Wednesday 13 July 2022

Eco-stabling: online workshop for best practices held on 30 June

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UIC and the UIC Energy and CO2 Emissions Sector members presented a new online workshop about best practices for stabling. The aim was to explore the best ways, strategies, and actions to save the maximum possible amount of energy when a train is stabled.

A survey was conducted prior to the workshop in order to shed light on the current situation and what the challenges in this field are.
Philippe Stefanos, of UIC, and Christophe Gueudar Delahaye, from SNCF Voyageurs, presented an overview of the answers to the survey and highlighted:

  • The extent to which stabling can impact energy consumption
  • The statistics on the different strategies used by participants
  • The challenges to overcome when reducing a stabled train’s energy consumption
  • The challenges when measuring with and without energy metering systems (EMS)

The workshop also introduced the objectives and technical strategies to have in mind when approaching companies who produce the technical systems to enable eco-stabling, such as led lighting.

The recommended steps for saving energy (for example stopping engines) were also discussed with stakeholders, and the personnel these measures would be of interest to, primarily train drivers and maintenance personnel, which was demonstrated by the survey.

The workshop concluded with:

  • The main successes and best practices
    A bottom-up approach, attention to management, good monitoring data, coordinated and motivated staff, awareness raising through staff training, the rules and regulations and so on.
  • The main obstacles
    These being time management, driver’s motivation/punctuality
  • The 2009 survey recommendations

Bart Van Den Spiegel, from Infrabel, gave a presentation about how energy consumption while a train is stabled is invoiced. He explained that only 30% of power for electric traction is invoiced based on meters and the other 70% of this consumption in Belgium is still estimated. He emphasised that we overestimate the consumption for passengers and high speeds during the train’s journey but underestimate night-time consumption.

He said that thanks to trains with meters, we know exactly where electricity is consumed and by which traction unit. For trains without meters (EMUs, BEMUs...), it would be possible to estimate the consumption when these trains are stabled with a coefficient by traction unit type and the stabling duration he added, if we know how the train is made-up.

For carriages with plug sockets, it would be possible to estimate consumption when these carriages are stabled but this requires information on whether the locomotive or plugs will be in use during stabling. Van Den Spiegel, furthermore, explained what the problems with these new methods are, and also that without information on the train’s make-up, the infrastructure manager cannot make accurate estimates.

Christophe Gueudar Delahaye and Julia Aveline, from SNCF Voyageurs, presented the topic of how they use eco-stabling at SNCF Voyageurs. They stated that 20% of total energy consumption comes from stabled trains and how their goal is to reduce total consumption by 6% by 2025.

They have also developed energy data management tools using parked time and EMS data.

They used the regional train PLANETER project as an example with solutions for lowering CO₂ emissions and other concrete activities.

Ms Aveline talked about local action in the French region of “Bourgogne/ Franche Comté” where they implemented eco-stabling (the action of shutting down trains whose engine remains on unnecessarily when stationary). She spoke about the LiveMAT software enabling them to monitor consumption and emissions and that they created an eco-stabling “newsletter” and “gazette.”

She highlighted the incredible performance of this measure in the city of Belfort, where total emissions decreased without reducing stabling times, and also mentioned that the TER teams reduced their carbon dioxide emissions threefold thanks to eco-stabling.

Then, Sabine Mooij, Luuk Platvoet, Roshan Khodabaks, and Inge Kalsbeek from NS spoke about eco-stabling at their company where they use data analysis, smart thermostats, and a business case. They explained that they still see more potential for energy saving measures.

Additionally, they were looking at how to increase the percentage of trains being eco-stabled.

In the last two years, they have worked on three measures to improve their energy saving potential:

  • Finding dedicated personnel in the organisation
  • Improving monitoring tools
  • Gathering analysis for developing an automated solution

The group from NS also indicated that they are making progress on the improvement of monitoring tools and are continuing to work on a business case for an automated solution. They expect a breakthrough next year in the organisational commitment of employees.

The presentations and the recording of the workshop will soon be available at

For more information contact Philippe Stefanos, Energy, Environment and Sustainability Advisor:

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