring.
Different areas of monitoring and inspections have been investigated and evaluated.
See the deliverables, D41.2 Monitoring-based deterioration prediction and D41.3 Strategies for data collection and analysis

Requirements for next generation monitoring and inspection techniques
In a second phase, C4R has focused on:
- the identification of current of near-future technologies that may be suitable for adoption within the railway industry and
- how they should be evaluated in order to assess their appropriateness for use within the rail sector.

Sensing technologies
A range of sensing technologies and their applicability to the railway domain have been explored, and sensor and architecture identification and evaluation techniques have been demonstrated.
The technologies considered have not been constrained to any particular target measurement or physical mechanism and have spanned a range of classifications including computer vision applications, gyroscopes, geophones, accelerometers, strain gauges, magnetometers, environmental sensors (for precipitation, humidity, wind speed), fibre optic, acoustic sensors and current sensors.
The technologies identified and evaluated are either:
- currently available in rail but with scope for improvement
- available in other industries and suitable for adoption within rail; or
- near-horizon technologies being adopted that may be suitable for railway applications.
Once technologies, or combinations of technologies, were identified they were then passed through the technology evaluation framework developed.
The interactions between these system components and how they may be considered in isolation and together when designing monitoring systems has also been analyzed.
The systems described go beyond basic measurement technologies to consider. To this end, the evaluation frameworks and assessments have been extended to include:
- the processing fabric / architecture used, and to some extent the type of processing applied: e.g. the use of fully integrated systems with microcontrollers for processing and transceivers for wireless communication
- the solutions available for providing power to any measurement systems: energy harvesting and storage systems.
- the communications requirements and solutions for different measurement and monitoring architectures: wireless and wired communication methods have been analyzed.

Demonstration of innovative monitoring concepts
Following the described methodology for the identification of current technologies and the evaluation of their appropriateness for use within the rail as innovative monitoring systems, C4R has demonstrate how the use of a vibration sensing technology and low power computing systems have an appropriate applicability in monitoring rail movements in the track.
The key points for the design of this system were: low power, energy harvesting, low cost, wireless and easy to install. The selected sensors were assessed through laboratory and field tests.
In track, two sites were selected,
- Transition to a tunnel, HS1 High Speed “One” line, UK
During preliminary tests three wired accelerometers were used to determine the minimum requirement of a low power acceleration monitoring system. They monitored the vertical vibration of a number of sleepers.
- Transition onto a bridge, HS High Speed line, Alcácer do Sal, Portugal
In a second phase, two systems were developed to measure sleeper deflection on a high-speed railway line in the Alcácer do Sal region in Portugal. The site chosen was at the transition onto a railway bridge which crosses the River Sado. The two systems both demonstrate different methods of providing wireless measurement nodes fixed to the track.
A number of wireless and wired standards and technologies have been deployed. Wired standards were used for internal electronic systems and short distance communications, and short and long range wireless systems were successfully implemented.
See the deliverables,
D42.2 Recommendations and guidelines for next generation monitoring and inspection
D42.3 Report on demonstration of innovative monitoring concepts

Integration of AMS-Advanced monitoring systems in new concepts of infrastructure
A monitoring system has been designed for being easily integrated into the new infrastructure concepts developed in C4R, the innovative slab-track systems.
The sensor and communication technologies has been selected taking into account the findings defined in the previous points, “Monitoring strategies” and “Requirements for next generation monitoring and inspection techniques”.
A comparative analysis of the different current technologies in communications in the railway industry have been carried out.
The Passive RFID technology have been identified as the most promising one, given its low-cost, low power consumption and the maturity level of this technology. The research has been focused on the innovative application to structural health monitoring with the accomplishment of the requirements stated for precast concrete slab track.
Strain gauges have been integrated in the Passive RFID monitoring system. They provide relevant information in relation to the infrastructure condition. Some developments were performed to increase the sensibility in the voltage measurements in order to detect small changes in gauge resistance. Temperature and moisture sensors can be also easily integrated in the AMS.
Sensors tags have been embedded in the concrete, solving the geometric and physical interference. The electromagnetic interferences have been also investigated, supported by in-field measurements, and the RFID communication has proven to be compatible with the railway electromagnetic field.
A procedure for the installation of the AMS have been drafted.
The results from the tests performed on the devised monitoring system open the door to several intriguing and potent possibilities for the monitoring of slab tracks via RFID tags.
For instance, on-board RFID readers could be used to recover live data on the structural health and dynamic response of the different elements in the track, with little to no added cost, and saving significant amount of work, possession time and labour costs currently being spent in inspection and monitoring.
Likewise, more advanced RFID systems (e.g. active tags) could be used to implement continuous monitoring and complex data gathering systems, powered wirelessly by the RFID antennas, with the data recovery and transport issues being solved without the need of additional systems.
In that context, the following steps in the development of structural health monitoring for the new slab track systems would be:
- To devise an optimized COTS-sensor deployment for both systems, so that the recovered data can be turned to useful information with minimal post-processing
- To map the dynamic behaviour of the track systems under several partial component failure conditions, so that imminent non critical failure or malfunction of a component may be detected and predicted by a monitoring system based on accelerometers
- To extend the principles of the developed monitoring philosophy to other track systems and elements, where applicable
See the deliverables, D43.1 Guidelines for installation and maintenance of sensors in new infrastructure and D43.2 Demonstration of new monitoring techniques

Migration of innovative technologies to existing structures
The current monitoring systems can be expensive and be used for a single location and a specific case. To cover different locations cables for energy and data are need and it became a limitation for the maintainer services, especially in rail area. To implement innovative monitoring technologies into existing networks, investment has to be low. Therefore, these retro-fit solutions have to be developed with the focus on low-current sensor, low-current and wireless data transmission and using energy harvesting for power supply.
C4R has worked in demonstrate the application of retro-fit kits in existing structures, in order to monitor the risk of track buckling on a railway bridge (zone 1), the structural health of a long span railway bridge (zone 1) and, the track condition at a railway transition zone (zone 2)
The demonstration activities were carried out in the the Alcácer do Sal railway bridge which is part of the new Alcácer railway line, that connects Lisbon to the Algarve in Portugal. The structure is designed for passenger trains with speeds of up to 250 km/h and freight trains with a maximum axle load of 25 tonnes. Two locations, zones 1 and 2, were selected. In each of these locations, it was implemented a long term monitoring system compose by a local main station and two nodes (zone 1) and one node (zone 2).
- Risk of track buckling
On a continuous welded rail track, where the expansion of the rails is hardly possible, high compressive stresses occur when there is a significant temperature increase. These compressive stresses may result in track buckling that can be prevented by monitoring the rail temperature and longitudinal strain.
In this way, one sensor node was mounted on the rail. This sensor node includes two weldable strain gages, one temperature sensor (RTD), an energy harvesting module, a ADCs module, a microcontroller and wireless transceiver module, a solar panel and a battery.
- Structural health monitoring of railway bridges
The Structural Health Monitoring of a long span railway bridge is important to prevent the failure of critical components of the bridge due to for example fatigue crack propagation. A similar node with the same configuration was installed.
- Track condition monitoring at railway transition zones
The variation in the subsoil stiffness when changing from one structure to another produce greater stress on the infrastructure. These differences along with the uneven settlement might increase the dynamic loads on the railway components and put in risk the traffic safety.
To study these settlements a several measurements can be taken as sleeper accelerations, rail-sleeper relative displacements, rail and sleeper vertical displacements, wheel loads and rail seat loads. Short term monitoring with this measurements was already conducted in the transition of Zone 2. This location was adopted to install the new long term monitoring system for transition zones. A sensor node was installed in a sleeper in the end of the transition zone to measure the accelerations.
The sensor node includes an energy harvesting module, a wireless Power transceiver module, a microcontroller and wireless transceiver, a MEMS accelerometer, a battery and a solar panel.
The results and operation tests of the two devised long-term monitoring systems were shown to have potential for the application in the concept demonstrator’s cases and also for other types of applications.
The energy harvesting modules developed demonstrates to be efficient and guarantee the power to the sensors, microcontroller and wireless data communication. For static monitoring systems (case of zone 1) the use of only one solar panel was sufficient. For dynamic monitoring systems (case of zone 2) the use of wireless power transmission technology possibly the necessary energy. In both cases, the energy harvest module has the ability to collect energy from other sources simultaneously. The acquisition and wireless communication modules demonstrate to collect correctly the data from sensors and the data communication from the nodes to the receiver location (main station) was stable.
These monitoring systems have the potential to be implemented in several applications. Examples of future applications are the condition monitoring of pantograph-catenary interaction. Weighing in motion and wheel defect detection systems and bogie condition monitoring on freight trains.
See the deliverables,
D44.1 Recommendations for monitoring of critical components in the railway, D44.2 Marketable retro-fit kits for selected applications and D44.3 Recommendation for an Open-Source and Open-Interface for railway advanced monitoring applications

