Project title:
Start-up activities for Advanced Signalling and Automation Systems

Total Project Value:
€ 45.003.870,33
from 01/09/2016 to 31/08/2019
S2R (H2020) co-funding:
€ 19 972 078,32
Lars Bergmann
Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
Complementary projects:


The X2Rail-1 project aims to research and develop six selected key technologies to foster innovations in the field of railway signalling and automation systems towards a flexible, real-time, intelligent traffic management and decision support system.

The actions to be undertaken in the scope of X2Rail-1 are related to the following specific objectives:

  • To overcome the limitations of the existing communication system by adapting radio communication systems which establish the backbone for the next generation advanced rail automation systems.
  • To improve the usable track capacity by introducing more Automatic Train Operation (ATO) systems and Moving Block systems.
  • To innovate the signalling architecture towards a more decentralized and less cost intensive system by incorporating Moving Block systems and Smart Wayside Objects.
  • To minimize energy consumption and to improve train punctuality through more extensive use of Automatic Train Operation (ATO) systems.
  • To increase innovation in the field of lab testing by developing architectures for new lab test systems and simulations for control, command and communication systems in order to reduce costs.
  • To ensure security among all connected signalling and control systems by developing new cyber security systems dedicated to railways.

The results of X2Rail-1 will contribute to additional research and development work streams of future projects and will also be expanded into further fields such as Traffic Management. The future projects will also allow concepts developed in the phase of this X2Rail-1 project to be further implemented to higher technical readiness level (TRL).

Project Structure

WP1 Project Management

WP2 Technical Coordination and System Coherence

The objective of this WP is to ensure the coordination and coherence of the R&I activities included in the different work packages as well as the dissemination work package of X2Rail-1.

WP3 Adaptable Communication System

This work package will provide the starting activities for an adaptable IP communication system based on standard technologies with enhanced throughput, safety and security functionalities to take advantage of new technologies, supporting the current and future needs of signalling systems (like ATO – Automatic Train Operation) and voice services.


This WP will address Automatic Train Operation over ETCS (European Train Control System). It will start from the current experience in urban applications and some existing main line applications in order to address all the market segments of Main Lines: High Speed Line, Low Traffic/Regional Lines, Urban/Suburban, Freight) and to extend these applications from fenced systems (urban rail) to open systems (single EU Railway Area).

The WP shall:
  • Focus on GoA2 starting from inputs from Ten-T 3rd call (ATO over ETCS - Technical Interoperability Requirement for GoA2); the operation concepts updated according to the results of the European NGTC project and existing standard IEC 62290-2;
  • Perform the feasibility study and preliminary design for GoA3 and GoA4 solutions (incl. IEC 62267).

WP5 Moving Block

The objective of the Moving Block Work Package is to define a high capacity, low cost, high reliability signalling system, based on Moving Block principles, which is applicable across all railway market segments. High Capacity is based on the use of Moving Block principles, which permits decoupling of the infrastructure from train performance parameters. Low Cost is achieved by the reduction in the use of trackside train detection and line-side signals. High Reliability is achieved as a consequence of the reduction in trackside equipment associated with trackside train detection and line-side signals.

The Work package will principally develop moving block operational and engineering rules, system specifications, a safety and security analysis and an application analysis.

WP6 Zero on-site Testing

The objective of this WP is to standardise the testing scope and procedures for signalling and telecom systems in order to improve quality and interoperability, reduce significantly on-site testing as well as the time to market.

The work package aims at:
  • Assessing today’s practice of field testing, including benchmarking with other industries;
  • Defining a common framework for the test process, which will guide the decision between on-site, and lab/simulation tests;
  • Defining a dedicated system test architecture for lab testing supporting Zero On-sight Testing;
  • Standardizing interfaces and test processes to ensure reproducibility;
  • Fostering interoperability of products based on commercial tests; 
  • Foster common engineering, operational rules and concepts;
  • Create an international platform for knowledge exchange and harmonisation of specifications and processes in order to ensure efficiency.

WP7 Smart Wayside Objects

The overall scope of this work package is to contribute to the development of an autonomous, intelligent, maintenance free smart equipment (“box”) able to connect with any signalling wayside object and communicating device in the area (by radio or satellite) in order to foster overall reduction both of installation and maintenance costs. The objective of this work package is to arrive at definitions and specification of practical demonstrations of prototypes. The WP’s detailed objectives are as follows:
  • Specifications for Smart wayside objects;
  • Develop concepts for locally derived power supply;
  • Develop concepts for the overall reduction of power consumptions and required cabling;
  • Specify data exchange with existing and/ or new control systems (Traffic Management System/Interlocking/On-board Unit)
  • Specification of maintenance data over high capacity communication links to allow better diagnosis and maintenance

WP8 Cyber Security

The objectives of this work package are:
  • The definition of a cyber-security system, which consists in the specification of standardised interfaces, monitoring functions, protocol stacks and architectures for secure networks based, among other, on a security assessment of existing railway solutions and of railway networks. Efficiency and robustness of the standardised solution has to be demonstrated through a technical demonstrator. Security assessment, identification of the threat detection, prevention and response processes will be completed. 
  • The definition of a security-by-design standard applicable to railways which consists in specifying protection profiles and cyber security standards applicable to railway application and in demonstrating their applicability in a technical demonstrator. The definition of protection profiles and the identification of the cyber-secure development process will be completed.

WP9 Dissemination and Communication




Results and Publications

X2Rail-1 Flyer


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Lars Bergmann

Project Coordinator

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 730640