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Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-10-31

A modal shift to rail is crucial to achieving a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, relieving urban congestion and providing increased mobility. In order to successfully meet this growing demand for efficient and green mobility, the railway sector needs to progress in terms of quality of service, energy and life cycle costs, interoperability, capacity, noise reduction and must also further develop its carbon emission advantages.

Roll2Rail aims to develop key technologies that will overcome hurdles to innovation in rolling stock development and forms part of a longer term strategy towards revolutionising the rolling stock of today. Moreover, Roll2Rail is setting the foundations for many of the technologies that will be continued within Shift2Rail’s Innovation Programme 1: “Cost-efficient and Reliable Trains, including high capacity trains and high speed trains”

Roll2Rail focuses on technological innovations in different subsystems of the vehicles which, individually and all together, contribute to the achievement of the desired impact at vehicle and whole railway system level with regard to capacity, reliability, efficiency, comfort and life cycle costs. The project expects innovations in eight different areas such as traction, train communications, car bodyshell, running gear technologies, brakes, train interiors, noise and energy performance. The actions to be undertaken within the scope of Roll2Rail are related to the following objectives:
• Develop the basis of a new traction technology based on emerging electronic components and motor-wheel high-speed equipment.
• Open the way for new functionality which will allow more flexible and reliable coupling between vehicles by using wireless technology applied to train control functionalities.
• Reduce vehicle weight so as to increase space available for passengers using carbody solutions based on lightweight composite materials.
• Un-block innovation in the field of running gear by developing a clear way of quantifying the life-cycle cost impact of existing and new technological solutions.
• Bring down barriers to step-change innovation in the area of braking systems by gaining knowledge of the variety of requirements in Europe.
• Contribute to a new attractive and innovative environment for passengers in the vehicle by developing standardised methodologies for assessing attractiveness and comfort from the passenger’s point of view.
• Develop methodologies for noise source separation techniques allowing implementation of novel and more efficient noise mitigation measures for future rolling stock.
• Develop a standardised methodology for the calculation of energy consumption for passenger, freight and urban trains.
The outputs of Roll2Rail will contribute to achieve the following high level impacts:

• Reduced life cycle costs of rolling stock and the track
Roll2Rail is developing a model for the calculation of the global cost of the impact of the running gear. This is the first step towards reducing running gear and track maintenance costs by developing innovative running gear concepts which are economically feasible. In the past 18 months Roll2Rail has contributed to standardisation and regulation activities which will in the longterm lead to lower subsystem purchasing and maintenance costs.

• Increase in capacity of the railway system
Roll2Rail worked towards defining the structural specifications for building lighter carbodishells which will give more flexibility for the future design of high-capacity new configurations.

• Punctuality and operational reliability increase
Roll2Rail is investigating new high efficiency traction systems using silicon carbide semiconductors which intends to provide a more reliable traction system. Roll2Rail investigates wireless train control and monitoring systems. New wireless technologies for the train communication network will reduce cabling improving reliability and performance. Roll2Rail has looked at the homologation requirements for future braking systems which will provide a clearer criteria for brakes design in the future.

• Reduction of energy consumption
Roll2Rail has targeted technology actions that will result in reductions if energy consumption. The research carried out in traction efficiency will increase significantly with new silicon carbide based power electronics. The reduction in vehicle weight derived from lighter composite structures, lighter traction equipment, and elimination of physical train control and monitoring system (TCMS) components will support energy consumption reduction. The development of the universal cost model for running gear will incentivise the use of lighter running gear.

• Improve environmental performance
Roll2Rail will contribute to reducing railway noise emissions. Roll2Rail is working to develop techniques for track and wheel noise source separation. This will lead to new noise mitigating solutions targeting in a more efficient way the highest ranked noise source for each system combination. Moreover, Roll2Rail has developed an energy calculation methodology.

• Improve quality of service and customer experience
Roll2Rail is developing criteria to measure attractiveness of train interior environment for passengers. The development of criteria and standards to rate rail interiors from the perspective of passenger attractiveness will guide future rolling stock specification, ensuring that passenger needs are adequately taken into account in vehicle design and procurement processes.