Research Projects coordinated by UNIFE


    Duration: November 2016 - June 2018 (20 months)
    Budget: 1 million EUR
    Partners: 10

    DYNAFREIGHT (Innovative technical solutions for improved train DYNAmics and operation of longer FREIGHt Trains) is a 20-month project which includes 10 partners from six EU Member-states: UNIFE, Lucchini RS, KTH, Politecnico di Milano, Technische Universität Berlin, Huddersfield University, ADIF, Laird Controls Europe and FIT Consulting.

    The final vision of DYNAFREIGHT is fully in line with the objectives of the EU White Paper on Transport. DYNAFREIGHT will contribute to this vision and overall concept of the EU rail freight transport by focusing on the next generation freight bogie locomotives and on preparing the path for regular operations of long freight trains (up to 1,500m), providing the first steps for the development of S2R Technology Demonstrator 5.5 “New Freight Propulsion Concepts” within S2R Innovation Programme 5.

    DYNAFREIGHT will contribute to the next railway freight propulsion concepts by addressing two main areas: freight running gear for locomotives and operation of long freight trains, with the following high-level objectives:
    •    Improved performances: traction, speed, running dynamics and wheel/rail efforts;
    •    Reduced rail freight noise at the source;
    •    Enhance capacity/traffic throughput with the operation of longer trains (up to 1,500m);
    •    Reduced operation and maintenance costs (reduce wheel and rail wear, smarter maintenance, etc.).

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  • GoF4R

    Duration: November 2016 - November 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 2 million EUR
    Partners: 16

    GoF4R (Governance of the IF for Rail and Intermodal Mobility) is a 2-year project which includes the following 16 partners from 8 different EU Member States: UNIFE, CEFRIEL, CNC, D’Appolonia, EPF, Masaryk University, OLTIS Group, Politecnico di Milano, RSSB, Teleste, Trenitalia, UIC, University of Zilina, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and University of Sheffield.

    The objectives of GoF4R are to analyse the economic determinants of the market for customer-centric mobility services as they are shaped by the introduction of the Interoperability Framework technology like:
      • Network effects, externalities, the effect of the introduction of matchmaking platforms and social networks in the market place;
      • Economic Incentives / disincentives for adoption on market Agents;
      • Constrains on the supply of critical inputs, including human resources.

    Additionally, the project aims at designing specific governance structures and processes that maximize the effect of market forces on adoption of the technology while providing mitigating measures for residual market failures. Lastly, it will generate recommendations on possible needed adaptations of the legal framework regulating the provisioning of compatible networked customer centric mobility services.

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    Duration: May 2015 - October 2017 (30 months)
    Budget: 12 million EUR
    Partners: 27

    The IT2RAIL -“Information Technologies for SHIFT2RAIL” project is a first step towards the long term IP4 -“IT Solutions for Attractive Railway Services”, one of the SHIFT2RAIL Joint Undertaking’s Innovation Programmes. IT2Rail is fully funded by the European Commission under Horizon2020. Through the introduction of radical new technologies and solutions, the European citizen’s global travel interactions will be transformed into a fully integrated and customised experience, rendering the entire European transportation system a natural extension of citizens work and leisure environments, across all modes, local and long-distance, public and private.

    IT2Rail aims at creating:
      • A seamless travel experience: a complete multimodal travel offer, connecting the first and last mile to long distance journeys combining air, rail, coach and other services.
      • A seamless access to all travel services: the travel experience will be totally enhanced through the integration of a wealth of travel services supported by innovative digital technologies.

    A use case will be defined as a specific instantiation for the open concepts, and will benefit from a completely scalable architecture fully instantiated in IP4. This approach is addressing all the key challenges of the work program, supporting a complete door-to- door intermodal travel offer and proposing a seamless integration of the very diverse existing and future services for planning, one-stop-shop ticketing, and real-time re-accommodation. Moreover, thanks to an Interoperability framework which insulates travel applications from the standards fragmentation in multimodal transport, IT2RAIL liberates business-model innovations in the market-place, guaranteeing the economic self-sustainability of these e-services in the long-term.

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  • Roll2Rail

    Duration: May 2015 - October 2017 (30 months)
    Budget: 16 million EUR
    Partners: 31

    ROLL2RAIL is a research project which aims to develop key technologies and to remove already identified blocking points for radical innovation in the field of railway vehicles as part of a longer term strategy to revolutionise the rolling stock for the future.


    In particular, Roll2Rail focuses on technological innovations in different subsystems of the vehicles which, each and all together contribute to achieve the desired impact at vehicle level and whole railway system level improving capacity, reliability, efficiency, comfort and LCC. The project expects innovations in 8 different areas such as traction and power electronics, train communications, car bodyshell, running gear technologies, brakes, train interiors, noise and vibration and energy performance.


    At the end of the project all the results will be further developed, leading to demonstration in real vehicles or relevant environments feeding into IP1 of Shift2Rail. Moreover, this project will deliver a set of technical recommendations and proposals of standarisation.