NEW CONCEPTS FOR EFFICIENT FREIGHT SYSTEMS
Key objectives
The objectives and actions were centred on the following aspects:
- Proposal for a new conceptual design approach of a modern fully integrated rail freight system to meet the requirements for the above-mentioned scenarios 2030/2050, established in the EC White Paper, for the wagons to enhance its capacity, as well as the conceptual design on general rail freight vehicles, and complete trains, for a catalogue on rail freight systems for scenarios now, in 2020, 2030 and 2050 to contribute to the Commission’s goals
- Prepare clear specifications for fully integrated rail freight systems for seamless logistics and networks, working towards more developed standards and technical specs
- Proposal of a rail freight system development to be implemented, covering the GAP analysis for joint vehicles, intermodal systems and operation principles
- Assess the potential of rail freight systems of the future for market up-take, adopting existing and expected future customer requirements for different goods segments
Results Freight vehicles
Multiple innovations on the wagons, with simultaneously introduction of new modernized wagons components, with novel sensors and monitoring, should ensure allowance of the freight trains easily to blend with passenger train traffic.
In case of freight vehicles, the related measures affect both wagons and complete train configurations in terms of length, speed, performance, central/automatic couplers, EP/electronic braking, electrification, automation and weight. Influencing operations, also wagon shunting is considered as an issue.
The design of the novel rail freight vehicles for the future, has been dealing with wagon design to enhance its carrying capacity, along with complete configuration of freight vehicles with locos, the braking system to increase safety, train length and failure detection in order to enable more reliable paths for rail freight on the network. The keys for such development have been:
- Heavier and longer trains which utilize the full potential of modern locomotives
- More efficient wagons by higher axle load and wider gauge and better length-utilization
- Improved train performance with electro-pneumatic brakes and automatic couplers
Wagons
Concerning wagons, an important question is whether development will be incremental, as it has been so far, or if it is possible to make a system change. Incremental change means successively higher axle loads, wider gauge, better length-utilization in a given train length, higher payload and less tare weight per wagon, more silent brake-blocks, end of train (EoT) devices and some electronic sensors.
A system change will include electro-pneumatic brakes, disc-brakes, full electronic control of the wagons and load and automatic central couplers. The automatic couplers are the most critical component, but important not only because it will make shunting and marshalling safer and cheaper but also because it will make it possible to operate longer trains without problems and introduce electronic braking systems and control and to feed the train with electricity.
Changes involve also trailer railway transport. Solutions where trailers do not need to be lifted to wagons but can be rolled on and off along a ramp can thus widen the market considerably. They also mean that simple terminals only need to be dimensioned for the trucks’ axle load.
Locomotives
Modern locomotives have a tractive power of 5-6 MW capable of hauling 2,000-2,500 tonne trains of up to 1,000m in length. Not only the tractive power but also the locomotives’ axle load is critical for optimal traction. To increase the axle load from normally around 20 tonnes to 22.5 or for heavy haul, 25-30 tonnes is a possibility to operate heavier trains combined with track-friendly bogies.
Today, most rail operators use electric locos for long haul and diesel locos for feeder transport and terminal shunting. But once duo-locos have now been introduced into markets, equipped with both normal electric traction and diesel traction, either for shunting or for line haul, they can be used to shunt the wagons itself at a marshalling yard or stop at an un-electrified siding at an industry, and change wagons directly.
The operators thus need only one loco instead of two and it will also make it possible to introduce new operation principles and change wagons along the line. It will also decrease vulnerability in case of current interruptions. In the long term, it will also make it possible to avoid catenaries at marshalling yards and sidings, which will save money for the IM.
Train Configurations
While the improvement of capacity for passenger trains will mean the use of double-deckers and duo-locos, to increase the capacity of the rail system, will mean for freight the use of trains and vehicles with higher capacity: longer trains, higher and wider gauge, with higher axle load and metre load.
With the measures listed above, combined with adaptation of freight corridors for long and heavy freight trains, supposing, upgrade of infrastructure, signalling system (with shorter block lengths) operation and monitoring systems, the longer and heavier trains will make it possible to roughly double the capacity for freight trains without building new railways and in the long term with ERTMS level 3 even more.
Finally, a catalogue has been produced to integrate all developments, and amongst them consolidate the rolling stock design, after analysis of the potential market up-take of the new designs for rail freight systems. The catalogue focusses on rail freight system designs and technological innovations in six key areas which were: freight, modal shift from road to rail, EU-wide high-speed rail network, multimodal TEN-T core network, long-term comprehensive network, traffic management systems in all modes, and multimodal transport information
The catalogue also has been specified for
- Monitoring of vehicles, sensor for performance and hazards, positioning of goods
- Smart implementation and utilization of the high capacity freight trains in the Automated Decision Support Systems
- Vehicle 2 Infrastructure (V2I) communication; for maximizing speed, performance and overall capacity
- Relation to Infrastructure Managers and Train operations from Railway Undertakings
Results of this catalogue have been submitted to a comprehensive industry survey, and were assessed with the aim to understand levels of industry receptivity and acceptance in relation to performance and operational and technological characteristics of the new system designs, focusing on rail freight system designs and technological innovations in the six key areas that were already identified.
Terminals
New conceptual designs have been developed in C4R to make new or adapted, time and cost-efficient terminals, based on transshipment technologies and interchanges of the future (rail yards, intermodal terminals, shunting facilities, rail-sea ports, etc.), to upgrade the field of co-modal transshipments and terminals, in the following points:
- Operations: Wagon shunting, intelligence for vehicles in terminals, terminal operation
- Facilities: Marshalling yards, terminals
Also for intermodal transshipments, in terminals it has been considered that is generally an advantage to introduce liner trains. So, if terminals are located on an electrified side track where the train can drive straight in and out onto the line again, there is no need for a diesel loco to be switched in.
This in turn requires a horizontal transfer technology to be implemented in terminals that can function under the overhead contact wires. The train must be able to be loaded and unloaded during a stop of 15-30 minutes. This also obviates the need to park wagons. The terminals can also be made more compact and require less space. This will reduce the costs which is critical for intermodal.
An identification has been performed of a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) by terminal typology capable to represent the operational modes of the terminal and the assessment of future terminal performances including the effects of innovative technologies and operational measures.
Also, appropriate innovations have been identified to be included in the future consolidated scenarios (2030/2050) for each terminal typology and case study and the innovations suitable to increase the global efficiency of logistic chains.
This work was finally transferred to the catalogue of Rail Freight Systems of the Future, to study and design new concepts for network-based services for fully integrated rail freight systems to meet requirements of 2030/2050, in particular to terminal configurations and functions, with their technical and operational aspects. Current state of the art is identified for each and the changes necessary to achieve the EC goals are defined in the short, medium and long term.
The approaches, the majority of which were for full automation of facilities like the terminals and marshalling yards, were traying to help planners to understand and prioritise system capabilities and decide on optimal strategies to: increase overall system capability of the facilities; respond dynamically to planned and unplanned changes; and support real-time punctuality management. These strategies will take into account the requirements for high speed freight operations.
Operations of railway freight terminals
The case studies for operations were performed on various terminal typologies: Rail to Road, Rail to Sea and Rail to Rail were examined to see their actual situation and their evolution on functional and operational terms and business cases. All case studies are located along TEN-T multimodal corridors.
In particular, for the type Rail to Road, the Duss terminal in Riem (Munich) is on the crossing of Scandinavian - Mediterranean and Rheine- Danube corridors, while the NV Combinant terminal, IFB Zomerweg, HTA-Hupac, all in Antwerp, are located on the North sea - Baltic and North Sea – Mediterranean corridors.
For Rail to Sea, the terminal Noatum Prince Felipe in Valencia is on the Mediterranean corridor. Finally, for the Rail to Rail the marshalling yard of Hallsberg is located on the corridor Scandinavian - Mediterranean.
The activities performed, provided a large set of results concerning typical terminal operation in the present situation and in selected future scenarios which provide original results, particularly concerning:
- Achievable operational standards of intermodal and wagonload terminals
- Financial results concerning the business case of intermodal and wagonload terminals,
- Economic results from a societal viewpoint, which are useful to pilot future European actions in the freight transport and rail systems fields
Key innovations were identified for the three typologies of terminal that have been evaluated in the carried out cases studies, with a progressive implementation in time.
For Road-Rail and Sea-Rail intermodal terminals, both innovative operational measures and technologies were included in the scenarios, on innovations.
Therefore, each scenario represents a different temporal step of the application of these innovations. For marshalling yards, only innovative technologies only were included. This elaboration produced, for each typology of terminal, two different scenarios, with innovative operational measures and technologies for each of the three typologies.
Co-modal transshipment and interchange/logistics
After the terminal scenarios were clear, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) were selected.
SEE THE TABLE IN THE PDF ATTACHED.
The assessment in terms of positive/negative effects measured with the KPI’s, was completed with the business case from the Business as Usual, to the different scenarios with a traffic estimation, calculation CAPEX and OPEX and the necessary assumptions on social benefits (Time saving of 1.0÷1.7 Euro / t h, external costs reduction due to road to rail modal split [2] 30.8÷40.2 Euro / kt km), and other further assumptions (Technical life of new infrastructure of 30 years, % of other costs on average EU28 labour costs [Eurostat, 2014] 24.43 % taxes and VAT on average EU28 cost of electricity [Eurostat, 2014] 25.00 and finally average EU yearly inflation % rate 1999-2015 [Eurostat, 2015] 1.73.
Total performance increased/Technical
For freight vehicles and trains, technical advances proposed for each scenario can be found summarized on today´s common standard, incremental change (2030) and system change (2050).
Two targets in the EU white paper at 2011 were 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport by 2030, and to triple the length of the existing high-speed rail network by 2030. For high speed rail the target seems to be achievable. The actual development of freight is not in line with the target and at present there are no indications that it will be fulfilled.
SEE THE TABLE IN THE PDF ATTACHED.

