EC - Horizon 2020 logo

Tools, methodologies and technological development of next generation of Running Gear - S2R-OC-IP1-02-2019
Deadline: Jun 18, 2019   Expiring..

 Industrial Manufacturing
 Urban transport
 Industrial Engineering


Universal Cost Model 2.0

The penetration of innovative running gear solutions into the market has often been limited by the lack of evidence of economic benefits. What is missing is a cost modelling methodology which is valid and accepted widely throughout Europe and which can reflect and quantify the global impact of running gear performance on the rail system economics. This issue was tackled during the development of the Universal Cost Model (UCM) in the ROLL2RAIL (GA 636032) project in providing a methodology to quantify the value of a global life cycle cost by innovative vehicles and ultimately ensuring the market uptake of the newly developed running gear technologies.

The challenge is to improve the UCM, which targets the development of a user friendly and public UCM2.0 software tool for the use of European rail stakeholders.

Contribution of high-end solutions to develop Running Gear Innovations

This topic seeks to address the challenge linked to developing novel and ground-breaking tools, methodologies and technology for running gear applications. Historically, it has not been easy to introduce innovation in running gear because often preference was given to technology which has proved to be robust enough to survive the heavy loads, but not innovative enough. New technological solutions for running gear need to have sufficient durability to operate between overhauls or even through the entire vehicle design life of up to 40 years.

The challenge is to develop and combine suitable technologies to produce light, silent, track-friendly, reliable, low life-cycle-cost costs (LCC) running gear. This multi-technology approach will have to address several functions (comfort, curving, structural function, rolling components, health monitoring, etc.).

Wheel set of the future

The challenge is to inspire and convince the rail stakeholders to open a path for non-conservative approach in wheelsets, having a regard to the framework (loads, life time, etc.) described in the current standards and regularitions.


Proposals should complementing the running gear developments and activities within the Shift2Rail (S2R) programme, especially within the S2C-CFM-IP1-01-2019. These activities are described globally in the S2R Multi-Annual Action Plan (MAAP) – TD1.4 and the S2R-CFM-IP1-01-2019 topic description.

Proposals should address all work-streams described below, in line with the Shift2Rail Multi-Annual Action Plan (MAAP) – TD1.4:

Work-Stream 1: Universal Cost Model 2.0

The results of the activities carried out in the lighthouse project ROLL2RAIL (GA 636032), to which the below activities needs to start from, are described in the public deliverables D4.1 to D4.644.

The UCM2.0 has to build on the ROLL2RAIL outcomes and provide user friendly solutions for the all modules described below. Even though this activity fit under the IP1 running gear work (TD1.4), the action is linked with the action stemming from the topic S2R-CFM-CCA-01-2017 and the results shall



be open to be integrated in a wider system cost model approach in S2R. The action stemming from this action will therefore be complementary to IMPACT-2 (GA 777513)).
The following should be developed:

Infrastructure Module:

The focus of future development of the UCM within S2R should be on demonstrating the infrastructure cost savings by using innovative bogies in operation.

 Detailed analysis between physical variables and deterioration rate must be proposed for different infrastructure problematics (ballast settlement, switches and crossings deterioration etc.). The influence of different constructive parameters must be analysed.

o A more thorough methodology should be developed for damage to switches and crossings. A proposal for the development of this methodology is given in ROLL2RAIL D4.6 Appendix B.

o Vertical settlement model needs to be improved to include the effect of bad substructure conditions. It is recommended to use the experiences and available results of the EU Mainline project (Mainline, 2014)45.

 Cost related to infrastructure unavailability due to maintenance work caused by the vehicles must be considered in the UCM.

Energy Module:

  • CO2 emission must be calculated and considered when calculating the LCC.

  • The methodology to calculate energy consumption must be analysed in order to include

    phenomena not previously taken into account like the efficiency of traction system.

  • Energy Consumption of auxiliary bogie components like air springs or active elements within the bogie is not considered in the UCM up to now. Either an energy calculation method or a

    reliable estimation method should be implemented in the energy module of the UCM. Noise Module:

  •   Vibrational noise is important in several European countries (e.g. Germany). A standardised methodology to calculate this noise should be developed and its influence on the LCC must be considered.

