The EU funded Capacity4Rail Project Workshop on Innovation for Increasing Track Performance & Capacity was held in Paris on 15 March 2017. This event was co-organised by UIC, EFRTC (European Federation of Railway Trackwork Contractors), the University of Huddersfield and Newrail (Newcastle University).
As host of the event, Mr Imrich Korpanec, EFRTC Secretary General, delivered the welcome speech and pointed out the interest shown in the workshop, especially from organisations and experts not directly participating in the project.
He was pleased to welcome representatives of the infrastructure managers, private companies, consultants, railway industry, academia, institutions and representatives of the European Union Agency for Railways.
Mr Alvaro Andrés, UIC Capacity4Rail Project Coordinator, presented the outline and objectives of the project, all aimed at bringing the railway system towards a resilient, affordable, adaptable, automated and high-capacity railway by 2030/2050.
Several presentations were then delivered during the morning session:
- New track concept generation, selection & design – Slab track concept, by Amador Quintano, INECO
- Effect of very high speed on track and bridges, by Erica Calatozzo, SYSTRA
- New approach to maintenance based on advanced sensors and monitoring technologies in S&C, by Edd Stewart, University of Birmingham
- Understanding root causes of S&C defects and assessing effective remedies, by Yann Bezin, University of Huddersfield
During the afternoon, the presentations were dedicated to advanced monitoring and diagnostics of track infrastructure for predictive track maintenance.
Mr Gunnar Baumann, DB, talked about monitoring technologies, strategies and sensors.
Ms Noemi Jimenez-Redondo, CEMOSA, presented the sustainable strategies for monitoring in slab track.
Mr Burchard Ripke, DB, gave the migration strategies for innovative track solutions 2030/2050.
The workshop was closed with a round table discussion gathering representatives from INFRABEL (Infrastructure Managers), CHALMERS (Academia) and COMSA (Private contractor – Railway construction industry) and moderated by Mr Pierre-Etienne Gautier, SYSTRA.
Mr Paul Godart, INFRABEL, took the floor highlighting the main challenges for Infrastructure Managers with the shift to the 4th industrial revolution with a system from the 19th century. He identified the need of traceability, quality, environmental consciousness and safety when managing the railway infrastructures, respecting the internal and European regulations and, while at the same time, maintaining a sound financial balance.
Mr Björn Paulsson, CHALMERS, emphasized the need for the involvement of the Universities and Research Institutes in a long-term partnership with the railway community to continue working in innovative research activities and implement the results of the EU Research efforts in the railway system.
Mr Valenti Fontserè, COMSA, and Mr Imrich Korpanec, EFRTC Secretary General, referred to the current challenging situation in the EU-railway research, the technologies competitiveness coming from outside Europe and the difficulties to implement in the sector the innovations coming out from EU projects. The PPP (public-private partnership) can be a good instrument to introduce the innovations in railway infrastructures.
Future Capacity4Rail events:
- Workshop “Digital operations for enhanced performance and capacity in European railways”. 27-28 April 2017. Hosted by OLTIS Group. Olomouc, Czech Republic.
- Capacity4Rail, Final Conference, 21 September 2017. Venue to be confirmed.