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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ARCC (Automated Rail Cargo Consortium: Rail freight automation research activities to boost levels of quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness in all areas of rail freight operations)

ARCC Report Summary

Project ID: 730813
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ARCC (Automated Rail Cargo Consortium: Rail freight automation research activities to boost levels of quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness in all areas of rail freight operations)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

A key moment for ‘shift to rail’ in terms of EU policy has been the publication of the EU’s White Paper on Transport in 2011. One of its goals for a competitive and resource-efficient transport system was:

• 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport by 2030, and more than 50% by 2050, facilitated by efficient and green freight corridors.

Meeting this goal will also require appropriate rail system improvements to be developed. To date, the rail freight sector has not yet shown much progress in the European Union’s ‘shift to rail’ agenda.

In order to reach at a sustainable transport mix and to achieve the important and ambitious overall reductions of CO2 and other pollutants, it is essential that the goals of the White Paper are achieved.

Shift2Rail IP5 and the ARCC project address the challenge of a significantly higher modal share of rail freight by increasing the quality and resource efficiency of the rail system and by improving the overall cost structure at the same time. At the same time, the research and innovation actions within ARCC should address the falling profit margins in the railway sector throughout Europe.

Rail infrastructure nodes (e.g. terminals, yards and transshipment points) form the backbone of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) freight corridors, enabling environmentally friendly rail freight services across Europe. There are around 100 railway infrastructure nodes connecting the corridors on the defined core and comprehensive networks, making the nodes a strong lever for increasing the systems quality, reliability and performance.

Automation and digitalisation are areas that have huge potential and where the rail freight sector has fallen behind other modes of transport such as road. Automation and digitalisation have opened up new opportunities for rail freight both in terms of rolling stock fleet and business (support) processes. They therefore require immediate action and this is be done by focusing on both rail freight assets and operational processes within ARCC.

The activities of the ARCC project will, in their final implementation stage, create the following
benefits for freight transportation:

• Increased efficiency on the main railway lines and nodes, reducing lead time and costs.
- 20% energy saving thanks to automatically optimised acceleration and braking patterns for rail freight profiles;
- 50% increase in production capacity, doubling the throughput through infrastructure by reducing required headway (the distance between trains on the network);
- 50% reduction in costs for operating systems.

• Improved services and customer quality so that the operational timetable is reliably met.
- 10% increase in efficiency through greater availability and easier disposition of assets;
- 10% improvement in the punctuality of outgoing trains in local hubs;
- More accurate forecasting of departure and arrival times for customers;

• Optimised business processes and management of complex situations.
- Significantly improved punctuality through optimised on-time departure and delivery;
- Significantly improved reliability through reduced dependency on and risk related to the human factor;
- A 15% reduction in time when rail assets sit idle within nodes.

• Enhanced interoperability between national railways and single wagonload transport.
- A harmonised European interoperable and backwards compatible Automated Train Operation (ATO) module for use in passenger and rail freight transportation;
- Smooth and seamless automated freight operations across borders between different national railway systems.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The most work in reporting period 2016 has been done on setting up the project, synchronise dates and coordinating with external partners from the OC SMART and the complementary CFM X2Rail-1.
The official kick-off meeting for IP5 and all current member consortia, incl. ARCC, took place on October 12, 2016, in Frankfurt, Germany. Meetings of the Technical Management Team and the consortium Steering Committee meeting took place as well by the end of the year.

An agreement was reached late in 2016 in consensus with the XRail-1 WP4 community that existing documents from the relevant European Committees could be requested for review inside ARCC. Based on these existing documents, the requirements for the freight ATO demonstrator in ARCC at Grade of Automation 2(+) will be developed until mid-2016.In parallel to the review process with the partners, an internal expert circle has been set up to discuss operational requirements, e.g. in the form of use cases for Automated Train operation. The aim is to not overlook any requirements for the planned demonstration.

ARCC recovered ATO technical and scientific information material available worldwide concerning requirements for speed profile energy saving algorithms in freight from past and actual experiences on this topic and related to existing ATO requirements over ETCS in order to identify the KPIs for an optimal speed profile compatible with ATO directives.

A market review regarding state-of-the-art in obstacle detection for railways applications commenced at the InnoTrans 2016 in Berlin.

Joint approach of the required analysis in marshalling yards and terminals was defined. The structure of the expected results of the analysis had been worked out. The marshalling yards and terminals where the analysis should be performed have been selected. The overall objective and vision of interaction between yard and network management has been described.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

No progress beyond the state of the art in 2016 as the action only commenced in September.

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