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Advanced Signalling, Automation and Communication System (IP2 and IP5) - S2R-CFM-IP2-01-2018
Deadline: Apr 24, 2018  

 Clean Transport

Specific Challenge:

Technological developments foreseen under the Innovation Programme 2, building on the results obtained in the project X2Rail-1 (S2R-CFM-IP2-01-2015), require to assess and initially demonstrate how new technologies challenge the traditional signalling principles for a drastic change in railway operations. This covers innovation built around Communications, Moving Block, Testing Methodologies and Cyber Security as well as investigation of the application of new Advanced Signalling concepts such as Virtually Coupled Train Sets. Additionally, The Freight ATO demonstration activities of WP1 in ARCC (IP5) and of WP4 in X2Rail-1 (IP2) requires engineering and planning support to realise the planned GoA2 demonstrator.


In order to address the challenges described above, the proposals should address one or all of the following main work streams (main work stream 1 and/or main work stream 2), in line with the S2R MAAP:

Main work stream 1

  1. 1. TD2.1 - adaptable communication: Demonstrate, via the integration of the different prototypes into dedicated demonstrators, that a new Communication System will be able to overcome the shortcomings in current ETCS and CBTC communications and deliver an adaptable communications system usable for train control applications in all market segments. The solution will use IP-based technologies as convergence for all the radio access technologies (GPRS, EDGE, LTE, Satellite, Wi-Fi, etc.) into a bearer independent solution. It should demonstrate the multi-bearer access capabilities of the system that will enable an easy migration from legacy systems, providing enhanced throughput, safety and security functionalities to support the current and future needs of signalling systems, and be resilient to interference and open to radio technology evolution. The demonstrator will take into account the specifications and guidelines coming from X2Rail-1. As such, it will support the business case study enabling the potential shift from “network as an asset” to “network as a service” model vision for all railways. It will validate via the lab testing activities the potential of communication layer for all communication needs and combines different access networks into a unified communication system.
  2. TD2.3 - Moving Block: the scope is to move beyond the laboratory demonstrations undertaken in the framework of the X2Rail-1 project, to create technical demonstrators in representative railways environments. The action will also include thee investigation of the processes required for testing Moving Block systems, in collaboration with the action to be funded under S2R-OC-IP2-01-2018. Finally, the action will also maintain the results stemming from X2Rail-1, as more information will be made available from the application of Moving Block in representative railway environments.

  3. TD 2.6 - zero on-site testing: In the context of the simulation and testing framework integrating new functionalities such as moving block/satellite positioning, the action should finalise the general architecture, the communication model and will a well perform validation in a testing environment. The objective is to reach a simulation environment able to support automated laboratory testing, which will reduce dramatically the need to perform them on the trackside. The work will also take forward the activities started in X2Rail-1.

  4. TD 2.8 - Virtual Coupling: the action should perform a comprehensive study focusing on the new concept of “Virtual coupling”, which foresees that trains will be able to run much closer to one another (within their absolute braking distance) and to dynamically modify their own composition on the move (virtual coupling/uncoupling of train convoys). This should be achieved while ensuring at least the same level of safety currently provided. The action has for objective to define the behaviour, the system, the architecture, the functions, the real feasibility & applicability, the potential performance increase to be achieved as well as the safety level.

  5. TD 2.11 - Cybersecurity: In the context of Cyber Security, the main objectives are:

    •   to define a “Cyber-Security” System dedicated to railway to ensure high availability, authentication and integrity of the railways system by preventing attacks or errors;

    •   to contribute to a “Security-by-Design” standard applicable to railway application to reduce the infrastructure and maintenance costs of railways operators and improving time to market, compatibility and interoperability;

    •   To develop a network of Railway Cyber Security Experts as basis of a CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) dedicated to railways (R-CSIRT).

Benefits from the implementation of the results generated by these activities cover cost reductions, security improvement, integration on IT systems network across Europe, cost reductions linked to maintenance, reduction of the time to market.

Main work stream 2

6. TD5.6 - Autonomous train operation: in the context of freight Autonomous train operation (, the main objective is:

 To support the Freight ATO demonstration activities of WP1 in ARCC (IP5) and of WP4 in X2Rail-1 (IP2) which requires engineering and planning support to realise the planned GoA2 demonstrator.

The Main work stream 2 activities are expected to request a contribution of indicatively 11% of the total topic activities

The proposals should address more in particular with reference of the workstream mentioned above:

1. In the framework of the introduction of new Communication technologies in railways (TD2.1) the activities are expected to cover the following points:

a. Finalize all the prototypes development based on the specifications developed in X2Rail-1.


  1. Integrate them in order to develop the Main line/High-Speed line, Urban/Suburban line, Regional/freight line demonstrators, supporting signaling data, voice services and EIRENE functionalities.

