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Cost-Efficient and Reliable High-Capacity Infrastructure

IP Coordinator: Felicity Osborn - NR


Project title:

Total Project Value:
€ 26 689 979,00
from 01/01/2021 to 31/12/2023
S2R (Of H2020) co-funding:
€ 11 811 671,00
Pernilla Edlund
Complementary projects:


The European railway industry faces great challenges in need for increased network capacity as the result of higher customer demands. Ageing infrastructure assets require efficient and sustainable interventions to maintain and improve current levels of performance. To meet these demands and increase the operational performance of the railway infrastructure assets, innovation is needed to enable a step-change in reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) and also to optimise asset capital and Life Cycle Cost (LCC).

IN2TRACK3 addresses the topic of “Research into optimised and future railway Infrastructure” of the 2020 Horizon 2020 SHIFT2RAIL call for proposals for the Joint Undertaking Members. The project is a continuation of IN2TRACK and IN2TRACK2 and aims to further develop and demonstrate research results and innovations developed under the two previous projects. IN2TRACK3 will develop physical as well as digital technology and methodology demonstrators for the Track, Switches & Crossings and Bridge & Tunnel assets. The project is aligned to the SHIFT2RAIL overall aims to reduce lifecycle costs, improve reliability and punctuality, increase capacity, enhance interoperability and improve the customer experience.

The project structure is designed around five technical work packages, aiming at both improving the operational performance of existing infrastructure assets and providing radical new system solutions delivering a step-change in performance, improving methods and repair techniques, improve quality, reduce costs and extend the service life of assets and structures. The project is led by Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration Agency, the consortium consists of 27 expert partners originating from 11 European countries and the partners involved are infrastructure managers, research partners, technology developers and industry partners. IN2TRACK3 will further develop and demonstrate a number of innovative solutions based upon the two previous projects and the work will build upon already ongoing mutually beneficial collaboration, established communication paths and a considerable amount of mutual trust built upon years of collaboration in international project environments.

The overall IN2TRACK3 objective is to develop technology and technology demonstrators for the track, switches and crossings (S&C), bridge and tunnel assets. IN2TRACK3 presents the objectives and impacts of five Technology Demonstrators (TDs) of the Shift2Rail Innovation Programme 3 (IP3) and details the methodology/process that will be implemented to deliver those five TDs. The objectives are divided into enhancements to existing track, switches and crossings; next generation track, switches and crossings; and enhanced performance of tunnel and bridges. 

Project Structure

WP1 - Enhanced S&C system demonstrator

The main objective of WP1 is to bring the Technical Demonstrators within TD3.1: “Enhanced Switches and Crossings” to the next level of maturity. WP1 transits the results of the projects IN2TRACK and IN2TRACK2 to higher TRL (up to TRL7) in order to enhance the RAMS performance of the system S&C design but also its subcomponents. The overall aim is to develop more reliable components, extend their operational life, improve LCC while increasing the railway infrastructure availability. The project research goals are:

• Enhance the understanding of the performance of the components based by means of the whole-system modelling approach and empirical analysis based on data from real operations in field 

• Roll out hybrid testing and validation technologies to minimise in-situ testing 

• Validate the whole system modelling approach with measured data from operational environment (in-track full assessment) 

• Validation of performance of demonstrators in real operational environment o VARS Demonstrator 

• SNCF (optimised manganese frog) 

• Evaluate the developed condition monitoring methods and maintenance procedures: novel sensor systems and procedures assessing their impact on the maintenance strategies, maintenance of components

WP2 - Next Generation Switches & Crossings Demonstrator

The overall objective is to radically improve the performance of S&C by eliminating or reducing a significant number of existing failure modes. The challenge therefore is to develop technology and designs for S&C, targeting a time horizon of around forty years beyond current state-of-the-art, capable of providing a step-change in reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) performance improvement, with a significant reduction in life cycle costs. Next generation solutions will also implement technologies to minimise environmental impact and carbon footprint, with lower levels of noise and vibration and improve system resilience against climate change. WP2 will demonstrate, through a combination of both sub-system modelling and physical component/sub-system prototypes, how advances in design, manufacturing and materials will contribute to a future step-change in S&C performance. This step-change in performance will meet the overall project objectives; to reduce lifecycle costs, improve reliability and punctuality, whilst increasing capacity, enhancing interoperability and improving the customer experience.

WP3 - Enhanced Track

Optimised Track System: It is of paramount importance to explore how new construction can make use of modern design and materials to provide high levels of service in terms of sustainability, reliability, availability, capacity and LCC savings. To this end, innovative solutions in the form of products, processes (e.g. plan and carry out maintenance) and procedures (e.g. establishment of technical requirements) will be required for a holistic solution. 

