Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Rail Freight

IP Coordinator:Thomas Jaeger - Deutsche Bahn


Project title:
Development of Functional Requirements for Sustainable and Attractive European Rail Freight

Total Project Value:
€ 7 826 783
from 01/09/2016 to 31/08/2019
S2R (H2020) co-funding:
€ 3 478 222,51
Jan Bergstrand
Complementary project:


The main aim of the FR8RAIL project is the development of functional requirements for sustainable and attractive European rail freight.

The objectives of the project are:

  • A 10 % reduction in the cost of freight transport measured by tonnes per Km,
  • A 20 % reduction in the time variations during dwelling, and
  • increase attractiveness of logistic chains by making available 100 % of the rail freight transport information to logistic chain information systems.

The objectives of the FR8RAIL project will be achieved by developing a number of vital areas within freight rail.

There are six main areas of work that form the backbone of this project’s approach;

  1. Business Analytics, KPIs, Top Level Requirements,
  2. Condition Based and Predictive Maintenance,
  3. Telematics & Electrification,
  4. Running Gear, Core and Extended Market Wagon,
  5. Automatic Coupling,
  6. High level System Architecture and Integration.

Project Structure

WP1 Business Analytics, KPIs, Top Level Requirements

The objectives are as follows:
  • Identification of Market Segments and its requirements in the transport market to defend and expand the market share of freight rail business.
  • Development of high level technical specifications
  • Development of Key Performance Indicators for the whole IP 5 Programme

WP2 Condition based and predictive maintenance

The objective of this work package is to:
  • Develop an overall condition based and predictive maintenance strategy for rail freight rolling stock (locomotives and wagons) in alignment with all overall Shift2Rail targets.
  • Define new roles (e.g. reliability engineering) and responsibilities (e.g. technical support) in the interaction of the area asset, fleet and maintenance management.
  • Develop a condition based and predictive maintenance program based on specific locomotives and based on a number of components.

WP3 Telematics & electrification

The objective of this work package is the development of telematics technologies (including hardware, software and algorithms), which will provide essential input information for different applications such as condition based and predictive maintenance, logistic services, traffic management, real time network management and intelligent gate terminals. The development comprises a wagon On-Board Unit, different modules of a wagon and cargo monitoring system for maintenance and logistic purposes, systems for on board and wayside communication.
The wOBU (Wagon On-board unit ) and referenced components focused at this stage will be the basis for being able to implement applications, such as automatic train set-up functionalities as well as a technical solution to provide information about the train (train integrity and end of train (EoT)) to the Traffic Management System (TMS).

WP4 Running Gear, Core and Extended market wagon

This work package will  create the framework and functional requirements for the development of a track friendly, low weight, low noise high speed Running Gear capable to run under standard wagon bodies and the freight wagons 2020 State of the art technologies and relevant research activities regarding all relevant aspects of freight transport will be compiled.
Initial investigations on vehicle-track interaction (vehicle dynamics, wheel-rail wear and damage, etc.) and strength will be carried out. Next, life cycle costs (LCC) will be assessed according to the KPIs developed in WP1 (interaction with Universal Cost Model from Roll2Rail) resulting in a prioritised concept. 
In the final stage of the project this prioritized concept will be further developed as basis for the development of a technical demonstrator of the next generation Running Gear and Core Market Wagon. 
A further focus of the project will be set on optimizing the acoustic and aerodynamic characteristics of the wagon design. .
Acoustic and aero acoustic noise sources will be identified and evaluated for potential reduction. 

WP5 Automatic Coupling

Automatic coupling is one of the key technologies needed to meet the expectations of a sustainable and attractive European rail freight in the future by providing higher load capacity and intelligence in the operation.
  • The objectives of this WP areto define the technical requirements of the automatic coupler integrating all the requested functionalities in order to achieve a common basis for the development of an European-wise solution.
  • To define a migration strategy to introduce the automatic couplers in the freight market based on a cost benefit analysis.

WP6 High level System architecture and integration

This work package is focused in two areas;
  1. the information system (which combines telematics applications and condition based and predictive maintenance), and
  2. The technical and process systems (which includes running gear, core and new market wagons, and automatic couplings).

The objective for this WP is the alignment and synchronization of the high level system architectures (information systems and technical and process systems) between each WP to ensure an overall picture and enable the future integration of the developed subsystems among them and with other systems in other projects within the Shift2Rail. 

WP7 Dissemination & Communication

WP8 Project Management





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Jan Bergstrand

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: 730617