FFL4E (Future Freight Locomotive for Europe) aims at developing key technologies for future energy efficient freight locomotives, allowing highest operational flexibility and providing attractive and competitive rail freight services to the final customer.
The key elements of the project are: digitalisation, automation in train operation, energy-supplied freight wagons, advanced functionalities and increased productivity. The challenge is to take the freight locomotive to the next level by:
improving the efficiency of propulsion systems with hybrid technologies and energy storage systems
improving last mile concepts
reducing LCCs, including wear
enabling longer trains up to 1500 meters
reducing emissions, including noise
introducing driver advisory systems (DAS)
enabling autonomous driving
To accelerate the development process, the FFL4E looks for additional knowhow to be brought in by Dynafreight project.
WP1 Project Management
WP2 System Integration & Technical Coordination
This Work Package aims at establishing an efficient system integration and technical coordination between the Work Packages 3 to 5 and other IPs. The objectives are to:
Look for synergies among the work packages and share results;
Look for synergies with other IP’s and share results (e.g. IP1-TD5 Brakes: CONNECTA project);
Align the requirement specifications among the work packagers, where possible;
Keep the alignment with the overall objectives of the project (aligned with WP1);
Contribute to any relevant decision at WP level on issues that may affect the achievement of the overall objectives of the project.
WP3 Future Freight Locomotive
This work package will focus on two main areas, being one the bogie design, with respect to low wear, noise emission, and the other various hybridization concepts including the integration of energy storage systems.
The objectives are to:
Develop innovative designs for the next generation 4 and 6 axle bogies featuring massive reduction of wheel and track wear and lower noise emissions. The designs shall be proven by laboratory demonstrators. These efforts are of paramount importance for rail freight operators as the successful implementation will reduce overall costs (some network operators start to introduce track access charging schemes ), and as they will improve the acceptance of the freight trains in the neighbourhoods of railway lines. Maximum noise emissions of #82dB will be a standard in near future;
Develop new hybridization concepts for future propulsion systems, demonstrated in the lab.
WP4 Full electric last mile propulsion System
The aim of this work package is to successfully integrate, commission and certificate powerful Li-Ion batteries in mainline railways applications, with a focus on full electric last mile propulsion use cases, thus with batteries having high energy and power density. Besides technical aspects, such as an efficient cooling system, a precise mission and energy management, the safety aspect is of high relevance. The safety case and assessment will be done and the final certification addressed. At this point it must be said that there are still no norms and standards for the integration of Li-Ion batteries and one of the reasons, why such batteries are not yet employed. Additionally to the work mentioned above, standardization shall be pushed and if possible, norms formulated.
WP5 Long Trains
This work package aims to establish solid and consistent specifications for technological solutions that enable longer and heavier trains to be operated and to define the architecture bringing together the different technologies.
The work package contains two parallel activities, being the definition of the business requirements and the development of the prototype
Activity 1 includes:
Technology and patent research
Definition of the functional requirements
Numeric simulation of train configurations
Operational concept and disturbance management
Development of a business case
Definition of stakeholder management and public involvement
Activity 2 (development of the prototype) includes:
System specification, according to consolidated operational modes and assessed safety requirements
Subsystem and system development
Test of braking performances on real train simulator and laboratory verification
System integration on two locomotives
Implementation of a prototype and pilot on a test run for validation and with a limited set of runs needed to demonstrate in a protected environment (multiple drivers, extra safety expedients) the operability of the train.