The planned Rail Freight Corridors (RFC) are promising but there is no common plan to increase the standard in the RFC, which would be desirable. With the measures listed above, longer and heavier trains will make it possible to roughly double the capacity for freight trains without building new railways and in the long term with ERTMS level 3 even more.
Contributions from new conceptual design for wagons were estimated for each design and customer/goods orientation:
- For car transportation business, the introduction of the 6 axles/5 bodies wagons and the automated brake test (15% increase of asset rotation alone) with predictive maintenance (5%) and asset rotation impacts a capacity increase up to 30% could be reached in the best case (according to car lengths)
- For container transportation, the new 5 bodies wagon with the same various progress as for the car transportation enables to reach up to 20% capacity increase
- For 12-axle wagon for crane-able semi-trailers the capacity increase could be up to 17,5%
On the automatic couplers, and introduction of kits in locos and trains, some results (i.e. from Marathon project) for such trains offer a quick coupling of two standard trains thus enabling to maintain the departure frequency from different terminals and the economy on the trunk travel and a capacity to reach with the power of only one locomotive a siding in case of a breakdown. A significant increase of the network capacity (up to 40%), whatever signalling system is installed.
The EOT device with P brakes, for incremental change scenario, is easily adaptable on classical wagons at the end of the brake pipe, acting by detection of the first depression in the brake pipe, it opens the brake pipe at the end progressively, helping the end of the train to brake rapidly it reduces the longitudinal compression forces, reducing braking forces to 40% in 750m. train length, and 20% for 1000 m., and thus enables the train to be lengthened up to 1000 m. It informs also on the integrity of the train apart from reducing the stopping distance.
For a system change if high energy is needed on the wagon for the use EP brakes, the wire solution is almost compulsory with automatic couplers ensuring energy and bus of information continuity and command, providing also conditions of integrity and location of the train.
However, also a solution through wireless low power network on the wagon is recommended for the connection with the various devices incorporating IoT. For that case, it is recommended the use of Low power wide Area networks (LPWAN), to reduce drastically the costs and energy consumption but with latency, less accuracy of positioning and less data to be sent.
From the industry survey, participants were asked on these proposed new standards for freights in the different scenarios, and the alternatives for new conceptual designs on wagons/trains and on terminals and functions, to be chosen to implement it with five questions related to: gauge clearance, axle load, change to priority of path allocation, wagon innovations in freight wagons to accommodate modal shift, and finally, freight vehicle improvements still required.
- 60% thought ‘very’/‘moderately’ likely that axle load increase achieved EU wide by 2030.
o On existing wagon designs, those chosen most frequently to facilitate modal shift were Special flat wagon with bogies, ordinary flat wagon with bogies and tank wagon
o The three wagon improvements ranked by industry as most urgently required were lighter wagons, maintenance detectors and track friendly running gear
Current situation across EU concerning a high-speed network were analyzed including freight services identified as a focus towards 2030/2050. Remaining barriers to a high-speed network for freight services were examined, including rolling stock adaptation, service reliability and capacity constraints.
Even with this rolling stock improvement, the potential for a real high-speed network for freight services is still limited. The most important consequence of building high speed lines primarily for passenger traffic is that it will increase the capacity for freight and regional trains on the conventional network. Freight trains with higher speeds, in the range of 120-200 km/h, are possible and also used today for specific markets, mostly with classical high-performance freight wagons. It was concluded that:
- Future wagon designs to encourage modal shift and industry input regarding the wagon innovations (couplers, brakes, connectivity...) required most urgently.
- A better signalling system, shorter block lengths and in the long-term introduction of ERTMS level 3 as one of the most important needs complementary for the freight vehicles operational development for forecasts 2030/2050.
- Technological and operational innovations for various terminal typologies and industry viewpoint on the terminal innovations required most urgently.
- A review of traffic management systems and MTI including ERTMS deployment and innovations to streamline the flow of information within terminals.
- Main barriers to developing information and communication technologies and services are; a lack of training, the conservative attitude of incumbents and low profitability in the sector. To address this, these gaps must be addressed to achieve modal shift.
- Real-time monitoring systems including both on board and wayside mounted systems should be considered vital for rail freight services 2030/2050
- Automation of terminals and terminal functions seems to be the most efficient way to reduce costs and increase benefits in future terminals. There are many ideas but not so many systems ready for the market today, which means that strong effort must be carried out (e.g. in Shift2Rail program) to implement automated systems in real operation.
- Finally, introduction of IT-systems to get total control of the consignee from origin to destination, including terminal handling, is a prerequisite for any future rail development.
-
OPERATIONS FOR ENHANCED CAPACITY
Key issues and objectives
Railway operations strategies, that will increasingly use automation for optimized performance and enhanced capacity, have been developed within the framework of C4R, provided with road maps for technology to transform decision support systems, into automated systems that enable rail industry to meet the challenges of the future, such as high-speed and freight combined services on the same infrastructure, and greater levels of transshipment (co-modal) between railway system and others.
Focus for this functional subsystem was directed on the development planning tools, recommendations and a roadmap for more effective railway operations increasing levels of automation and optimising management of capacity and performance during both nominal and disrupted conditions. In detail, the aims were:
- Develop and test strategies for capacity planning and operation which are able to deal with
- problems of today’s railway and that of the evolving railways of the future
- Creating a road map for the development of modelling and simulation tools, to ensure that in parallel to development of future concepts, the industry will have the ability to evaluate them. This will support strategic trade-off decisions as well as tactical real-time operational decisions, with proof of concept models developed
- Identify operational network constraints and develop operation improvements and logistic leverages, with specific implementation plans
- Use high level approaches to develop optimal strategies for specific network configurations that result in automatic approaches for resilient operations
- Smooth management of minor disturbances and large disruptions due to accidents or critical weather events, deriving joint requirements and testing for incident management plans ensuring the minimisation of effects on final customers
- Development of a data model that can be used to support autonomous data exchange and reasoning and satisfy requirements in the field of railway operations, as well as the requirements to support system wide decision making, including at multi-modal hubs/nodes
Results Traffic management and capability
C4R provides step-changes in the area of strategic, tactical and operational planning, outlining technological evolution of railway operations so to meet future challenges such as increased capacity (to address forecast of demand in 2030 and 2050), optimized management of emergencies, enhanced information sharing and greater levels of connection between rail and other transportation modes.
To increase the capacity of the rail system, it was clear the following measures can be taken regarding strict planning, and not exclusively dealing with traffic management:
- More efficient timetable planning; On double track: Bundling of trains with same average speed in timetable channels to harmonize speeds. Daylight faster freight trains an option.
- Use of trains/vehicles with higher capacity: For freight: Longer trains, higher and wider gauge, higher axle and metre load. For passengers: Double-decker and wide-body trains.
- Differentiation of track access charges to avoid peak hours and overloaded links.
- Better signalling system, shorter block lengths and in long term introduction of ERTMS L3.
- Adaptation of freight corridors for long and heavy freight trains.
- Investment in HSR to increase capacity for freight trains and regional trains on the conventional network and in some cases dedicated freight railways.
It was needed to:
- Make general approaches, the majority of which are fully automated, to help planners to understand and prioritise system capabilities and decide on optimal strategies for system capabilities and deciding on optimal strategies to: increase overall system capability; respond dynamically to planned and unplanned changes; and support real-time punctuality management, with strategies considering requirements from freight operations, established in the catalogue
- Develop new and innovative data processing methodologies and algorithms to enact and summarise raw measurements making data more practical for use in analysis tools, e.g.:
o SysML incident management diagram against real-case disruption events occurred in several member countries, so that European infrastructure managers can avail of a schematic “reference European incident management process”
o Assessing benefits of automation on current railway networks by applying advanced tools for improved real-time information to real-life operations. The example of a neural network-based tool for accurate prediction of train delays has been reported together with its application to a real-life instance on a portion of the Italian railway network.
- Create more relevant and effective data analysis tools to enable the processed data to be used in decision making; and new data visualisation and presentation tools to assist strategic and operational decision making, within them precisely:
o Development and fine-tune the “Capability Trade-Offs” tool (within a capability matrix enwrapped) and apply it to a real railway corridor for a strategic evaluation of different innovations.
o Development and verification of optimised strategies for disruption management against real-life case studies, and validation through extensibe simulation experiments of the roadmap for increasing levels of automation in EU railways
o Development, fine-tuning and application of the tool for optimised tactical-operational planning (the “CAIN-LiU” model) on a real railway corridor to assess the benefits that can be gained on capacity and performance when timetable designers and/or dispatchers are supported by such a tool, and that automated planning can bring on network capacity and performance
- Research, putting focus on data systems that are able to provide ubiquitous data on train position and condition, enabling automatic decision support systems and operations and planning staff to make better decisions;
- Identifying best strategies for increasing levels of automation in European railways so to achieve capacity and performance targets for 2030/2050. For this, a roadmap for automation level increase was validated via extensive simulation experiments to assess different combinations of technology deployment and understand best ways forward.
- Make Proof of concept (PoC) models that support the development of roadmaps for future modelling and simulation and operational strategies that provide a vision for future improvements in automated railway operations.
For each of the outputs, improvements were quantified through simulation or real-world demonstration of the project outcomes. The main focus was on developing a set of automated tools which can support decisions across the entire railway operational planning process from long-term to real-time management of traffic.
An analysis of EU best-practices to manage disruptions, identified critical activities to be improved, upgrading levels of automation. A roadmap to increase levels of automation in EU railway operations was provided, resulting in a set of recommendations to deploy an improved European traffic management system on handling of large disruptions, even if caused by extreme weather events.
A semantic web-based data architecture framework was developed to enable upgrade of automation levels by integrating infrastructure assets and railway operations, with traffic control centers, customers and other transportation modes to achieve a better performing intermodal system.
Capability trade off Traffic management and capability
At the strategic planning level, within C4R it has been developed the so-called “Capability Trade-Offs” decision support tool which quickly provides planners and/or investors with the innovation to the infrastructure and/or the operations which is able to meet future capacity targets while being the best trade-offs among the other main “whole system” high-level goals of the railway, such as: affordability, adaptability, resilience, robustness, and automation.
This software tool has been validated and applied to a real case study, namely the railway corridor between Peterborough and Doncaster on the East Coast Main Line in the UK. Results shows the effectiveness of such a tool in quickly indicating the best design alternative, as importantly as discarding not suitable alternatives, thereby saving costs and time.
Increase of Robustness in Traffic Management Systems
