Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FFL4E Report Summary

Project ID: 730823
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FFL4E (Future Freight Loco for Europe)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Since 2008, the rail freight market has not yet recovered from the global recession and profit margins in the railway sector have been falling throughout Europe. Moreover, competitors were able to increase their capacity due to innovations. Within the last 15 years, inland vessels have increased their transport capacity by 158%, truck transportation by up to 50% while rail freight transportation only by 3% thanks to increasing the length of trains to 740 metres.

Shift2Rail IP5 addresses this issue by fostering a vision for future rail freight operation offering increased quality and efficiency while simultaneously improving the overall cost structure. The target is to shift the road freight volumes for distances beyond 300 km to other modes in the range of 30% and 50% by the years 2030 and 2050 respectively.

The FFL4E project (Future Freight Locomotive for Europe) aims at developing key technologies for future energy efficient freight locomotives, allowing highest operational flexibility and providing attractive and competitive rail freight services to the final customer, targeting in detail following aspects:

- Extreme flexibility for operation in non-electrified and in electrified lines, allowing private and public operators to offer broaden rail freight services according to demand without the need of changing the locomotive.
- Remote control for distributed power, thus, allowing the increase of the train length up to 1,500 m and consequently improving the cost efficiency of rail transport.
- Recuperation of braking energy as much as possible, store it onboard and reuse it whenever required, for traction purposes, for peak shaving or to supply auxiliaries and others.
- Last mile propulsion capabilities, sourcing the energy from a powerful on-board Li-Ion battery
- Reduction of wear and noise of freight operations by means of developing track-friendly, low-noise running gear for the future freight locomotive.

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

Most work has been done in setting up the project and coordinating with external partners from the OC DYNAFREIGHT and other key players.
The Kick-off meeting took place on October 12, 2016, and technical management team meeting and steering committee meeting took place as well by the end of the year. .

First studies and analysis on operation performed by freight locomotives together with route, line, track and payload characteristics, respectively identifying some representative use cases that would be suitable candidates for simulations producing the specification for a future hybrid concept have been done.
Furthermore, first assessment were done of the effectiveness of new features available thanks to the integration of energy storage systems, such as e.g. last mile run or peak shaving for electric locomotives or power boost and electric modes for diesel locomotives.

Also a first study on most promising radial steering designs for bogies was done. Bogies with this technology will reduce massively wear and noise emissions.

For the remote control for distributed power, a first version of functional requirements was carried out and aligned by project team. Additionally, a safety management concept has been set up, supported by an external consultant in order to ensure professional safety management. The approach of how to perform longitudinal simulations was systematically aligned
Last but not least, the relation for the demonstration of the distributed power system, where two locomotives are connected via radio remote control in one train, has been defined (commercial traffic Amsterdam – Munich in a real life environment on dedicated sections).

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 can be declared here. Important results are expected in 2017 and will be reflected in the next report.

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