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Smart, data-based assets and efficient rail freight operation - S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2019
Deadline: Jun 18, 2019   Expiring..

 Urban transport
 Industrial Engineering


In the framework of the general challenges highlighted in the IP5 part of the S2R Master Plan, the following specific challenges should be addressed by the proposal in answer to this topic:

  1. Condition based maintenance (CBM): Rail operators are facing an increasing complexity of influencing factors on their competitiveness. The required flexibility and agility for adaption can only be granted, if digital technologies are used globally – which is today often not the case. Condition Based and Predictive Maintenance need to transform from a support function of rail freight and asset operation to a source of innovation.

    In the future, CBM plays a key role in identifying additional revenue and profitability potentials using current freight locomotives and wagons. Nowadays each European country is using its own maintenance rulebook with individual thresholds which indicates required maintenance activities. This will affect the roll-out of the defined condition monitoring thresholds tremendously. CBM use cases need to be defined for rail freight, resulting in user-centric specification and design of CBM dashboards with the objective of being used all over Europe with their individual specifications. In this manner, CBM use cases would be aligned with the European rail traffics. The challenge is to create an advanced monitoring solution of locomotive and wagon components to monitor the conditions in different rolling stock types across Europe in a centralised way. Central collection of performance metrics for development of digital maintenance rules is essential.

  2. Real-time Network Management: It is a complex task to manage yards and to interact traffic operations at lines and network with the yard. Today operational traffic in yards is handled manual with much oral communication and the interaction between yards and the network planning and dispatching at infrastructure manager level is poor. This leads to long lead times and manual sequential processes when there are disturbances. The connection between timetable and operational traffic is low. The freight trains are not following their planned train path between yards. This problem has a huge impact on overall system punctuality. The challenges can be described as follows: i) the challenge to improve manual process at yards with better decision support for the personal; ii) The challenge to improve the interaction between the yard manager and the infrastructure manager; iii) the challenge of automation in traffic operation and dispatching processes. These challenges will generate changes in the work for different actors.

  3. Intelligent Video Gate Terminals (IVG): Lack of information and thereby lack of optimal terminal processes with problems in reliability and poor lead times represent a problem in terminals. Therefore, definition of relevant use cases enabling better data capture and information flow for rail freight terminals is important. User-centric specification and design of Intelligent Video Gate Terminals are also affected and are currently suboptimal. It is therefore essential to select a relevant pilot site and performance of a demonstrator for IVG- Terminal Operation tackling the involved challenges.

Freight wagon availability and flexibility is a key factor for success in today’s rail freight transport market. The market is highly under pressure from road freight transport alternatives which are often more competitive and flexible. This hinders a shift traffic flows from road to rail.

Efficiency improvements during the inbound and outbound trains operations at terminal gates and improved data exchange of relevant information between terminals will speed up the process gaining in efficiency (e.g. saving time in terminal operation, increasing punctuality in delivering, etc.) and reducing costs.

A collateral benefit that is expected with IVG technology is related the support to wagon inspection useful in maintenance and automatic damaging detection.


  1. Core Market Wagon: Definition of validation scenarios for the novel designs following the 5L- Wagon designs are required in order to accelerate the market-uptake. Enhancing the function of the Core-Market Wagon Design putting it in the context of connected asset by established and affordable add-ons such as Wagon on-Board unit (WoBu) with energy harvesters shall address the challenge of fast and practical deployment of packages. Providing mechanical solutions and interfaces for future solutions such as automatic couplers shall enable modular and scalable system.

  2. Extended Market Wagon: Final specification of the wagon structure and the wagon equipment, the integration of mechanical and electrical components in the wagon design will create the basis for the prototype manufacturing in future projects. This work will include the preparation of the authorisation process for the extend market wagon in TSI Wagon. The main challenges in this area are related to the structural integrity of the wagon and the safety of its technical equipment, especially for the supervision of the wagon. The energy efficiency of rail freight transport in terms of aerodynamic drag can be significantly increased by technical and operational measures. The requirements for a successful optimization of the numerical tools differ greatly from the methods used for passenger trains. The numerical methods must be adapted to these complex flow conditions and validated accordingly in order to be able to carry out loadable resistance predictions.