At the tactical and operational level C4R has also delivered a software tool (CAIN-LiU) for robustly increasing operational capacity of an existing timetable. This tool for integrated tactical-operational planning is indeed able to inset additional train paths in an already existing timetable, robustly, i.e. minimising the impact on already existing services. The timetabling tool CAIN (developed at Oltis Group) has been dynamically integrated with the impact assessment tool developed at University of Linkoping (LiU), to identify optimised time slots where additional train path requests (from FOCs and/or TOCs) can be allocated while keeping standard levels of service punctuality.
In the medium-short time this tool can support timetable planners when e.g. allocating additional freight train paths in an already existing timetable. During real-time operations instead, dispatchers can be advised when managing emergencies where e.g. additional passenger train paths need to be operated to allow people evacuation via rail, in case other transport modes are shut down (e.g. like during explosion of the Islandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 which caused closure of the air traffic).
The tool has been validated by means of an application to a real case study: the Swedish portion of the Scan-Med European railway corridor between Malmo and Hallsberg. Results shows that the solution proposed by the tool significantly outperforms in terms of delay minutes the decision which a human dispatcher would normally take when unsupported by any automatic tool.
A method for optimised allocation of time margins in the timetable has also been developed to return a rescheduled timetable which is robust against stochastic disturbances to operations. A Monte-Carlo experiment performed in simulation for the same railway corridor highlights that service punctuality is scarcely affected when optimally distributing timetable margins even when inserting an additional train path in an existing timetable.
Automation for Disruptions – Incident Management
C4R has tried to deal with traffic incidents by means of the use of SysML schemes European best-practices for disruption management in order to identify critical activities and opportunities for improvements by introducing higher levels of automation. A validation against real disruption cases has proved the developed SysML diagram as a valid reference schematic European disruption management process which can be usefully support infrastructure managers to improve their current incident management procedure.
A roadmap for increasing levels of automation in European railways has been outlined and validated by means of an extensive simulation experiment. The roadmap defines successive steps to increase Grades of Automation so to achieve capacity and performance targets in 2030 and 2050. A significant outcome is that only by increasing the Grade of Automation of a group of assets together is effective in improving railway capacity. Conversely upgrading the level of automation of a single asset does not necessarily produce evident benefits.
An instance of automation increase has been studied by applying in real-life an Extreme Machine Learning algorithm for predicting train delays. Outcomes of this application on a real railway section in Italy (between Milan and Genoa) showed that introducing this kind of automation can significantly improve the quality of dispatching decisions when managing real-time perturbations as well as the accuracy of information to customers.
Data exchange and data architecture
A semantic web-based architecture has been developed in C4R. This architecture is essential for enabling the increase of levels of automation in European railways, since it defines the communication interfaces among the different sensors/devices installed to monitor the condition of railway infrastructure assets as well as operating traffic. Dynamic real-time data communication between the infrastructure and the operation sides will provide more accurate information to both traffic controllers and passengers, with expected benefits on both level of service and quality of service, especially during disruption events. Three main storyboards have been identified to define a set of recommendations on the data format to use for any of the specific context of information usually available in the railway field and in the intermodal transportation system in general (e.g. RailML has been recommended for timetable data, Open Street Map for infrastructure data, etc.).
This semantic data architecture is called RaCoOn, based on ontologies allowing collection and merging of information contained in the data despite their provenance and format. Data can be shared not just across railway users but throughout the entire intermodal transportation platform, enabling an improved experience for passengers of the intermodal transport system. It can include crowdsourced data coming from social media to help sharing information on conditions of the intermodal transport system in particular in case of disturbances to the service (i.e. perturbations and/or disruptions).
Performance increase
The capability trade-off framework can support decision making by enabling assessment at a whole-system level, of the impact of an infrastructure/operational and/or technological change on the railway system.
The decision tool can support long-term investment decisions and strategic planning providing a quick identification of the innovations which are more beneficial from a “whole-system” perspective, and as importantly, ruling out the options that have limited potential to deliver future industry targets. The industrial uptake of such a tool will definitely lead towards substantial savings in time and costs within the long and often “not lean” design and evaluation process of railway infrastructure managers.
The key points of such a tool are: i) using a whole-system approach taking into account the capabilities of the railway system; ii) providing planners and investors with a quick and comparative graphical understanding of how given innovations are going to affect the current railway state in terms of the main high level railway goals: capacity, affordability, automation, adaptability and resilience; iii) automating the complex strategic investment planning process which often involves interactions between different representatives of the railway industry (e.g. infrastructure managers and train operating companies) so to reduce global costs and time.
With the CAIN-LiU application, it is shown effectively that support both timetable designers (in the medium term) and dispatchers (in the short term) is possible to help planning higher traffic volumes while optimally distributing timetable margins to achieve a robust schedule at the same time.
In the medium/short-term, this allows for example a more robust insertion of additional freight train paths in an already existing timetable, while minimising impacts on existing train services. In the short term, instead it is possible to robustly insert additional passenger train services in case of disruption or emergency where passengers might need to be evacuated via rail if other transportation modes (such as air or road transport) are shut down.
The automated system integrates tactical and operational planning and offers a web - train service database shared between the IM and TOCs/FOCs to facilitate and speed up amendment process to validate timetable changes (e.g. needed when cancelling/adding and/or rerouting train services).
The main objective for this application, once developed, was to assess the impact on punctuality of capacity enhancements provided by the integrated tactical-operational planning framework when applied to a real case study. The route selected for the case study was the 450 Km long Swedish portion between Malmö and Hallsberg of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean (SCAN-MED) European corridor, located in the southern part of Sweden (see figure) and represents the major freight link connecting the largest marshalling yard in Scandinavia to the continental part of Europe.
The objective of this application is to use the “CAIN-LiU integrated planning framework” to support dispatching decisions by suggesting an optimised time slot allocation for one extra freight train path which is requested to be added within an already existing timetable.
Two dispatching options were evaluated to identify the best allocation of this extra freight train path. They were evaluated regarding the impact that each option has on the overall service punctuality. in terms of mean and median of overall train delays (in minutes). On of the options, represented the best dispatching decision since it increases train delays by just 5.28% instead of 125.09%.
In order to increase the robustness of timetables produced with the support of the CAIN-LiU framework a method has been developed to optimally insert buffer times so to mitigate the impact of stochastic disturbances on service performance. The developed method bases on the indicator Robustness in Critical Points (RCP) which has been proven in literature to improve recovery of train delays and prevent delay propagation at the same time.
The CAIN-LiU integrated planning framework also includes a web train schedule database which is shared among IMs, FOCs and TOCs. Such a system automates the timetable amendment process making it more flexible and fast in providing contingency plans in case of disruption or emergency.
The best practices currently used in several member countries to manage disruptions were described in formal scheme diagrams to identify potential criticalities in the management process which can be corrected by the introduction of several levels of automation. A roadmap for increasing levels of automation in European railways has been outlined and validated via simulation experiments.
Automatic tools for supporting operational planning/management and passenger information have been developed and instances of their applications to real railway networks have been reported to assess benefits that automation has on capacity, performance and especially on the interaction between IMs and RUs during complex decisional processes in case of disruptions or emergency.
SysML diagrams represent a “reference European schematic process for disruption management”. Shortcomings of current European disruption management processes have also been highlighted by the SysML validation. Investigation of real-life disruption management procedures has led towards the formulation of recommendations for an improved European traffic management for handling disruptions. Main recommendations are reported as follows:
- Weather forecast models should be automatically integrated with the disruption management process so to prepare for extreme weather events, putting in operation strategies to mitigate and/or prevent effects on operations.
- Communication among stakeholders involved in the disruption management shall be supported by automatic systems for improved information sharing.
- Automatic decision support tools shall be made available to quickly provide stakeholders with optimised disruption management strategies that minimize the impact of the disruption on both service and customers.
- Automatic asset condition monitoring system shall be equipped for implementing a predictive maintenance strategy which increases network reliability.
A roadmap for increasing automation levels in European railways has been defined and validated by means of extensive simulation experiments. The roadmap first focused on defining grades of automation for each individual asset (i.e. separately for rolling stock, infrastructure, stations, etc.).
By combining the Grades of Automation defined for all the different types of railway assets, a global matrix of Grades of Automation (GoA) has been defined for the railways as a whole system.
Experiments showed that an incremental improvement of a single asset does not necessarily produce capacity enhancements. Instead, it is the automation increase of a group of assets which yields higher network capacity. A specific instance of automation increase has then been studied to assess the impacts that automation increase can actually have when applied to real-life operations.
That has been focused on the development of an Extreme Machine Learning algorithm for accurate train delay prediction which could support both passenger information and traffic controllers in the case of service perturbations. The algorithm developed uses a data-driven multivariate regression model which uses historical speed and position data of a given train journey to predict its future delay.
Applications to the railway section between Milan and Genoa in Italy has shown that the EML algorithm outperforms delay prediction currently made by IM by a factor 2 on average.
Another high-level aim was to develop a data architecture that is able to provide ubiquitous data for railway operations and supporting applications. enabling railways to harness and effectively use large and diverse sources of data to extract meaningful information and knowledge to support operational strategies.
A semantic web-based architecture has been developed This architecture is essential for enabling the increase of levels of automation in European railways, since it defines the communication interfaces among the different sensors/devices installed to monitor the condition of railway infrastructure assets as well as operating traffic. Dynamic real-time data communication between the infrastructure and the operation sides will provide more accurate information to both traffic controllers and passengers, with expected benefits on both level of service and quality of service, especially during disruption events. Three main storyboards have been identified to define a set of recommendations on the data format to use for any of the specific context of information usually available in the railway field and in the intermodal transportation system in general (e.g. RailML has been recommended for timetable data, Open Street Map for infrastructure data, etc.).
The semantic data architecture called RaCoOn, is based on ontologies allowing collection and merging of information contained in the data despite their provenance and format. This means that data can be shared not just across the railway users but throughout the entire intermodal transportation platform, enabling an improved experience for passengers of the intermodal transport system. The architecture can include crowdsourced data coming from social media to help sharing information on conditions of the intermodal transport system in particular in case of disturbances to the service (i.e. perturbations and/or disruptions).