The main objective of this TD is to challenge track construction assumptions, currently implicit in track design, and explore how innovative solutions in the form of products, processes and procedures can provide higher levels of reliability, availability, sustainability and LCC savings. This includes assessing safety factors such as ensuring lateral track stability, and also environmental factors such as noise and vibration. The aim is to derive medium-term solutions, which need to be harmonised with current solutions and regulations. The TD is organised around a gradual refinement in design/evaluation of solutions. 

The objective of WP3 is to significantly enhance the capabilities and performance of the track structure by building upon the work commenced within IN2RAIL, IN2TRACK and IN2TRACK2. It will thus contribute towards the overall concept of the TD. Precise track structure and its maintenance requirements will be established regarding improved design to reach these objectives in a cost efficient manner; means to verify performance through virtual and physical tests; cost efficient maintenance; improve the wheel/railsystem, and monitoring to assessthe current and future condition of the asset. These considerations are reflected in the proposed division of the WP into tasks. Complementary, a task will deal with maintenance of track system and track components. In addition, the track is strongly influenced by the operating vehicles and especially their running behaviour. To address this issue, a task is dedicated to wheel/rail interaction and related consequences. Demonstrators will be performed up to TRL7.

WP4 - Next Generation Track

The overall challenge is to develop technology and integrated technology demonstrators for next generation track systems, targeting a time horizon of around forty years beyond current state-of-the-art. The objective of WP4 is to identify and develop solutions that will deliver step changes in the performance of the current state-of-the-art track, building on the various work packages in IN2RAIL, IN2TRACK, IN2TRACK2 and IN2SMART. The design will be developed for the next generation track sub-systems and components, which will aim to reduce deterioration mechanisms and eradicate failure modes; thus improving the performance of the system. In addition, autonomous inspection and maintenance techniques will be developed to further improve the performance of the track asset. The development of materials and components, combined with more efficient and targeted maintenance processes, will support the project specific objectives of a step change in track system performance. This will be delivered by contribution towards the overall Shift2Rail KPIs through reduced LCC, lower maintenance, low noise, high RAMS performance and environmental sustainability. The work will demonstrate the expected benefits of the innovations through identified KPIs and contribute to Shift2Rail targets related to capacity, reliability and life cycle costs.

WP5 - Assessment and Improvement of Tunnels and Bridges

The WP aims at providing new solutions for monitoring and improvements to extend the economical service life of existing tunnel and bridge structures. Ongoing and potential deterioration shall be found earlier or with improved information in order to allow for remedial actions with reduced disturbances in train operations. In addition, the WP will work on finding relevant criteria, motivated requirements and representative behaviours for new bridges to be built for high speed traffic. Here the aim is to avoid unnecessary and expensive solutions not needed to achieve a uniform and decidable safety. Work will build upon the successful outcome of IN2TRACK2 and will demonstrate results up to TRL7.

WP6 - Project Management

The objectives of the WP 6 ids to ensure effective coordination of the project, to ensure efficient management of common consortium activities, to ensure effective overall administrative and financial management of the project and to manage the risks and propose mitigation strategies and contingency measures if needed.

WP7 - Technical Coordination and Scientific Quality Assurance

The role of WP7 is to ensure the high quality of the outcome of In2Track3. This includes direct quality assurance of the performed scientific and technical work. It also includes scientific and technical coordination WP7 interacts with all other WPs. In brief, the division of responsibilities in relation to WP7 is as follows:
  • Technical WPs, WP1-WP5, are responsible for defining research tasks, carrying out research and making initial quality assurance actions. As a support, WP7 acts in an advisory role in the planning and performance of the research (e.g. in early auditing of Deliverable skeletons) and carries out the final independent review of Deliverable reports.
  • Support dissemination and communication work in WP8 by the compilation of implemented results that is made in WP7.
  • WP7 also supports the project management in WP6. Note that the work in WP6 involves quality assurance and coordination of administrative and economic routines. This is in contrast to the scientific and technical quality assurance and coordination WP7.

WP8 - Dissemination, Exploitation and Communication

The main objective is to disseminate key findings and outcomes of the project in a way that maximises project impact and its outreach to key stakeholders. This work package will seek to engage external and internal stakeholders to get the most exploitation possible for the project’s results, both within and outside of SHIFT2RAIL.
The specific objectives are
  • To ensure that the project objectives, contents and results are disseminated and communicated to their target groups
  • Develop a strategy on how to maximise dissemination of the project results




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The preliminary information displayed on this website is for indicative purposes only. Displayed information on this website does not pre-determine the outcome of the Grant Agreement Preparation Phase nor the eventual conclusion or rejection of a Grant Agreement. Nothing stated here shall create rights or obligations towards the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 101012456