  3. Telematics & Electrification: Nowadays, digitalisation is changing processes in many sectors, improving competitiveness and offering new innovative services. Rail freight transport is not an exception and it needs to take advantage of digitalisation, i.e. by introducing IoT by means of telematics, sensors and electrification leading to the intelligent wagon. This should fill the gap with respect to other means of freight transport and increase the reliability, trustability and efficiency of the rail freight transport. However, there is a need to clearly develop the required systems and services according to the demand of each operator i.e. cargo monitoring for logistics, wagon monitoring for maintenance, exact weighing, etc. These services make use of other services such as positioning and communication with standardize interfaces. The intelligent wagon will be, among others, one of the enablers of CBM, which will make use of the information provide; or the automatic coupler which could be controlled by the intelligent wagon. The challenge is to develop the required systems and services for the intelligent wagon as enabler for further services.

  4. Freight Loco of the future: The challenge is to further improve the high-power propulsion system of mainline freight locomotive (including the auxiliary network) to lower significantly the LCC and TCO of the traction chain.


Having regard to the Union policies and targets on decarbonisation, taking into consideration that automation and digitalization are key enablers of a drastic railway system transformation, in order to address the challenges described above, the proposals should address all the following work streams, in line with the S2R MAAP.

The work expected in work stream 1 concerning “condition based maintenance” (TD 5.1) should:

  •   Support the orchestration of the current CBM use cases which is developed within FR8RAIL and FR8RAIL II Projects with the target of European harmonisation;

  •   Make current European maintenance programmes transparent by looking at how different European countries manage their assets, and test the CBM use cases from FR8RAIL project on additional fleets in Poland, UK and France;

  •   Install trackside systems for measuring wheelset and brake block condition, link this data to route and freight information and identify algorithms which allows to optimise the maintenance and implement an efficient route planning;

  •   Assess all required information from a Digital Perspective e.g. prevailing IT Landscapes architectures and data handling in these countries to enable condition-based maintenance;

  •   Categorise observations into strengths areas for improvement and untapped opportunities, including the assessment of new business benefits linked to the maintenance program change.

    This work stream should consider the work carried out in previous/ongoing research projects/initiatives in the field of CBM, e.g. FR8RAIL, INNOWAG and FR8RAIL II.

    The activity is expected to finish with prototype demonstration in a TRL 6.
    The work expected in work stream 2 concerning “real-time network management” (TD 5.2) should:

  •   Building on previous projects, this project will define use cases for real-time Network management with special focus on international traffic aiming at improving automated sequential planning and efficient human interaction among infrastructure managers, yard/terminal managers, railway undertakings. Special focus will be given to the interaction with maintenance contractors in order to maximise the use of the network capacity and to improve also the maintenance activities based upon the traffic needs;

  •   Develop an integrated information system with improved interaction with defined roles between infrastructure managers, yard/terminal managers, railway undertakings and maintenance contractors. Special focus will be given to international operations and how to better handle classified disturbances based on the replacement of uncertain data with correct real-time information. Wherever relevant, this activity should be aligned with the planned tender on “Technical solution for intermodal information exchange for freight”;

  •   Demonstrate real-time Network management applications based on the information system according to the defined use cases.

This work stream should consider the work carried out in previous/ongoing research projects/initiatives in the matter of freight train/traffic/time management, e.g. RNE, ARCC, FR8HUB, OPTIYARD and FR8RAIL II.

The activity is expected to finish with a demonstrator in a TRL 6.
The work expected in work stream 3 concerning “intelligent video gate terminals” (TD 5.2) should:

  •   Study best usage of the data capture (optical and Rfid) and development of information services for example via platform (dashboards) using Internet of logistics (IoL);

  •   Build trackside camera gate/s as a demonstrator in operational environment for identification of passing locomotives and wagons, including identification of asset conditions relevant to operational and maintenance activities such as CBM, wagon/load units’ rental, passing borders, etc;

  •   Investigate the potential use of the IVG for further activities such as automated start- up/departure process for the freight train and enable digital wagon inspections, early maintenance commissioning, brake test, etc.;

  •   Investigate the change of terminal processes with the use of IVG in the context of interfacing with road side processes for a seamless transport;

    This work stream should consider the work carried out in previous/ongoing research projects/initiatives e.g. FR8HUB implementation plan for IVG.

