Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

VERT Report Summary

Project ID: 773705

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VERT (Vertex switch – the foundation for a more sustainable and reliable railway transport system)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Vertex railway switch addresses one of the main causes of train delays in the EU: the railway switches blocked by snow and ice. The problem is most apparent in the Nordic countries but also in mountain areas elsewhere. The Vertex railway switch is designed to move blades vertically to eliminate the area where snow and ice can accumulate. The blocking of switches causes many disruptions of trains, with consequenses for travellers and commuters as well as for the freight transports. This in turn lowers the confidence in the train transports and could be a hinder for the modal shift from road to railways, which is needed for reaching the climate goals.

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 main activities performed during the six-month project period are:
• Elaboration and confirmation of assumptions in the first version of the business plan.
• Specification of technical requirements for the construction of a prototype switch which will be constructed and installed in spring 2018. For the elaboration of this, a model, made of wood, plastic and metal was built.
• The model have been demonstrated to researchers and responsible officers at the Swedish Transport Administration, for having feedback before starting building the real scale prototype in spring 2018.
• Establishing a strong partnership for the construction of the prototype and the establishing of a test site in the Municipality of Kil and detailed planning of the prototype testing, what regards construction, material, and planning of facilities.
• Planning of financing of the prototype investment, including co-funding application to Sweden’s Innovation Agency Vinnova, which was approved.
• Planning of possible demonstration and European validation of the solution, within the Horizon 2020 Joint Undertaking Shift2Rail, together with The Swedish Transport Administration.
• Application of extension of the approved Swedish patent to Europe and eight other countries world-wide.

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)

The overall objective of this innovation project is to commercialise the Vertex vertical railway switch, and the concept and approach have been strengthened by the project.
The activities performed in this Phase 1 have contributed to a considerable advancement towards this objective, even though certain steps and investments are needed before the switch will be available on the market.
The next step in the development is to construct a real scale pilot for technical tests and validation of the technology which will raise the innovation from TRL 4 to TRL 6.

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