SYSTEM ASSESSMENT AND MIGRATION TO 2030/2050
SP5 has been the horizontally oriented sub-project, cutting across the technical work streams of the other sub-projects ensuring a whole-system approach.
The objectives of SP5 haven been:
- to set up the assessment framework,
- to describe the collective “vision” and scenarios,
- to coordinate the demonstrations activities in the different technical SPs,
- to conduct the global assessment of the project outputs to finally propose a roadmap for the future research work and implementation of the innovations to ensure the migration of the current railway system towards the targeted vision.

Refined Railway system 2030/2050, paving the way to an affordable, resilient, automated and adaptable railway
One of the first aims in C4R was to define comprehensive roadmaps to describe the necessary steps to develop and implement innovation and to progress from the current state-of-the-art to a shared global vision of the 2050 railway along realistic scenarios.
The roadmaps set the 2050 vision for an affordable, adaptable, resilient, automated and high capacity European railway. The starting point for each roadmap is the definition of one of the five aspects of the vision. For each of these criteria, a timeframe for subjects for research and development were setup, scheduling the successive steps of development, demonstration, legislation and implementation.
The roadmaps have been developed following a review of literature - including key documents such as the European Commission’s White Paper. They include key metrics and published targets towards delivering the vision, as well as a list of broad-based research and development activities.
Regarding 2020/2030 and 2050 scenarios, the major challenges facing transport continue to be lack of capacity, increasing congestion, need to reduce environmental impact and address the mobility needs in a period of changing demographics and exponential growth in the introduction of new technologies. C4R has laid a very valuable foundation on which success can be built and a key element of the success of the C4R project will therefore lie in the handling of the outcomes and ensuring that the benefits of the research are realised. A brief description of the potential next steps needed to facilitate the realisation of benefits from the investment into the C4R project is provided. Some progress has been made in taking forward some of the results from C4R (e.g. SP2 work on freight) but more needs to be done. A main aspect of ‘next steps’ has been identified as the development of a proactive engagement strategy with internal and external stakeholders and ensuring that the momentum of progress is maintained
C4R research has made some important contributions towards meeting some of the challenges facing the railway industry in meeting the 2030/2050 targets. A detailed breakdown of the innovations and outputs (totalling 26) from C4R and brief descriptions are provided in the report. Detailed descriptions of each of the outputs are provided in the specific Task reports.
See the deliverables
D5.1.1 Railway road map – paving the way to an affordable, resilient, automated and adaptable railway D5.6.1 Refined Railway system 2030/2050