  2. Validate, with the support of the radio access emulator tool to be developed by the action to be funded under the call S2R-OC-IP2-03-2018, the multi-bearer capability of the Adaptable Communication System via lab testing activities.

  3. Validate the capability of the Adaptable Communication System to support all type of application (i.e.: ETCS, CBTC, Voice etc.)

  4. Perform validation of the demonstrators via early lab test and provide associated report prior engaging into the last phase, the field test.

Foreseen achievable Technology Readiness Level: TRL5.

  1. In the framework of the introduction of Moving Block technologies (TD2.3) the activities are expected to cover the following points:

    1. Creation of a Moving Block Technical Demonstrator for Urban/Suburban Railways;

    2. Creation of a Moving Block Technical Demonstrator for Moving Block Overlay


    3. Creation of a Moving Block Technical Demonstrator for High Speed Lines;

    4. Creation of a Moving Block Technical Demonstrator for Low Traffic and Freight Lines;

    5. Work to create a testing strategy for Moving Block signalling systems;

    6. Work to maintain the results from X2Rail-1 for Operational and Engineering Rules, and

      for System Specifications, based on feedback from the Technical Demonstrators;

    7. The work on a Testing Strategy for Moving Block signalling systems will be done in

      collaboration with the action to be funded under the topic S2R-OC-IP2-01-2018.

    Foreseen achievable Technology Readiness Level: TRL6.

  2. In the framework of the introduction of new testing and simulation technologies (TD2.6), the activities are expected to take further the activities started X2Rail-1. In this respect, the work stream should cover the following points:

    1. completion of the general architecture, including the integration of the open call results;

      1. Align defined high-level architecture based on the first results and requirements from the actions started in X2Rail-2 (S2R-CFM-IP2-01-2017), i.e. the Traffic Management Integration Layer;

      2. Include available results and definitions from previous projects (e.g. VITE).

    2. communication model definition in line with the communication environment

      defined in TD2.1;

      1. Specification of test scenarios and test cases;

      2. Specify higher levels of communication protocols;

      3. Standardized interfaces and collaborative definition of inter-application for

        end-to-end data exchange.

    3. developing and validating the testing environment taking independent assessment

      and continuous update / upgrade of the test environment into account;

      1. Integrated simulation capabilities including the simulation of operational

        scenarios, production plans and infrastructure data;

      2. The test environment shall support distribution and virtualization as well as

        test automation for conducting and evaluating tests.

    Foreseen achievable Technology Readiness Level: TRL6.

    The work stream should foresee a close collaboration with system integrators, assessors and with ERA.

    Due to the methodologies to be used, a strong link to the project X2Rail-2 and specifically focusing on Formal Methods, is expected.

4. In the framework of the introduction of the Virtual Coupling concept (TD2.8), the activities are expected to cover the following points:

  1. Definition of the concept: The activity should address the concept of Virtual Coupling in terms of basic principle, system behaviour, system boundary, system architecture, according to the different operating scenarios to be chosen and developed. Taking into account the results of the related Open Call, the analysis should cover new needs related to the infrastructure for Train-to-Train (T2T) in close cooperation with TD1.2 and Train to Wayside (T2W) communication.

  2. Safety and performance analysis:

    1. The activity should analyse the hazards linked to the Virtual Coupling concept.

      For each market segment (Main Line, High-speed line, Regional, Urban/Suburban, Freight), the analysis has to take into account the new risks introduced by the new concept. Those risks can be technical (e.g. train characteristics, braking rate, delay of communications, etc.), they can be linked to the infrastructure (e.g.: impact of gradients, curves, tunnels etc.) or on operational procedures of the staff and the behaviour of the end-users behaviour, all of which can have an impact on the safety of the system. Specific attention should be paid to analysing the occurrence rate of potential events like derailment of a train part of a Virtually Coupled convoy or of cars jailed in the level crossing area. In addition, a detailed analysis should be performed in order to identify the risks associated to degraded situations (e.g.: failure impeding the use of all the necessary functions).

    2. The activity should also focus on the performance, the capacity improvement and the risks involved for a set of common operational/traffic scenarios. The analysis should investigate the application of VCTS in all the market segments (Main Line, High-speed line, Regional, Urban/Suburban, Freight) taking also into account scenarios in which different trains can run on the same line, controlled by different signalling systems (mixed traffic). The objective is to identify the operational scenarios where VCTS is effective and to is the real potential capacity improvements VCTS can bring. A clear identification of the pros/cons for each operational/traffic scenarios in terms of performance and associated risk(s) is also expected to be performed. The impact on performance and safety of variations in parameters like communications delays, brake performance and differences in brake performance, location accuracy, track data accuracy and weather conditions must be considered in all the safety and performance analysis. Performance analysis could also take advantage from the application of simulators/emulators that can help understanding the system and dynamics behaviour.

