Tuesday 21 May 2013
Rail Infrastructure

CAPACITY4RAIL project: negotiation in progress under UIC’s leadership

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Under the CAPACITY4RAIL project, UIC and the 46 other members of the consortium, representing 13 countries, are addressing the topic of “New Concept for Railway infrastructure and operation: adaptable, resilient and high capacity”.

To face the future challenge of increasing traffic and making the railway system more attractive and competitive, a step change will be needed to guarantee an adaptable system, offering a high operational capacity with high reliability and resilience to hazards.
This step change will only be achieved through a global and combined optimisation of infrastructure, operations and vehicle performance.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, said in reference to the project: “We are pleased to see UIC’s ability to coordinate complex projects such as these, which is increasingly recognised by the European Commission’s DG Research. UIC is pleased to deploy its technical expertise to meet this sensitive and impactful challenge.”

CAPACITY4RAIL aims at paving the way for the future railway system, delivering coherent, demonstrated, innovative and sustainable solutions for:

  • Track design: transversal approach for infrastructure solutions for conventional mixed traffic and very high speed, integrated monitoring and power supply, reduced maintenance, new concept for highly reliable switches and crossings.
  • Freight: longer trains, lower tare loads, automatic coupling, enhanced braking, modern, automated, intelligent, fully integrated system for efficient, reliable and profitable freight operations
  • Operation and capacity: traffic capacity computation for freight and passenger, models and simulators for planners: capacity generation, traffic flow, resilience to perturbations, ability to recover from disturbance, computerised real time information to customers and operators at any time
  • Advanced monitoring: Integration of Advanced Monitoring Technologies in the design and building process, for a easier-to-monitor (self monitoring) infrastructure with low cost and low impact inspection

The full sustainability of the developed solutions and innovations will be assessed and scenarios for a smooth migration of the system from its current to its future state will be evaluated.

What kind of impact on the railway system?

Paving the way for the specification of future railway technologies and systems, and bringing together the major stakeholders of industry, infrastructure managers, railway undertakers, engineering and academic sciences, CAPACIT4RAIL is also an invaluable preparation for the future European Joint Technology Initiative.
With a comprehensive system vision, it will contribute to the development of guidance documents identifying further actions to be undertaken and the future technologies and systems to be developed.
It will demonstrate that step change in railway infrastructure and operations may be achieved within the constraints of the need to maintain railway services while the work is being performed.

UIC’s role in the project

Thanks to its competences regarding the entire railway system and its capacity to ensure the coherence and the system view of the project and at the request and with the support of the participating infrastructure managers, UIC has been invited to lead the project consortium. It will act as administrative and technical coordinator, responsible for the technical quality of the deliverables and for the implementability of the innovative solutions.

The project is now ending the negotiation phase with the European Commission and the consortium agreement is under discussion within the consortium.

The official start is scheduled for 1 October 2013.

For further information please contact Laurent Schmitt: lschmitt@uic.org

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