Selected corridors for the assessment
In C4R the whole current railway system was presented as a network of railway corridors and supporting points (real sites) for carrying more comprehensive information gathering for locations for the assessment of the migration to the new C4R systems.
Real sites/corridors have been chosen in order to carry out the assessment of migration to the future rail system. Based on the availability of data and time constraints only two of the corridors initially agreed were taken forward for assessment. Therefore, the detailed baseline data was collected, and the scenarios refined.
On a selected corridor section, a baseline scenario is then defined by the available data about that route. This data should include the following: infrastructure characteristics, monitoring and maintenance strategy, track possession strategy, train characteristics, traffic scenario, traffic management principles and signalling system, incident and natural hazards, costs related to current infrastructure maintenance and operation costs, value of time and delays, environmental impact (Emissions of CO2) and the economic impact from emissions.
The detailed corridor analysis referred to following questions:
- Why this corridor has been selected
- What are the weak points, constraints, hazards ("hot spots")?
- Are there any sections where capacity constraints are now or will be in the near future?
- How the C4R technologies/innovations can improve the situation in terms of solving the capacity shortage (in short-term view 2020, mid-term 2030 and long-term view 2050)?
- What are the current investment plans under TEN-T, or national upgrades and the time frames of these?
The following corridors were initially selected for developing the scenarios:
- East Coast Mainline in the UK
- Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor (Malmö to Mjölby in Sweden)
- North Sea- Mediterranean (Perpignan, Marseille, Metz, in France)
- North Sea – Mediterranean (Spanish section - French/Spanish border to Barcelona and Valencia)
- Southern France, Montpellier-Perpignan.

Migration scenarios and paths
Baseline scenario
C4R aimed to define the global and selected migration scenarios and paths, and to identify the steps to migrate from existing rail system to the one envisioned.
By defining the scenarios, a distinction between the generic scenarios (related to SP1-SP4 innovations) and the specific scenarios (related to the selected corridors) have been made.
The defined scenarios should refer to the C4R targets such as
- The fragility of some key component of the infrastructure system (especially in extreme weather conditions) such as switches may impact the efficiency of the whole system. The resilience of switches to any kind of known failure will be reinforced, as well as the ability of the operation system to recover from incidents (SP1)
- Intermodal integration within the global transport system will be improved through enhanced transshipment of passengers and freight (SP2)
- Capacity enhancements will also be achieved by higher speed freight vehicles, allowing an optimized interleaving of freight trains into mixed traffic, and improved planning models for operation (SP3)
- New concepts for low maintenance infrastructure, using standardized and “plug-and-play” concepts will be proposed. Non-intrusive innovative monitoring techniques or self-monitoring infrastructure will be investigated, allowing low or no impact (SP4)
The baseline scenario(s), taking selected corridors or sections with the relevant characteristics of the railway routes (boundary conditions, properties, future demands, capacity constraints etc.) serve as a base to compare the current situation (without innovations) with the future situation (with the innovations of C4R).
In addition, the C4R targets include increased capacity for future increases to freight and passenger traffic as well as for modal shift from road to rail. As a consequence, the C4R scenarios must also consider data from road, including: operational cost of road freight and passenger vehicles, utilisation of road vehicles, maximum loading of road vehicles, value of time/cost of delays for road freight and road passengers and environmental emissions and economic value of road vehicle emissions

The C4R scenarios
The role of scenarios in C4R is to both test the outputs and also demonstrate how C4R outputs will help deliver the 2050 vision of a higher capacity passenger and freight railways that can be delivered more efficiently than today’s railways through improved reliability, affordability, resilience and automation.
A scenario is a potential ‘combination of situations’ that the future railway may be required to cope with, including the characteristics of railway routes (infrastructure, local climatic conditions and variations, operations, bottlenecks etc.) and particular combinations of overarching drivers.
It is also important to take into account scenarios for the future of road transport, if innovations in road freight, for example heavier loads and driverless vehicles reduce the costs of road freight this is expected to impact on the targets for modal shift from road to rail.
In this approach the scenarios are set up from the C4R innovations (SP1-SP4 innovations) and their key parameters related to the capacity enhancement. So the scenarios are derived from the C4R innovations with the associated technical parameters/ properties contributing to Reliability, Availability and Capacity,
These are the innovations/technologies that have been developed by the SP’s and the scenarios have been focussed on:
SP1: Design of resilient & reliable low maintenance infrastructure
- Modular integrated design of new concepts for infrastructure (new slab track)
- Switches & Crossings for future railways, enhanced resilience to failure
SP2: Improved specifications for rolling stock and trans-shipment procedures
- New freight wagons with higher axle loads (> 25T/axle), automatic coupling with electrical connection, lighter wagons, track friendly running gear etc.
SP3: Use of traffic management as an innovation, incident recovering by improved traffic planning and operating strategies
SP4: Integration of Advanced (or new) Monitoring Systems in the design & built-in process for easier to monitor infrastructure with low cost and low impact inspection.
With respect to each SP, the top targets and requirements of C4R have been determined. These top targets are based on the roadmap, defined KPI’s of C4R project as well as on the EU White Paper scenarios. To compare the actual situation with the future situation (implies the use of the C4R innovations) it was necessary to identify the differences between the baseline (current situation, 2015), short-term view with 2030 and long-term view with 2050 for the definition of the top targets as well as the specific parameters.
The specific parameters (technical parameters), being relevant for the scenarios with respect for each SP, have been defined. the impact of the C4R innovations with the associated technical parameters on the five key aspects has been indicated qualitatively by each SP. In this regard, each SP had to answer how far his concerned innovation will contribute to the C4R project targets. The qualitative analysis has been carried out in order to determine the optimum benefit that the C4R innovations or their combinations may provide.
See the deliverables
D5.3.2 Migration scenarios and paths
D5.4.2&3 Assessment of technologies, scenarios and impacts

Assessment of technologies, scenarios and impacts
Results of the demonstrations indicate the technical feasibility of the innovations, these results are combined with the CBA assessments to provide final conclusions on the innovations proposed in the project.
Most of the demonstrations are not finished as planned in the DOW and not all necessary data are available or evaluated at the end of C4R. That means, a quantifiable assessment was not possible but the quantitative assessment and the idea behind the innovations are in line with the C4R targets.
Demonstrations were carried out in SP1 and SP4. Most of the innovations address the capacity of the railway system. The impact on this important requirement strongly depends on the local situation and the given bottle necks.
A Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) based on a tool developed in the project was performed for the two cases analysed. This methodology has been also supplemented by a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) that help take into account non-economic aspects that are usually not captured in a CBA.
The first case study is built on the Swedish sections of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean TEN-T Corridor. Both rail and road corridor sections are modelled with input data about infrastructure, operation and traffic forecasts. The analysis is made through a set of Scenarios where the different sets of C4R Innovations, operational or market conditions changes are modelled.
The first scenario (Scenario 1) includes the implementation of all C4R innovations throughout the Swedish rail network, as well as increases in train length up to 1500 m.
Two scenarios (2 and 3) are built with a more limited implementation of infrastructure innovations, mainly slab track. The results show an improvement relative to Scenario 1, showing the advantages of a more selective approach.
A Rail Positive Scenario (4) assumes a full migration to innovative freight wagons, including automatic couplers and EP brakes, leading to further operating costs reductions and a small speed increase. This scenario has the most positive results of all that were tested.
In order to test how some of the expected innovations in road transportation would affect the profitability of the investment in the rail sector being tested, Road Positive Scenarios (5 and 6) were also tested. These assume an increase in road truck gross weight and reductions in operating costs.
A second case study was based on a more detailed analysis of a smaller corridor section in southern France (Montpellier-Perpignan) This corridor section has the further feature of being a bottleneck in the wider corridor it is inserted in.
A comparable set of scenarios was analysed for this corridor section showing overall positive results in terms of NPV, even for the ones with heavier investment. However, the relative changes between the different scenarios are not qualitatively different from the ones obtained in the first case study.
The results of the Montpellier-Perpignan case study in comparison with the Swedish one show how the kind of deep investment in infrastructure is more easily profitable in capacity constrained sections, even if this profitability hangs on an assumed increase in availability.
Main conclusions
Both case studies show how improvements in operation leading to longer, higher capacity trains can have very positive impacts with relatively modest investments.
Deep infrastructure investments may or may not be profitable, depending on the conditions of the corridor. What becomes apparent from the results of the analysis is that there is a much higher chance of large investments, such as upgrade to slab track, being profitable in capacity constrained sections. However, local boundary conditions, which have big impact on investment cost, complexity of upgrade and operational risks must be necessarily considered in decision making. It should, however, be noted that the biggest share of the benefit is generated by gains in availability leading to increased capacity.
The introduction of innovative operational concepts may have a very high profitability. These are rolling stock innovations, such as automatic couplers, EP brakes, often combined with modest infrastructure investment in siding extensions to allow for longer and heavier trains.
In both studies the preceding issues, the main benefits generating mechanism is the modal transfer from road to rail that is allowed by the increased carrying capacity. Benefits in other categories are usually small in comparison. Still, some of the analysed scenarios show that improvements in delays or reductions in travel times can have significant positive impacts trough savings in value of time.

