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Future traction power supply for railways and public transport - S2R-OC-IP3-01-2019
Deadline: Jun 18, 2019   Expiring..

 Urban Management
 Urban Development
 Clean Transport
 Urban transport
 Smart Mobility


The currently running projects under TD3.9 “Smart Power Supply Demonstrator” explore Rail Power Supply Systems by optimizing the existing solutions for traction power supply for maximum capacity and minimum losses with limited investments.

Demand for increasing railway network capacity, in combination with a change to electric traction also for other transport modes, makes it necessary to rethink railway power supply under future requests, reflecting the status of different systems. Finally this requires integrated electric power systems connecting the different transport modes.

For the power supply system this brings up new requirements:

  • -  Efficiency and environmental impact of electric transport systems become more important requiring integration of “green” energy sources

  • -  Energy grids become more and more decentralised with new possibilities and requirements for interaction

  • -  The limited capacity of existing power supply systems, especially for the DC Rail Power systems, requires for step changing improvements

  • -  Electrical traction will become standard also for no rail bound systems, requiring for combined traction power systems integrating permanent supply by contact lines and punctual supply for charging points.

  • -  More complex power grids require for proper operation faster reaction for control of the systems e.g. by digital twins.

    The extended targets for future solutions ask for a wider view to the rail power supply systems. Specific challenges are:

  • -  Improvement of capacity of Railway Power Supply System for future transport demand

  • -  Upgrade of DC power supply systems for increase of capacity

  • -  Use of renewable (“green”) energy sources in the Railway power supply

  • -  Interaction between Railway power grids and feeding networks under the view of decentralised power systems

  • -  Integration of other transport modes as energy and power consumer in Railway Power Grids

(E-Bus, E-Car, ...)

  • -  Fast and easy adjustability of Railway Power Grids for the volatile demand of power and energy

Consideration of all challenges requires a wider approach for the Railway Power Supply System. This call aim to challenge the traditional rail approach with innovative and breakthrough concepts from a non-linear approach to existing technological evolution.


In order to address the challenges described above the proposed research shall address all of the following tasks described below, in line with the Shift2Rail MAAP:

- Grid Interaction between Railway power supply system and Public grids
o Smart Railway Power Grid control and interaction with the connected feeding grids considering the different grid codes
o Defining the optimum split of Functionalities between Railway Power Grid and

Feeding Grid; Defining methods and measures to transfer functionality between the grids.
- Integration of renewable energy sources and storages in rail power supply systems

o Usability of decentral power generators (Photovoltaics, Wind-Energy) in Railway Power Supply

o Integration of charging systems (Rail + Public)
- Solutions for upgrading of DC power systems for higher capacity and multiple use

o Defining methods to upgrade DC power supply systems for higher capacity; e.g. higher system voltages, voltage control, boosting systems.

o Interaction with other DC systems like charging systems
- Digital twins for modelling and control of rail power supply systems

o Analysis of existing models
o Methods for automatic adaption of models for changing configurations.

For all these activities, the project should cover and report the following aspects:

  • -  state of the art and best practices analysis, including economic evaluation for EU conditions;

  • -  definition of performance targets with KPI-model;

  • -  implementation of proof of concept;

  • -  specifications for development and adjustment of elements and systems of the Railway Power

Supply System

  • -  definition of demonstrators for further development of the identified elements

The project is expected to reach TRL 3-4.


As specified in section 2.3.1 of AWP 2019, 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 stemming from this topic will also be complementary to actions carried out within the following projects:

 IN2STEMPO (GA 777515).


Research results are expected to contribute to future S2R exploratory research and in general to open new possibilities and ideas for the S2R stakeholders and rail research community for future developments in the Railway Power Supply System. Results shall specify the next work steps for the Future Railway Power supply system and allow for direct start of further innovation steps for implementation.

Type of Action: Research and Innovation Action (RIA)

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