The proposals for new projects to be started as part of the 2016 European work programme were presented to European members at a workshop that took place in Paris on 21 May.
With a wide ranging set of business segments covered, all emanating from the Rail Technical Strategy Europe, it was possible for the RUs and IMs present to be able to explore a number of possibilities relevant to their business model.
All of the proposals presented had been developed as part of the technical planning process undertaken within the various Forums and Platforms and these included subjects ranging from remote monitoring and supervision systems for maintenance, operation and renewal of signalling systems through to detection of broken rails on lines not equipped with track circuits including topics related to noise and in particular acoustic control for new LL brake blocks as well as brake performance, the management and operation of freight corridors and security processes related to the traffic crossing state boundaries.
This is only a sample of the 18 proposals that were presented. The attendees were all keen to know that none of these is likely to be duplicated by the planned activity inside the Shift²Rail programme. The meeting learned that it will not be possible for Shift²Rail to cover all of the areas pertinent to the development of the business needs of the ROC and that the Horizon 2020 programme will not have any rail-specific developmental opportunity within it. This means that having a selective complementary research and innovation programme, that is able to support not only the business needs of individual companies but also the technical objectives of the ROC, is essential to the development of the future European railway system.
It was noted that there is also interest in some of these projects from companies that are located in other UIC regions leading to them being considered as potentially multi-regional. This is a good way in which to spread not only the cost of the developmental budget but is also a really good way of getting experience from other regions into the European work programme as well as being able to open European experience to other parts of the world.
Members will now be invited to decide in which projects they would like to invest when the call for contributions is opened on 29 May. This will run until midday on 8 September by when all responses are anticipated to have been received. This will then enable the UIC HQ team to gather together the expressions of member engagement into a consolidated programme that is intended to be presented to the European Management Committee at their meeting to be held on 24 September.