Thursday 13 November 2014
Safety / Freight

Final concluding seminar of the European “D-RAIL” project aiming to reduce freight train derailments in a cost efficient way has taken place

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The seminar was successfully organised at Berns in Stockholm by UIC, Trafikverket and University of Newcastle

The European “D-RAIL” project (Reducing the occurrences and impact of rail freight derailments) is coming to an end and held its final conference on 12 November in Stockholm. The conference was organised by UIC, the International Union of Railways, in cooperation with Trafikverket and Newcastle University. It provided a good opportunity to be informed in detail about the findings of the D-RAIL project and its objectives and the results.

“D-RAIL” is a research project co-funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme. This three-year programme started in October 2011 under the coordination of UIC and University of Newcastle and includes 20 partners from 11 countries. Partners include infrastructure managers, operators, industry and academia.

“D-RAIL” deals with the development of the Future Rail Freight system and aims to reduce the risks and consequences in a cost efficient way. The derailments of freight trains are influenced by a wider range of parameters than passenger trains (for examples the huge range in loads, speeds and maintenance quality, etc.). Key topics addressed during the “D-RAIL” project and final conference were:

  • the economic impact of freight train derailments
  • the analysis, modelling and simulation techniques for derailment investigation
  • concepts and techniques to prevent derailment
  • integration of monitoring and supervision systems at European level
  • technical and economical assessment of key findings

Mrs Anna Lundman, Director of Maintenance, Trafikverket (Sweden), introduced the seminar and said that derailments are not only a safety issue but also influence performance and reliability of the entire railway system.

Then Mr Hans Günther Kersten, Director of UIC Rail System Department, emphasised the role of UIC in the promotion of the development of rail transport in order to meet challenges of mobility and sustainable development.

Mr Emmanuel Rufin, representing the European Railway Agency (ERA), gave a general view on derailment and ongoing activities to reduce derailments. The European Railway Agency has made proposals and is also active in this project. The cooperation between UIC, ERA and the other participating partners in D-RAIL has been fruitful.

After this, the project was presented and discussed in detail; all presentations will be available on the project website:

To conclude, Mr Mark Robinsson, Director, University of Newcastle, highlighted the fact that freight train derailments are very important and that it is now more internationally recognised.

The Shift2Rail project can also be an important project to implement the results from D-RAIL.

He also said that we should have a cohesive reporting system to make sure there is good collaboration between the different stakeholders.

For further information please contact Björn Paulsson, UIC/Trafikverket:

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Anna Lundman, Trafikverket
Hans Günther Kersten, Director of the Rail System Department, UIC
Björn Paulsson, Project Manager, Trafikverket
Emmanuel Ruffin, Project Officer, ERA
Michel Pineau, Derailment Analyses Leader, SNCF