See the deliverables
D5.4.2&3 Assessment of technologies, scenarios and impacts
D55.6 Final evaluation and assessment

Potential Impact:
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ADVANCED MONITORING
Advances in the frame of C4R have been done in the infrastructure, regarding potential that can suppose major steps and so impacts in the technical field of infrastructure design, renewal and maintenance, covered by SP1 tasks and deliverables, and also including advanced monitoring, developed in all its depth within the frame of SP4.
The development of infrastructure solutions that aim at both cost-saving operation by low cost maintenance and extended life-cycle, lowering the total Life Cycle Cost (LCC), have been covered and include two new concepts and prototypes of modular designs of slab tracks (“3MB” and “L-Track”) for the railway track of the future and, even with greater initial expenses for investments than the ballasted track, would reduce the cost of installation from on the shelf slab track available models.
Another impact to be considered on their potential is availability for additional capacity that will be created, based on profiting from originally scheduled intervals on lines that now would require a minimised number of track possessions. These types of solutions increase potentially in each day available from 3 to 5 complementary hours, in which mainly potential new freight services can use the track at their full potential capabilities without crossing or mixing to ordinary or high-speed passenger service.
The investment cost of upgrading to slab track was assumed to be in some scenarios 1.000.000 €/(km track), which is within the typical frame of values for existing slab track designs; this value includes the installation of innovative monitoring systems, as complement to the track’s replacement. The main intended effect from the implementation of slab track is the reduction of maintenance costs and the increase of availability. It was assumed from studies that a 34 % reduction in variable maintenance costs for the track and 27% reduction for S&C wherever the consideration was that the track was upgraded to slab technology.
Investigations of the project have also determined significant impacts, in terms of understanding the behaviour of certain infrastructure components, as well as developing potential solutions to solve their current obstacles to allow very high-speed traffic (VHST) or mix of high-speed and freight train traffic. Several track components such as switches and crossings (S&Cs), where the investigation of failure modes has leaded to develop breakthrough innovative concepts to improve their reliability using optimised geometry, grades or stiffness, or rail pads and under sleeper pads (USPs) combined with sleepers, on the optimisation of their design, including geometry, elasticity, and track-train interaction behaviour in relation with operational demands in terms of speed load (VHST or heavier axle load) and volume of traffic, have received a special attention, which has been driven to obtain results not only in terms of overall performance, but also obtaining a reduced need for maintenance in these components, thus lowering the operational costs linked to their related corrective or preventive activities.
Regarding S&C, installation cost is estimated to be 1.5 times the current average value, 150,000 €/unit; as for the slab track innovation, monitoring systems will also be available for S&C, their installation cost already included in the switches and crossings installation value.
Earthworks and structures have also been the focus of specialised activities, where the analysis of the dynamic solicitations for bridges in the structural design and the innovation applied for the design and construction of transition zones (with demonstrators located on site in high speed lines in the UK (HS1) and Portugal), have obtained results applicable to the design in the field with impact of not only both VHST and upgraded freight traffic, but from their mutual combination. Such achievements required establishing a systematic and documented approach not only for new lines but for infrastructure upgrading to meet the new demands on freight operations, because upgrading scenarios tend to increase the track and infrastructure deterioration and fatigue phenomena, due to the increase of axle load, speed and total length of each individual train. These degradations need to be addressed and mitigated in advance, and now will be appropriately counteracted.
All the above-mentioned impacts, wouldn’t have been made in many cases if the developments of components, wouldn’t have undergone joint with new concepts for railway structural and operational monitoring, both in sensors and identification technologies, that combined can offer insight to their integration in operation and their behaviour and durability through simulations and automated maintenance forecasts, and allowing also a prediction of the structural lifetime. The work has been directed toward the use of innovative simple and cheap sensors and a migration to intelligent components with in-built monitoring for new tracks structures and for existing ones.
Numerous technologies were considered for their suitability for application as part of a condition monitoring system, either for current railway elements (i.e. retrofitting) or to be built-in to new elements during production or installation (as it has been proved in the new slab track concepts have been designed, developed and prototyped), going through a holistic analysis in which wireless communication transmission was the focus, finally choosing RFID passive tags as referential and low cost technology in terms of identification of both infrastructure and rolling stock components, suitable for the railway environment of work, and fully safety compatible with other features of communication and generating no electromagnetic disturbance, requiring low power to be fed, while maintaining high levels of robustness. It has been able to be combined with COTS-sensor deployment, so that the recovered data can be turned to useful information with minimal post-processing, regarding accelerometrical sensors (e.g. MEMS), or other that can measure temperature, humidity or stress, requiring also low energy harvesting to be in operation.
The introduction of advanced monitoring system will contribute for a reduction in fixed maintenance costs, the overall performance of the new system, for example leading to a reduction of S&C maintenance costs to approximately a third of that of the baseline value and will reduce the delay minutes caused by S&C by 50%.
A 60% reduction of unplanned unavailability will be obtained when combining slab track, new S&C and monitoring.
These monitoring systems have obtained an impact in the already tested railway applications, but also in such consideration into other future possible applications in the condition monitoring of pantograph-catenary interaction, weighing in motion and wheel defect detection systems and bogie condition monitoring on freight trains. Extended applications can be considered as well outside the railway system field, for example, in air-borne transportation or other different types of ground transportation.

