The overall aim of this specific Automated Rail Cargo Consortium (ARCC) project is to carry out an initial phase of rail freight automation research activities in order to boost levels of quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness in rail freight operations of the European railway sector.
The three areas of research activities are:
- Transporting and delivering freight transport via automated trains;
- Developing automated support processes that are carried out at the system’s nodes (e.g. terminals, yards and transhipment points);
- Improving yard and railway network management through advanced timetable planning.
The various start-up activities for freight automation have the potential to help tackle the challenges relating to key issues and operational bottlenecks, which will help to reduce lead time, increase reliability and improve the cost-effectiveness of the rail freight sector. Improving the connections between different nodes (e.g. terminals, yards and transhipment points) and improving information flows transferred between different nodes in real-time and network management systems and supporting eco-efficient and energy-efficient driving are key parts of the project activities.