  3. Feasibility analysis. Based on the Safety and Performance Analysis, the action should investigate the technical feasibility, the applicability of some aspects and parts of the system, which have been assessed as critical for the accomplishment of the project (e.g. what radio system / network could be used, its availability, including those of frequencies, as well as the cost of installation and operation). The action should measure the reasonable trade-off between safety and performance in order to reach the necessary capacity improvement (e.g.: definition of the minimum number of trains to be upgraded to VCTS in order to improve the line capacity; identification of the impact on both operational rules and capacity if only a few or no trains have VCTS). The way to foster and introduce VCTS should also be analysed; specific and potential obstacles to the introduction of VCTS also have to be identified (e.g.: difficulties to accept the new signalling paradigm by the Railway Undertakings and Infrastructure Managers).

  4. Functional Architecture, SAS and FRS. Given the previous analyses, the action has to provide the System Architecture Specification and the Functional Requirement Specification in order to outline the functional behaviour and the potential architectural structure.

  5. Functional Architecture FIS. Based on the SAS and FRS, the action has to provide the Functional Interface Specification for the main defined interfaces identified in the architecture.

  6. Impact analysis. Given the full definition of the system architecture, the action must

    identify the major impacts on the existing signalling system due to the application of VCTS. It is essential to quantify the necessary technical modifications/adaptations and the related expected cost the introduction of VCTS will bring (e.g.: on Interlocking, Radio Block Centre, Traffic Management System, Automatic Train Protection, Automatic Train Operation, Communications, infrastructure, etc.) in addition to changes linked to operational and engineering rules, maintenance, training and public education.

Foreseen achievable Technology Readiness Level: TRL3.

5. In the framework of the introduction of Cyber Security (TD2.11) the activities are expected to cover the following points:

a. Take further and finalise the tasks started in X2RAIL-1 regarding the final specifications of the “Security-By-Design” and “Cyber-Security Management System” standards. The specific assessments of the security and safety impacts issued X2Rail- 1, as well as the procedures identified in order to apply the chosen standard for the railway protection profile requirements. Finally, a consultation with competent organisations (e.g. CENELEC) safety and security aspects should be foreseen to ensure consistency of the chosen approach for railways at European level. The deliverable should specify:

  1. The architectures, protocols, interfaces and procedures to be applied to all communicating assets across the networks dedicated to signalling systems and railway infrastructure to ensure the security level of the railway system;

  2. The common security assessment guidelines and methodologies for Operators, National bodies, System integrators and Providers. In addition, a global taxonomy and common methodology for impact assessment agreed and approved by all stakeholders should be included;

  3. A set of requirements and/or guidelines as result of the application to railway signalling and communication context of the selected “Security-by-Design” standard.

b. Take further and finalise tasks started in X2Rail-1 by completing the design and first integration of both the “Cyber-Security System” and the “Security-by-Design” demonstrators. The proposed technical demonstrators will illustrate how the “Cyber- Security System” shall manage threats and incidents during operation after implementation in a railway signalling environment. The “Security-by-Design” demonstrator will show how to fulfil the protection profile requirements defined in X2Rail-1 with the expected level of maturity. Future IP2 projects will further develop the demonstrators implementing the selected functions delivered in the scope and functional specifications provided by X2Rail-1.

c. Specify the Railway CSIRT which implies:

  1. The creation of a group of experts from all needed disciplines which will

    develop the dedicated model and glossary for a railway CSIRT able to

    communicate under a common terminology and taxonomy;

  2. Specification of CSIRT demonstrator environment to gather a holistic view on the incorporated systems and their interdependencies by including specifically tailored workflows and knowledge on the subject, merging thus the know-how of the group of experts from previous task;

  3.  Identification of information sources, network architecture and participate to the analysis of the sub-system dependencies which will be the basis of a collaborative tool for CSIRT security information exchange. This multiple environment of CSIRTs will be able to share their findings in an easy and comprehensive way. The result of this activity is a demonstrator of a collaborative CSIRT environment with at least two to three existent CSIRT- partners interacting between each other.

Foreseen achievable Technology Readiness Level: TRL4.

6. In the framework of “Freight ATO demonstration” (TD 5.6), the activities are expected to support the implementation of the planned (ARCC, WP4) ATO demonstration with GoA2 through:

  1. Development of a “converter solution” to connect available ATO modules to ETCS baseline 2

  2. Necessary adaptation of locomotive control for optimized mainline running

  3. Planning for tests

  4. Making available of an interoperable HMI

  5. Integration of different ATO modules

Foreseen achievable Technology Readiness Level: TRL6.