UPGRADE OF FREIGHT SERVICES AND TERMINALS OPERATION
In the Transport White Paper 2011, the European Commission identified the need to overcome the burden that the current transportation system places on economy and society through, for example: lack of capacity; impacts on the environment (emissions, congestion etc); and the inability to cope with climate change and extreme weather events. Capacity4Rail consortium is confident about the outcomes of research and developed work carried in different SPs our over the last four years that its impact will be felt in both freight and passenger traffic and that it will to grow across European rail networks. To cope with this growth, the Capacity4Rail consortium has explored, analysed and suggested new and innovative technologies to create greater network capacity in a resource-efficient, faster, and more efficient and more flexible manner. The innovative techniques will deliver adaptable, automated, and resilient and, above all, affordable solutions to existing and projected capacity issues to the rail industry.
The outcomes of the project will provide societal benefits in several categories: economic (suggested through quantitative and qualitative CBA and FA analysis), delivered both directly (to the infrastructure and rolling stock owners and operators, as well as tax payers and ticket holders) and indirectly (to the European economy as a whole); and environmental (by providing the means to significantly increase railway capacity and thereby facilitating modal shift to railways from other less environmentally friendly transport modes).
An important impact of the outcome of SP2 (WP21 to be specific) is that the outcome of the research is published in a peer reviewed paper titled ‘How to make modal shift from road to rail possible in the European transport market, as aspired to in the EU Transport White Paper 2011’ an ‘open access’ journal of European Transport Research Review. The paper has attracted a huge readership and downloads (1800 as of August 2017).
Out study suggests that it is possible to reduce GHG emissions for all modes but rail will still be the most efficient mode by 2050. An estimation of the effects of a mode shift (as noted above) to rail transport applying the world’s ‘best practice’ shows that such a mode shift to rail can reduce EU transport GHG emissions over land by about 20 %, compared with a baseline scenario. In combination with low-carbon electricity production a reduction of about 30% can be achieved. A developed rail system, as suggested in different deliverables, can thus substantially contribute to the EU target of reducing GHG emissions in the transport sector by 60% compared to 1990 levels. To enable such a mode shift and to manage the demand for capacity, there is a need for investment at national and European level.
Upgrading of existing lines to handle increased demands on freight operations can carry costs that are as low as 15–20% of costs for rebuilding to the same standard. At the same time, environmental impact and operational disruptions typically decrease. On the other hand, failures in upgrading procedures may carry dramatic consequences in lost revenues and increased costs. With the guideline introduced in D11.4 and enhanced in D11.5 the possibilities to carry out the upgrading in a structured manner have increased significantly. The potential savings in decreased cost savings are massive.
Introducing costs, a freight terminal upgrade cost of 100 M€/terminal may be assumed. The benefits were, however, difficult to estimate at this stage. Surely, the benefits from this innovation are related to the operating costs: one of the main effects of the upgrade for the terminal would be quicker loading and unloading operations. In the absence of detailed information, a reduction of the operating costs of freight rail transport in the order of 10% is assumed because of terminal upgrades. Quicker loading and unloading operation also mean a reduction of freight trains travel time, assumed to be in the order of 5%.
Monitoring and processing of monitoring data is a topic of increased interest throughout Europe. To this end, there are massive investments in both hardware and software. The aim is that these investments will pay off due to more efficient and reliable operations. However, this requires both collected data and interpretation of the data to be relevant with respect to the objectives. The Capacity4Rail deliverables D41.1 D41.2 and D41.3 identify relevant parameters for different parts of the railway system. The reports also show how data can be interpreted and how data that cannot be directly measured can be interpreted from measurable data. Further, the reports introduce a framework for evaluating costs and benefits (in a broad sense) of different monitoring solutions. Finally, the reports include examples of operational installations. In total, this enhances the possibilities to make well-founded and aware decisions on monitoring strategies. It also reduces the risk of failed investments substantially and enhances the usefulness of collected data. In summary, the impact on efficient future monitoring strategies in Europe should be significant.

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
Potential impacts produced by the uptake of SP3 results by railway Industry would be the following:
The introduction of the “Capability trade-offs” tool developed can effectively support industry strategic investment decisions by quickly and clearly indicating the scenario achieving future operational targets while providing the best capability trade-off. This definitely paves the way for potential automation of long-term planning processes leading to more cost-effective and “leaner” deployment of railway investments.
The industrial use of an automatic integrated planning tool such as the CAIN-LiU framework developed can effectively support tactical and real-time decisions by advising on scheduling strategies which maximize economic satisfaction of all the actors involved. The real-life application of this tool showed indeed that the provided solution returned the best trade-off among requests of FOCs, network capacity utilisation for IMs and punctuality for TOCs. Additionally, such a framework includes a web train schedule database which is shared among IMs, FOCs and TOCs, making the timetable amendment process more flexible and faster than current practice in providing contingency plans in case of disruption or emergency.
The SysML schematic disruption management process can be effectively used by infrastructure managers of member countries to identify criticalities and opportunities for improvements in their current disruption handling procedures. The roadmap produced for increasing levels of automation outlines step-changes which need to be implemented for each asset to enhance the grade of automation of the entire railway system. The roadmap also can support the European railway industry in identifying the most suitable Grade of Automation which is required to achieve future operational targets and meet the demand forecasted for 2030 and 2050. Industrial uptake of advanced tools for train delay prediction is expected to provide significant improvements to the quality of traffic management decisions and information to customers, consequently increasing business effectiveness of infrastructure managers as well as customer’s satisfaction.

Real-life implementation of the web-based semantic data architecture developed allows increasing the level of automation of railways by dynamically integrating asset condition monitoring directly with operation management, facilitating the implementation of integrated maintenance and timetable planning. In addition, this would enable predicting disruption events due to asset faults in order to prevent the disruption itself or mitigate its impacts on both service and customers by means of more accurate information, which is expected to lead to improved traffic management and better customer experience. The extension of the semantic web based architecture to the entire transportation system will provide the communication framework necessary to deliver the European Intermodal Transportation platform set as one of the main objectives for 2020 by the “White Paper” on transport of the European Commission.

Dissemination material, methodologies, tools and results produced by SP3 have also been included as educative material in courses which are given to students at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) and the Technical University of Dresden (Germany).
OVERALL SYSTEM TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS
The overall technical impacts of all innovations could be seen directly in the resulting generation of new designs POCs, demonstrators, and derived in the actions and guidelines recommended as seen in D56.2.
The economic part was focused in a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) based on a tool developed in the frame of the project, and which was performed for two practical case studies in the EU.
The first case study has been built on the Swedish sections of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean TEN-T Corridor. Both rail and road corridor sections were modelled with input data about infrastructure, operation and traffic forecasts. The analysis is made through a set of Scenarios where different sets of C4R Innovations, operational or market conditions changes are modelled.
The first scenario (scenario 1) included the implementation of all C4R innovations throughout the Swedish rail network, as well as increases in train length up to 1500 m. The CBA resulted in a negative NPV, with the large investment not being offset by the producer surplus generated by the modal transfer. When the scenario was altered to include a very significant reduction in delays, this is enough to turn the NPV positive.
Two scenarios (2 and 3) were built with a more limited implementation of infrastructure innovations, mainly slab track. The results showed an improvement relative to scenario 1, showing the advantages of a more selective approach.
A Rail Positive Scenario (4) assumed a full migration to innovative freight wagons, including automatic couplers and EP brakes, leading to further operating costs reductions and a small speed increase. This scenario had the most positive results of all that were tested.
In order to test how some of the expected innovations in road transportation would affect the profitability of the investment in the rail sector being tested, road positive scenarios (5 and 6) were also tested. These assumed an increase in road truck gross weight and reductions in operating costs. The results showed the benefits that were present in Scenario 1 from modal transfer may be virtually obliterated. It was tested how the introduction of taxes on road transportation can partially offset these effects, boosting the rail sector.
A second case study was based on a more detailed analysis of a smaller corridor section in southern France (Montpellier-Perpignan) that was performed in the context of the demonstrations for D55.6. This corridor section has the further feature of being a bottleneck in the wider corridor it is inserted in.
A comparable set of scenarios was analysed for this corridor section showing overall positive results in terms of NPV, even for the ones with heavier investment. However, the relative changes between the different scenarios are not qualitatively different from the ones obtained in the first case study.
The results of the Montpellier-Perpignan case study in comparison with the Swedish one show how the kind of deep investment in infrastructure is more easily profitable in capacity constrained sections, even if this profitability hangs on an assumed increase in availability.
Both case studies show how improvements in operation leading to longer, higher capacity trains can have very positive impacts with relatively modest investments.
In the end, we can extract two main points on the economic impacts of the innovations that have been considered in the context of the Capacity4Rail project.
The first point to be taken is that deep infrastructure investments may or may not be profitable, depending on the conditions of the corridor. What becomes apparent from the results presented here is that there is a much higher chance of large investments, such as upgrade to slab track, being profitable in capacity constrained sections. However, local boundary conditions, which have big impact on investment cost, complexity of upgrade and operational risks must be necessarily considered in decision making. It should, however, be noted that the biggest share of the benefit is generated by gains in availability leading to increased capacity.
The second point concerns the very high profitability that the introduction of innovative operational concepts may have. We are talking about rolling stock innovations, such as automatic couplers, EP brakes, often combined with modest infrastructure investment in siding extensions to allow for longer and heavier trains.
In both the preceding issues, the main benefits generating mechanism is the modal transfer from road to rail that is allowed by the increased carrying capacity. Benefits in other categories are usually small in comparison. Still, some of the analysed scenarios show that improvements in delays or reductions in travel times can have significant positive impacts trough savings in value of time.
Further considerations on impacts deriving from the results of these case studies are made in Deliverable D56.1 specifically, concerning the European policy Targets and Roadmap as well as market share perspectives.

List of Websites:
http://www.capacity4rail.eu/