The challenge addressed by this project is to outline the new generation of rail vehicles for the 21st century, which will be radically improved, by reducing life cycle costs of rolling stock products and train energy consumption, increasing train capacity and train reliability, whilst delivering superior performance in terms of overall service quality, safety and customer experience in rail transport. To achieve this goal Roll2Rail tackles the key topics, whose potential combined innovations, further developed within the Shift2Rail initiative, will contribute to obtain the desired impact at vehicle and railway system levels. In particular:

  1. Reduced life cycle costs of rolling stock and the track
    • Reduction of energy consumption, which is a significant cost factor along the life of rolling stock.
    • Running gear and track maintenance costs will be significantly reduced by innovative running gear concepts which will be now economically feasible thanks to the widespread use of the new universal cost evaluation tool for the quantification of the benefits achievable;
    • Standardisation and modularisation of components and subsystems will in the long term lead to lower subsystem purchasing and maintenance costs.

  2. Increase in capacity of the railway system
    • All new generation subsystems will be made smaller which will allow a rearrangement of the architecture delivering a better use of space.
    • Lighter subsystems which will reduce axle load restrictions and will give more flexibility for the future design of high-capacity new configurations.
    • Adaptability of vehicle capacity to service conditions.

  3. Punctuality and operational reliability increase
    • More reliable traction
    • New wireless technology for the train communication network
    • Clearer criteria for brakes design Brakes

  4. Reduction of energy consumption
    • Traction efficiency will increase significantly with new silicon carbide based power electronics;
    • The reduction in vehicle weight derived from lighter composite structures, lighter traction equipment, and elimination of physical train control and monitoring system (TCMS) components will support energy consumption reduction;
    • New universal cost model for running gear will incentivise the use of lighter running gear.

  5. Improve environmental performance
    • Reduction in energy consumption
    • Reduction in noise emission.
    • More efficient power electronics will reduce green house effect gases and will require less cooling, thus reducing fans and associated noise.

  6. Improve quality of service and customer experience
    • Punctuality and seamless travel
    • Travelling cost
    • The development of criteria and standards to rate rail interiors from the perspective of passenger attractiveness will guide future rolling stock specification, ensuring that passenger needs are adequately taken into account in vehicle design and procurement processes.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 636032

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Total Budget: €16 million (EU funded)
Project Start Date: 1 May 2015
Project End Date: 31 Oct 2017 
Duration: 30 months
Partners: 31 


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