Most of the activities of this work area will need to set up a collaboration with ERA in order to evaluate the potential impacts of the work streams on the current ERTMS/ETCS specifications, included in the CCS TSI.

The action that is expected to be funded under this topic will be complementary to the actions that are expected to be funded under the following topics:

  •   S2R-CFM-IP1-02-2018: Validation of new technologies for the TCMS.

  •   S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2018: Technology demonstrators for competitive intelligent rail freight.

  •   S2R-OC-IP2-01-2018: Analysis for Moving Block and implementation of Virtual Coupling concept.

  •   S2R-OC-IP2-02-2018: Modern methodologies and verifications for GNSS in Railways and virtual test environment.

  •   S2R-OC-IP2-03-2018: Communication environment assessment and validation.

    The action stemming from this topic will also be complementary to actions carried out within the following topics:

  •   S2R-CFM-IP2-01-2015: Start-up activities for Advanced Signalling and Automation System.

  •   S2R-CFM-IP2-01-2017: Enhancing railway signalling systems thanks to applying satellite positioning; developing an on-board safe train integrity; applying formal methods approach

and standardised interfaces, and enhancing traffic management system (TMS) functions.

As specified in section 2.3.1 of AWP 2018, in order to facilitate the contribution to the achievement of S2R objectives, the options regarding 'complementary grants' of the S2R Model Grant Agreement and the provisions therein, including with regard to additional access rights to background and results for the purposes of the complementary grant(s), will be enabled in the corresponding S2R Grant Agreements.

The action shall actively contribute to the S2R KPIs development. This shall lead to publicly available deliverable, quantified indicatively on a semi-annual basis.

The planned activities of the action should take into account the revised MAAP part A. The S2R JU will only fund one proposal under this topic.


Expected Impact:
Regarding the work stream 1, the actions are expected to contribute to:

  •   LCC reduction (through sharing of the communication network and possibility using public network);

  •   additional service performance and support of capacity increase where the performances of the currently-deployed telecom system is creating a bottleneck;

  •   demonstrate the possibility to integrate a number of heterogeneous radio access technologies and communication networks into one solution, showing how the concept of radio bearer independency allows a smooth and low cost migration between successive generations of radio technologies, and can be completely transparent for the signalling application within the different railways segments.

Regarding the work stream 2, the actions are expected to contribute to:

  •   An increase in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for Moving Block signalling systems on main line railways;

  •   Enabling the demonstration of the potential benefits of Moving Block systems;

  •   Enhancement of the Operational and Engineering Rules and System Specifications for Moving

Block Systems, based on feedback from Technology Demonstrators. Regarding the work stream 3, the actions are expected to contribute to:

  •   Increasing of operational efficiency;

  •   Reducing the effort spent and time consumed for (system) testing as well as tests related to upgrades brought to the system;

  •   Optimizing the installation cycles decreasing the impact on service operation while upgrading the system.

Regarding the work stream 4, the actions are expected to contribute to:

  •   Increasing line capacity without the need to change and expand the infrastructure. VCTS can increase line capacity with more than 100%, possibly 300%.

  •   Introducing “Flexible signalling” which will allow dynamic approach of train control whereas on board systems will become even “smarter””. That must also be seen in a network in which each signalling element will exchange the rights and the information to perform functions with other signalling elements of the network;

  •   Open new horizons where signalling system would move to a Train Centric solution in which the traditional signalling logic (e.g. interlocking) could be shared and activated by on-board subsystems, when needed.

    Regarding the work stream 5, the actions are expected to contribute to:

  •   Common an standardised architecture, interface and protocol specifications for interoperable railway network;

  •   Common up-to-date Cyber Security approach for railway systems, including common security and impact assessments, threat landscape and security-by-design guidelines;

  •   Investigation and monitoring tools dedicated to the railway Cyber Security System;

  •   Setting up of Railway CSIRT;

  •   Model of collaborative environment dedicated to the Railway CSIRT;

  •   Prototype of Railway products/applications using the Cyber Security System, applying the security profiles and implementing the security-by-design guidelines dedicated to railway.

Regarding the work stream 9, the actions are expected to bridge the activities of ARCC and X2Rail-1 and to eliminate unforeseen obstacles on the way to the planned Freight ATO demonstrator with GoA2. Hence, the impact of the work stream will facilitate the impact of ARCC towards 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.

The research and innovation activities results shall be brought in the form of a demonstrator in the context of InnoTrans 2020, including on the S2R JU stand.

The overall final objective is to ensure convergence/consistency in the solutions adopted in the S2R programme.

Type of Action: Innovation Action

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