Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Rail Freight

IP Coordinator: Norbert Kahl - DB

Overview


Topic:
S2R-CFM-IP5-02-2015
Total Project Value:
€ 3 600 360,00
Duration:
from 01/09/2016 to 31/10/2020
S2R (Of H2020) co-funding:
€ 1 600 000,00
Coordinator:
Norbert Kahl
DEUTSCHE BAHN AG
Complementary projects:

Objectives

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.

Project Structure



WP1 - Automated Train Operation

Work package 1 Automated Train Operation (ATO) aims for a functional demonstrator of Automated Train Operation in a relevant rail cargo environment (TRL 5) in order to gather first practical experience with automated driving of freight trains. Concrete objectives of the tasks proposed in ARCC work package 1 are:

  • The definition of freight-specific use cases and operational requirements under GoA2+ including automated brake testing and safety-relevant fall-back Levels
  • The specification of required functionalities for automated driving under GoA 2+ including requirements for interoperability and on how to reach the most energy-efficient realization of the operational timetable
  • Development of the surround sensor module for integration in the rail freight demonstrator and interfacing of the sensor solutions with the testing locomotive for experimental proof of concept
  • The practical testing of relevant refit technology modules interfacing with a freight locomotive driven by an auto pilot protected by a train guard system
  • Research on interfaces between the individual modules to ensure interoperability and system compatibility 
  • Research on interfaces between the individual modules to ensure interoperability and system compatibility
  • The TRL5 demonstration of automated driving of a typically long and heavy freight train using pneumatic brake system of conventional freight wagons
  • The development of a ideas for a development phase 2 in order to optimize the tested ATO solution that leads to a supervised, punctual and low-energy driving style
  • Seeking synergies in the topic of obstacle detection with SMART project.


WP2 - Real-time Yard Management

The activities in WP2 will focus on the (single) wagon load and intermodal rail freight segment and on nodes (represented through marshalling yards and terminals), which are essential subsystems for the rail freight business.
The objectives and the tasks of WP2 fit with the description, given in chapter 5.5.3: TD 5.2 Access and operation of the Shift2Rail Multi Annual Action Plan and the related FR8RAIL and ARCC projects - taking into account the agreed budget.
This leads to the following list of detailed objectives for the start-up activities in this work package:
  • Acquiring a common understanding of operations and decision-making processes in the nodes;
  • Establishing stakeholder needs and restrictions for building up real-time systems, defining the target system for punctual fulfilment of the requirements for real-time scheduling, tracking and control to optimise yard operations;
  • Analysing best practices for using simulation and optimisation systems for the automation of decision processes and defining requirements for a real-time simulation system for yards;
  • Defining a demonstrator for Real-Time Yard Management in line with the advanced simulation approach which will be provided in the SMART project.


WP3 - Improved methods for timetable planning

The objectives of WP3 are:
  • To study the effects of faster and more flexible train paths for freight trains;
  • Better capacity utilisation and improved on-time performance;
  • Improvements at the practical level and in implementation.
  • The pre-study should develop a plan for the main work from 2018 until 2021.


WP4 - Management

WP5 - Dissemination

Partners

Coordinator


Beneficiaries

Results and Publications

Collaborative field test of Freight ATO marks Shift2Rail mileston

European rail freight operator DB Cargo together with locomotive manufacturer Bombardier and ETCS supplier Siemens are realizing the most comprehensive testing of state-of-the-art autopilots from a range of industry suppliers on a legacy freight locomotive. For the Shift2Rail joint undertaking this collaboration project marks a key milestone by promoting standardized on-board solutions for automated driving, quick wins in the field of freight transport and a shift of freight to rail on the European mainline. The project is outstanding in many regards: It will provide critical results for definition of future standardized and open interfaces, the future mode of rail freight automation and performance-based migration planning. One of the key success factors is the outstanding collaborative set-up, which also encompasses full testing of ATO (Automatic Train Operation) modules within the Swiss Smart Rail 4.0 initiative..

Download

D1.3 – Automated Brake Test

Download

D2.1 - Description of automation/optimisation requirements and capabilities

of decision-making processes in marshalling yards and terminals

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D2.2 - Description of business processes of a network management system

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D5.1 Dissemination and communication strategy

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Maximum Robust Train Path for an Additional Train Inserted in an Existing Railway Timetable

We present an algorithm to insert a train path in an existing railway timetable close to operation, when we want to affect the existing (passenger) traffic as little as possible. Thus, we consider all other trains as fixed, and aim for a resulting train path that maximizes the bottleneck robustness. Our algorithm is based on a graph formulation of the problem and uses a variant of Dijkstra’s algorithm. We present an extensive experimental evaluation of our algorithm for the Swedish railway stretch from Malm¨o to Hallsberg. Moreover, we analyze the size of our constructed graph.