  •   An analysis about how to include comfort issues should be done. Vehicle Maintenance:

  •   For the wheel maintenance procedure, a description about how to determine the wheel diameter reduction due to re-profiling should be included.

  •   For wheel maintenance, the re-profiling of the wheels is set by limit values from standards, for example the flange thickness. But these limit values are not the most efficient values regarding LCC. It should therefore be mentioned in the procedure that the optimal limit values for wheel re-profiling should be obtained by the user instead of taking them from the standards. The limit values in the standards should be considered, but in general the optimum limit values are below the limit values from standards which are safety values and the procedure should reflect it.

  •   Include in the procedure for wear calculations that for the ‘simple method’, where the wheel profile won’t be updated during the wear calculation process, the accumulated wear should be distributed on the flange area and tread area of the wheel. Otherwise, most of the wear



will be applied on the same position of the wheel, resulting in reaching the wheel wear limits

(flange thickness etc.) too fast.
 Include the ‘’one procedure for wear and RCF calculations” (ROLL2RAIL D4.6 Appendix A) in

the procedures. Overall Model:

  •   Analyze the necessity of a hard check. Create a hard check if required, setup a basic vehicle model together with basic track parameters and use the UCM to calculate the output for some predefined cases in order to validate the different damage models (wear model, RCF model etc.) with the basic model. If the results of the user are the same, then the user can ‘safely’ use the model for the real application.

  •   For the calculations with the UCM in S2R, only one physical model for each module and with the same input parameters (friction coefficient, infrastructure parameters, etc.) should be proposed and used for all calculations. Otherwise, the results can’t be compared. In case there are different users, it is recommended to use the proposed ‘’one procedure for wear and RCF calculations’’, since it is a simplified and detailed description which reduces the emergence of different interpretations between the users.

  •   An analysis of the variability of the parameters (due to manufacture process or with time) and its influence on the LCC must be considered.

  •   In practice, not all calculation parameters will be at hand for all of the users. For that case, reliable default values should be available.

- Open software algorithm is espected to be delivered to address open points of UCM using conventional state of the art computer language including the program documentation

required funding for at least quarterly meetings), including experts from S2C-CFM-IP1-01-2019 and other rail stakeholders (operators, manufacturer, infrastructure managers, regulatory body, etc.)

the proposals should comprise the organisation of a joint advisory group (including the

Work Stream 2: Contribution of high-end solutions to develop Running Gear Innovations

The work should include tools, methodologies and technological development in the following areas: Optimised & Composite materials:

 New light materials suitable to running gear components with activities expected to reach TRL 4-5.

o New light materials suitable to manufacture running gear components with this combination of properties shall be developed:

 High ratio strength/density, improving in this regard the current technology for bogies based on metallic materials (steel and aluminium alloys).

Good impact resistance to maintain structural integrity under the typical impact of ballast stones.

 Appropriate electrical conductivity to allow the typical functions in this regard or alternative solutions.

Adequate heat resistance generated by conventional brake systems, maintaining structural integrity and mechanical properties during the complete lifetime.

o Cost study: a life cycle cost and a life cycle assessment analysis should be performed in order to cover all the aspects from manufacturing to operation.


 New technology for mechanical joints between metal and composite suitable for running gear components with activities expected to reach TRL 4-5.

 Health monitoring systems are applicable to composite parts in running rear with activities expected to reach TRL 4-5.

Control technology:

 Active Suspension systems with enhanced reliability and LCC with activities expected to reach TRL4-5

Inside PIVOT project it has been detected that the current technologies for active and semi active actuators are not sufficiently cost-effective, providing low reliability and LCC to be implemented extensively. This applies more specifically for primary suspended and non-suspended systems.

o Development of the appropriate technology of active and semi active suspension systems focusing on the improvement of the reliability and LCC to the level of existing conventional passive systems.

o The developed technology shall be designed capable to withstand the requirements derived from suspension level assembly focusing on primary stage.