    The activity is expected to finish with a demonstration in a TRL 7.


The work expected in work stream 4 concerning “core and extended market wagon” (TD 5.3) should: Core Market Wagon

  •   Finalise the specification of the wagon for prototype manufacturing;

  •   Define and validate rail freight specific use cases according the 5L approach and define a verification and validation plan for new sub-systems already developed in previous IP5 projects;

  •   Use and integrate new subsystems developed in previous/ongoing IP5 projects into a functional mock-up, as a demonstrator of the core market wagon, also enabling CBM and

Continuous System Monitoring;

  •   Assess of Vehicle & Track Friendliness of the developed components by means of verified (measurements) simulation;

  •   Perform final lab tests to validate the 5L attributes of the core market wagon and its components. Extended Market Wagon

  •   Finalise the specification of the wagon for prototype manufacturing;

  •   Deliver a Concept for certification and authorisation of new wagon design according to TSI with a new appropriate approach for fast time to market;

  •   Use and integrate electrical and mechanical components developed in previous/ongoing IP5

    projects in the new wagon design as a demonstrator of the extended market wagon;

  •   Develop numerical tools for the aerodynamic design of the freight car concept for block train and single wagon transport, based on state of the art numerical methods in the field of aerodynamic;

  •   Perform final lab tests to assess the wagon design using numerical simulations and scaled models;

  •   Development a new generation of disks for freight concept.

This work stream should consider the work carried out in previous/ongoing research projects/initiatives in the field of core and extended market wagon, e.g. FR8RAIL, INNOWAG and FR8RAIL II.

The activity is expected to finish with a demonstration in TRL 6/7.
The work expected in work stream 5 concerning “Telematics & Electrification” (TD 5.3) should:

  •   Definition of functionalities of the demonstrators related to wagon intelligence (e.g. harmonized digital brake test, weighting, localisation, etc.);

  •   Definition of the validation tests protocols and field test areas with special attention to cross- border operation to ensure the rollout across European countries;

  •   Testing of the subsystems and services, i.e. telematics as well as sensor connection concepts. If needed, improvement and development of subsystems (i.e. Wheel Slide Protection (WSP) system for EMS, wagon intelligence algorithms for localization as well as cargo and wagon monitoring, etc.);

  •   Assessment of the interoperability of wOBUs from technical, operational and cross-border perspectives;

  •   Definition of the integration of wOBU on the wagon, in preparation of the prototype manufacturing in a 2020 project linked to work stream 4.

This work stream should consider the work carried out in previous/ongoing research projects/initiatives in the field of telematics and electrification, e.g. FR8RAIL, INNOWAG and FR8RAIL II.

The activity is expected to finish with a demonstrator definition in a TRL 6.
The work expected in work stream 6 concerning “Freight Loco of the future” (TD 5.4) should:

  •   Study of new design approaches to further improve the high-power traction chain, including the auxiliary network of an electric mainline freight locomotive with respect to power density, modularity, RAMS-LCC and TCO.

  •   Evaluation of the use of SiC components for high power and high voltage locomotive converters. This activity shall rely on the results achieved in the IP1 PINTA project, if applicable.

  •   Development of a small-scale prototype (e.g. a traction converter module) of a high- power traction chain in preparation of the prototype manufacturing in a 2020 project.

  •   Development and lab validation with prototypes of new efficient power converter, Energy Storage System and Energy management System for hybrid locomotive.

This work stream should consider the work carried out in previous/ongoing research projects/initiatives in the field of new freight propulsion concepts, e.g. FFL4E, PINTA2, FR8HUB and FR8RAIL II.

The activity is expected to finish with a demonstrator in a TRL 5/6.

Work Streams results should be placed in the context of the demo plans, which are developed in conjunction with MAAP part B. In addition, the demo plans should be accompanied with integration and migration plans to implement produced solutions in the rail environment to support and speed up deployment.

Considering the “18C044-0C WHITE PAPER REFERENCE CCS ARCHITECTURE (RCA) BASED ON ERTMS” developed by the ERTMS Users Group and the EULYNX consortium and provided to S2R in July 2018, and following the ongoing collaboration initiated with the promoters of such initiative for the integration of the RCA in the S2R Programme, a final high level decomposition of RCA is expected be delivered to S2R by April 2019. The S2R Members should firstly verify the impact that the RCA would have or potentially have on the content of each work streams activities and subsequently each CFM proposal should be aligned, as far as possible, against the latest progress on the Reference CCS Architecture, in particular the system approach and interoperability of solutions must be ensured across S2R IP/CCA activities and for future developments.