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Rail freight automation in Shift2Rail – Development of prototypes

The Shift2Rail pillar “Technologies for attractive and sustainable European Freight” (IP5) has a clear target vision, which can be summarized in two words: Digitization & Automation. The IP5 members want to speed up the digital transformation and automation of rail freight to ultimately gain market share in the competitive race with other modes of transport. In order to advance automation, multiple projects have been launched under funding. Two key technology demonstrators are presented in this paper: 1. Semi-Automated Operation with Distributed Power Systems (DPS) for efficient Master-Slave Operation, e.g. push-pull operation or in long and heavy trains up to 1,500 m 2. Automatic Train Operation (ATO) with Obstacle Detection (OD) on network sections with European Train Control System (ETCS) from Level 2 upwards

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Socio-economic impact analysis, legal analysis, and freight-specific operational requirement specifi

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Track allocation and roll-time scheduling at Marshalling yards

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S221097061730046X

link

All deliverables, results and publications herewith provided reflects only the author's view and the S2R JU is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Project's News & Events

Collaborative field test of Freight ATO marks Shift2Rail milestone

See the link

European rail freight operator DB Cargo together with locomotive manufacturer Bombardier and ETCS supplier Siemens are realizing the most comprehensive testing of state-of-the-art autopilots from a range of industry suppliers on a legacy freight locomotive. For the Shift2Rail joint undertaking this collaboration project marks a key milestone by promoting standardized on-board solutions for automated driving, quick wins in the field of freight transport and a shift of freight to rail on the European mainline. The project is outstanding in many regards: It will provide critical results for definition of future standardized and open interfaces, the future mode of rail freight automation and performance-based migration planning. One of the key success factors is the outstanding collaborative set-up, which also encompasses full testing of ATO (Automatic Train Operation) modules within the Swiss  Smart Rail 4.0 initiative.

Towards a comprehensive model for track allocation and roll-time scheduling at marshalling yards

See the link

This paper considers multi-stage train formation with mixed usage tracks at a marshalling yard without departure yard. A novel integer programming model for scheduling shunting tasks as well as allocating arrival yard tracks and classification bowl tracks is presented. By taking a comprehensive view of the marshalling yard operations, more effective schedules can be found, and a variety of characteristics can be optimised, including shunting work effort, number or cost of tracks, and shunting task start times. Two different objective functions are evaluated: minimising work effort in terms of wagon pull-backs and minimising track costs. A procedure for finding a hot-start solution with few wagon pull-backs is also presented. The proposed model is tested on real data from Sävenäs marshalling yard in Sweden. The results show that the method is able to return an optimal schedule for a planning period of 4 days if the hot-start solution is optimal or the remaining problem is tractable for the heuristics in CPLEX.

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Norbert Kahl

Project Coordinator

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Collaborative field test of Freight ATO marks Shift2Rail milestone

European rail freight operator DB Cargo together with locomotive manufacturer Bombardier and ETCS supplier Siemens are realizing the most comprehensive testing of state-of-the-art autopilots from a range of industry suppliers on a legacy freight locomotive. For the Shift2Rail joint undertaking this collaboration project marks a key milestone by promoting standardized on-board solutions for automated driving, quick wins in the field of freight transport and a shift of freight to rail on the European mainline. The project is outstanding in many regards: It will provide critical results for definition of future standardized and open interfaces, the future mode of rail freight automation and performance-based migration planning. One of the key success factors is the outstanding collaborative set-up, which also encompasses full testing of ATO (Automatic Train Operation) modules within the Swiss  Smart Rail 4.0 initiative.

Towards a comprehensive model for track allocation and roll-time scheduling at marshalling yards

This paper considers multi-stage train formation with mixed usage tracks at a marshalling yard without departure yard. A novel integer programming model for scheduling shunting tasks as well as allocating arrival yard tracks and classification bowl tracks is presented. By taking a comprehensive view of the marshalling yard operations, more effective schedules can be found, and a variety of characteristics can be optimised, including shunting work effort, number or cost of tracks, and shunting task start times. Two different objective functions are evaluated: minimising work effort in terms of wagon pull-backs and minimising track costs. A procedure for finding a hot-start solution with few wagon pull-backs is also presented. The proposed model is tested on real data from Sävenäs marshalling yard in Sweden. The results show that the method is able to return an optimal schedule for a planning period of 4 days if the hot-start solution is optimal or the remaining problem is tractable for the heuristics in CPLEX.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 730813