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  • ST4RT

    Duration: November 2016 - November 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 1 million EUR
    Partners: 8

    ST4RT (Semantic Transformations for Rail Transportation) is a 2-year project which includes the following 8 partners from 5 different EU Member States: UNIFE, CEFRIEL, CNC, D’Appolonia, Hit Rail, OLTIS Group, Politecnico di Milano, Trenitalia and UIC.

    The objectives of ST4RT are to develop cost-reducing translator technologies drawing from the ontology repository and the service registry hosted by the Interoperability Framework. It will achieve this by:
      • Analysing the availability and maturity of semantic transformation tools and technologies;
      • Designing methodologies for annotation/mapping between legacy data models and ontologies;
      • Developing extensions to the IT2Rail reference ontology;
      • Developing automatic mapping between the IT2Rail reference ontology and legacy data models, i.e. TAP-TSI;
      • Developing KPIs and Metrics for the transformation evaluation.

    Due to their close links with Shift2Rail IP4, these two projects had a combined kick-off meeting which took place on the 29th of November in Brussels. It was the first occasion for all the partners involved in both projects, to meet and discuss about their respective workplans and collaboration between them.

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    Duration: February 2016 - January 2018 (24 months)
    Budget: 4,5 million EUR
    Partners: 17

    The STARS (Satellite Technology for Advanced Railway Signalling) project aims to fill the gap between ERTMS needs for safety critical applications and E-GNSS services, through a characterisation of the railway environment and of GNSS performance assessment in that environment.
    Key objectives of the project are:
    • To develop a universal approach to predict the achievable GNSS performance, especially for safety critical applications within ERTMS and to determine the necessary evolution of ETCS to include GNSS services;
    • To quantify the economic benefits through reduction of cost, which will increase market appeal of ERTMS;
    As a result of the project it shall be possible to predict performance of GNSS in the railway environment in regards to accuracy, availability and safety. This shall be possible for specific locations or sections along railway lines, and based on using a compliant receiver. The resulting application will facilitate interoperability between equipment of different suppliers, which is one of the key elements that has led to significant applications of ERTMS in Europe and beyond.

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Projects with Unife Involvement

  • In2Rail

    Duration: May 2015 - March 2018 (36 months)
    Budget: 18 million EUR
    Partners: 54

    In2Rail is a research project which aims to set the foundations for a resilient, consistent, cost-efficient, high capacity European network. In2Rail will feed into the Shift2Rail Innovation Programmes 2 (Advanced Traffic Management & Control Systems) and 3 (Cost Efficient and Reliable High Capacity Infrastructure).

    In2Rail focuses on three main workstreams:
    Smart Infrastructure:
       -  Intelligent reliable infrastructure: integrated asset monitoring, self-diagnostic and adjusting assets, efficient design and new materials, exploring mechatronic solutions, with an increased focus on data from low-cost, low-maintenance sensors.
       -  Better system resilience and a reduced need for maintenance through innovative infrastructure design, novel working methods and smarter use of data leading to reduced LCC and greatly improved availability.
       -  Overall reduction in carbon emissions, noise and vibration, and improved levels of sustainability.
    Intelligent Mobility Management:
       -  A standardised approach to information management and dispatching system enabling an integrated Traffic Management System (TMS).
       -  An Information and Communication Technology (ICT) environment supporting all transport operational systems with standardised interfaces and with a plug and play framework for TMS applications.
       -  An advanced asset information system with the ability to ‘nowcast’ and forecast network asset statuses with the associated uncertainties from heterogeneous data sources.
    Rail Power Supply and Energy Management:
       -  Design a future AC Rail Power Supply System with minimised energy losses and optimised loads.
       -  Implement an efficient energy management system allowing understanding of energy flows within a railway system, a reduction of the energy consumption and cost, optimised asset management and enabling better use of the railway capacity.

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    Duration: November 2016 - April 2019 (30 months)
    Budget: 1,5 million EUR
    Partners: 11

    INNOWAG (INNOvative monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions on lightweight WAGon) is a 30-month project co-financed by the European Commission’s S2R initiative aimed at increasing rail freight competitiveness and the development of the next generation of lightweight and intelligent freight wagons by addressing specific challenges in the three essential areas, identified by the call, through three subsequent work streams, namely:
      • Work Stream 1 (WS1): Cargo condition monitoring;
      • Work Stream 2 (WS2): Wagon design; and
      • Work Stream 3 (WS3): Predictive maintenance.

    Moreover, INNOWAG will consider the compatibility between the solutions proposed and researched in the three areas, as well as their integration into a novel concept of wagon. The aim of the proposed project is to develop intelligent cargo monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions integrated into this novel concept of lightweight wagon, which would respond to major challenges in rail freight competitiveness.
    UNIFE is leading the work on exploitation as well as contributing to the dissemination and communication strategy of the project. UNIFE members in INNOWAG are Lucchini RS and Uzina de Vagoane Aiud.

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