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 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-OC-IP5-01-2019: Condition-based maintenance for locomotive bogie and running gear.

 S2R-CFM-IPX and /CCA-01-2019: S2R System Architecture and Conceptual Data Model. 71

 S2R-CFM-IP2-01-2019: Completion of activities for enhanced automation systems (including Freight ATO GoA4), train integrity, object controller.

The action stemming from this topic will also be complementary to actions carried out within the following project of IP1:

  •   FR8RAIL (GA 730617)

  •   INNOWAG (GA 730863)

  •   CFM-IP5-01-2018: Technology demonstrators for competitive, intelligent rail freight


  •   FR8HUB (GA 777402)

  •   CFM-IP1-01-2018: Development of technology demonstrators for the next generation

of traction systems and adhesion management systems.

The action shall actively contribute to the S2R standardisation rolling development plans wherever relevant.

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.


The foreseen research activities are expected to contribute to the creation of a framework for an effective railway for freight as a part of the logistical value chain in a more automated way via intelligent equipment and railway terminals enabling the provision of accurate information to end customers and operators.

The foreseen research activities in work stream 1 “condition based maintenance” are expected to lead to:

  •   Improved services and user quality

  •   Reduced train composition times (up to 30%), and lower operation costs.

  •   Reduced system costs

  •   Enhanced interoperability

  •   Simplified business processes

  •   Reduced maintenance costs

  •   Increased locomotive and wagon availabilities

    The foreseen research activities in work stream 2 “Real-time Network Management” are expected to:

  •   Provide processes and tools that reduce the need for freight trains to run outside their planned timetable channel. This decreases the need for operational rescheduling.

  •   Better handle disturbances by improved interaction and communication between infrastructure manager, railway undertakings and other actors.

  •   Enhance flexibility and competitiveness of train paths for freight trains and better punctuality for passenger and freight trains.

  •   Increase punctuality for freight trains arrivals and freight trains departure to and from yards of approximately 20 %. It will also have a big impact on overall system punctuality for passenger and freight trains.

The foreseen research activities in work stream 3 “Intelligent Video Gate Terminals” are expected to:

  •   Increase the effectiveness in the production/operational process in the terminal with 20%

  •   Enhance the communication between different stakeholders in the terminal

  •   Enhance the communication between the terminals and the network

  •   Increased customer service with regards to more accurate and reliable information

  •   Reduce the time of commissioning maintenance at workshops

  •   Reduce the time of performing maintenance at workshops (ordering materials in time, placing locomotive or wagon on right track, preparing works in time etc.)

  •   Increase success for claims of misconduct and damages by third parties

  •   Benefit from expertise and deep knowledge of high aged employees by facilitating new, flexible and digital working models

The foreseen research activities in work stream 4 “Core and Extended Market Wagon” are expected to contribute to the overall MAAP Impacts through an:

  •   Increase in payload while maximising reliability

  •   Increase in aero-dynamical and acoustical performance

  •   Increase in flexibility of train compositions to maximise logistics capability

  •   Maximisation of track friendliness

  •   Optimisation of maintenance intervals

  •   Decrease in maintenance costs by providing intelligent assets

The foreseen research activities in work stream 5 “Telematics & Electrification” are expected to:

  •   Complete the final activities before the demonstration validation tests in 2020 project.

  •   Stress the need for interoperable wOBUs from a technical, operational and cross border perspective that will drive the market uptake.

  •   Contribute to dialogue between ERA/NSA on conditions for test authorisations.

The foreseen research activities in work stream 6 “Freight Loco of the future” are expected to generally reduce LCC through:

  •   Increased energy efficiency (in the range of 2-5%)

  •   Increased maintenance intervals (in the range of 10-20%)

  •   Reduced maintenance costs (in the range of 10-20%)

  •   Reduced complexity (in the range of 2-5%)

  •   Improved availability (in the range of 2-5%)

Type of Action: Innovation Action (IA)

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