Work Stream 3: Wheel set of the future

A development of a wheel set with composite axle or even a combination of axle and wheel body with a steel wheel tire that improves existing Running Gear maintainability and LCC (TRL3). The proposed research has to cover the following activities:

  •   Specify the safety and material requirements of the wheel set, espcecially by taking into account vibrations issues.

  •   Analyse the state- of- the- art (composite manufacturing procedures).

  •   Define developing scope and design concept of axle or wheel set based on previous points

    and subsequently define functional specification.

  •   Define industrial, light and secure solution for the interface between composite axle and the

    wheel (wheel tire). Given that one of the most important Running Gear maintenance cost is related to the worn wheel replacement, propose also a cost optimised and secured maintenance procedure of the new solution.

  •   Cost Analysis: the performance of a life- cycle cost and a life- cycle assessment analysis is necessary in order to cover all the aspects from manufacturing to operation.

  •   Benchmark and define manufacturing procedure related to the functional specification.

  •   Propose new wheel concepts with optimized maintainability, reduced Running Gear LCC (e.g.

    a wheel with removable rim by means of a detachable joint) and low noise emission

  •   Functional specification of the wheel set of the future (with composite and LCC focus) covering

    the points above.

    The outcome of this workstream, especially the functional specification, will be fundamental for further development in future S2R activities, therefore the outcome should be publicly available so that design and manufacturing of a wheel set or at least parts can be performed at later stage.

    An indicative scheduling of the deliverables is suggested below46 :

  •   Deliverable under workstream 3 is expected by month 12

  •   Deliverable under workstream 1 and 2 are expected by month 24

    46 The scheduling of the deliverables is provided to facilitate the complementarity with the CFM actions and it is not binding. Additionally, each deliverable may have some flexibility in the scheduling



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-CFM-IP1-01-2019: Development of new technological concepts towards the next generation of rolling stock, applied to major subsystems such as Car body, Running Gear, Brakes, Doors, Modular interiors and HVAC.

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

 PIVOT (GA 777629).
 IMPACT-2 (GA 777513).


Universal Cost Model 2.0

The model is setting the foundations for a holistic economic assessment of the rail system from different perspectives and from different rail system stakeholders. Limitations of financial calculations need be assessed to achieve appropriate rating of future savings in maintenance of infrastructure. The UCM will be maintained, improved and used to validate the impact of innovative running gear solutions developed within the S2R Programme.

Contribution of high-end solutions to develop Running Gear Innovations

Activities are expected to contribute to the running gear work streams according to the MAAP:

 A robust assessment of the suitability of standard sensors for monitoring component conditions is possible. Using standard sensors will bring the perceived high current costs of such equipment for the railway environment down and closer to that of other industries.

 Developing an understanding of the opportunities and risks presented by new materials with a focus on increasing the lifetime and reducing the LLC. Detailing the conformance testing required during initial manufacture and the possibilities for maintenance and repair of unusual railway sector materials (which have not been routinely used) should help to unlock some of the entry barriers for innovative materials for running gear.

Furthermore, the activities are also expected to contribute to the following key Shift2Rail objectives:

 Vehicle weight reduction through the use of new concepts based on lighter materials is possible. This weight reduction will have several side effects such as:

o Reduction of the energy consumption of the vehicle o Increase in track friendliness
o Additional freedom for vehicle design

  •   Reduction of the LCC of the vehicle and the whole railway system, derived from the reduction of track damage due to the reduction of mass and the improvement of guidance ability of running gear, and improved health monitoring supported by new running gear sensor systems.

  •   Increase in operational reliability and composite material acceptance supported by better performing health monitoring and sensor systems.


Wheel set of the future

This topic should boost high innovative developments on rail wheel sets. The aim is to reduce (un)sprung mass by using composite wheel set components and reduced maintenance costs. Furthermore, the activities are also expected to contribute to the S2R TD1.4 Running Gear progress and to the key Shift2Rail objectives.

Type of Action: Research and Innovation Action (RIA)

Public link:   Only for registered users

Looking for a partnership?
Have a look at
Ma Région Sud!