Research Projects coordinated by UNIFE

  • ASTRail

    Duration: September 2017 - August 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 1.8 million EUR
    Partners: 6 (2 UNIFE Members)

    The main objective of the ASTRAIL project is to increase the railway sector’s efficiency and safety. ASTRAIL will contribute to enhance the signalling and automation of the railway system thanks to innovative solutions that exploit cutting edge technologies already present in other sectors, such as the avionics or the automotive sector. Examination of such technologies and assessment of their reusability in the railway field will be done taking into account all issues related to safety and performance in the rail system.

    ASTRail is split into 4 main technical work streams:

    1. 1GNSS technology into the ERTMS Signalling System
    2. Hazard Analysis of the railway system (with a focus on “moving block signalling”)
    3. Automatic driving technologies for Automatic Train Operations
    4. Formal language and method to be applied in the railway field.
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    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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  • Etalon

    Duration: September 2017 - February 2020 (30 months)
    Budget: 1.7 million EUR
    Partners: 9 (2 UNIFE Members)

    The main objective of the “ETALON” project is the adaptation of energy harvesting methodologies for trackside and on-board signalling and communication. ETALON will contribute to the enhancement of train integrity functionalities, providing a suitable energy supply for on-board train integrity detection and a robust radio communication system between vehicles. ETALON will also contribute to the reduction of cost, providing an energy harvesting solution for Smart Radio connected wayside objects and implementing an off-board radio communication system with object controllers.

    As a result, ETALON considers the specification and development of energy harvesting solutions to support on-board train integrity and Smart Radio connected wayside objects which are economically viable and suitable. It will take into consideration onboard and offboard radio communication solutions, safety critical aspects as well as reliability and availability in difficult rail environments.

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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: September 2017 - August 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 2.2 million EUR
    Partners: 14 (1 UNIFE member)

    The predicted growth of transport, especially in European railway infrastructures, is expected to introduce a dramatic increase in freight and passenger services by the end of 2050. To support sustainable development of these infrastructures, novel data-driven ICT solutions are required. These will enable monitoring, analysis and exploitation of energy and asset information for the entire railway system including power grid, stations, rolling stock and infrastructure. IN2DREAMS (INtelligent solutions 2ward the Development of Railway Energy and Asset Management Systems in Europe) will address these challenges through two distinct work streams: WS1, focusing on the management of energy-related data and WS2, focusing on the management of assetrelated data. IN2DREAMS will develop and demonstrate a modular cloud-based open data management platform (ODM) facilitating ubiquitous support of both energy and asset 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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  • RUN2Rail

    Duration: September 2017 - August 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 2.7 million EUR
    Partners: 15 (2 UNIFE members)

    RUN2RAIL (Innovative RUNning gear soluTiOnsfor new dependable, sustainable, intelligent and comfortable RAIL vehicles) is a Shift2Rail Open Call project within the Horizon2020 Programme. RUN2Rail will explore several technical developments for future running gear, looking into ways to design trains that are more reliable, lighter, less damaging to the track, more comfortable and less noisy. Moreover, the project will look into other sectors in order to gain expertise and to transfer innovative solutions for future running gears.

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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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