Shift2Rail logo A body of the European Union

Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Rail Freight

IP Coordinator: Norbert Kahl - DB


Total Project Value:
€ 13 061 601,01
from 01/09/2019 to 31/08/2022
S2R (Of H2020) co-funding:
€ 5 804 575,49
Norbert Kahl
Complementary projects:
Previous Project:


The objective of the FR8RAIL III project is to further develop technologies relevant for the rail freight sector to reach the goals highlighted in the S2R Strategic Master Plan. The work is partly based on results achieved in the previous projects of the AWP 2015/167 (FFL4E, ARCC, FR8RAIL), the AWP 2017 (FR8HUB) and the AWP 2018 (FR8RAIL II) – as well as the open calls within IP5.

The general objectives of FR8RAIL III are:

  • to establish and develop - and ensure the effective and efficient implementation of - the S2R Master Plan, as referred to in Article 1(4) of the S2R Statutes;
  • contribute to the implementation of H2020 Regulation and in particular part of the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Challenge under the Societal Challenges pillar of Decision No 2013/743/EU;
  • contribute to the achievement of the Single European Railway Area, to a faster and less costly transition to a more attractive, user-friendly (including for persons with reduced mobility), competitive, efficient and sustainable European rail system, and to the development of a strong and globally competitive European rail industry;
  • play a major role in rail-related research and innovation, ensuring coordination among projects within its overall Programme. It provides all stakeholders with relevant and available information on R&I activities funded across Europe. It shall also manage all rail-focused research and innovation actions co-funded by the Union;
  • actively promote the participation and close involvement of all relevant stakeholders from the full rail value chain and from outside the traditional rail industry. In particular, it fosters the involvement of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC (8);
  • develop demonstration projects in interested Member States including those that do not currently have a railway system established within their territory.

Project Structure

WP01 - Condition Based Maintenance

The overall goal of this work package is to scale the experience and especially the results from FR8RAIL I to more freight rail assets (rolling stock) and to identify new use cases which are on a European level. The findings and the learnings from previous projects should be used to further shape and improve the existing algorithms and patterns to deploy them and to increase the false positive rate.

  • Improve existing Use Cases and scale them on a European level
  • Find locomotive fleets from other countries where the existing use cases can be applied
  • Create synergies in related series
  • Create an advanced monitoring solution based on existing data and experience

WP02 - Real-Time Network Management

Real-time network management will improve operational process by improved methods and information support and human interaction. The research will reduce the gaps between timetable planning and operational traffic, and between yard management and network management.

The project will make a TRL 6 demonstration utilizing the integrated information platform developed in the project. The demonstration will include several important actors of the processes in scope, such as line planner, yard manager and arrival/departure yard planner. The aims of the demonstrations are both to show important actors the possibilities of integrated information platforms and also to get feedback on the provided concepts, use-cases and cooperation ideas. The objectives can be summarized as followed:
  • To automate sequential planning and efficient human interaction, overcoming the current lack of synergies when handling and sharing data among infrastructure managers, yard/terminal managers, railway undertakings and maintenance contractors.
  • To improve interaction and balancing capacity utilization between infrastructure managers, yard/terminal managers, railway undertakings and maintenance contractors
  • To reduce the gap between timetable planning and operational traffic.  
To develop a demonstrator and perform demonstration in TRL 6. To assess the maturity of planning and decision support methods used in this project.

WP03 - Intelligent Video Gate

The overall aim is to optimize a fully operational terminal with an intelligent video gate and the data management to enable fast and reliable detection of incoming and outgoing assets. Through automatic detection of the wagon numbers and intermodal loading units (ILU) handled, their sequence as well as visible damages, processes at terminals and yards can be optimized. In addition, a terminal design that allows efficient dwell times and handling is a prerequisite. Based on these insights the main objectives are:
  • Replacement of manual physical checks and manual data collection
  • Acceleration of the terminal operation process, reduction of dwell times for trains, trucks and ILU
  • Management of train set-up procedures at terminal providing tools to save activities currently in use
  • Increase of handling capacity, improvement of supply chain safety and security
  • Improve interoperability and increase attractiveness of intermodal transport
  • Enhance data exchange between terminals

The aim is to define, develop and install intelligent video gates in two pilot sites. Intelligent video gates will consist of hardware for the rail gate (power supply, lights etc., imaging components (cameras, sensors, etc.) and software (for object capturing, recognition and data processing etc.).

WP04 - Extended Market Wagon

This work package will create the final basis for realising the prototype of the Extended Market Wagon (EMW) for intermodal application in the next step and the final project within Shift2Rail. It is in full consistency to the relevant work performed in the projects FR8RAIL I, FR8RAIL II on the market segments and its requirements to be served by the new wagon. The objective of WP4 is the system integration of all components and subsystems of the fully equipped EMW in all relevant dimensions into the mechanical and electrical design of the wagon and the intended logical and physical structure of the full train set. Furthermore, the approval concept according to TSI noise for this non UIC wagon concept will be developed in WP 4. The tasks within WP 4 will therefore focus on the following areas:
  • Integration of the safe wOBU: mechanical, electrical and logical into the wagon and the defined sensor network defined in TD 5.3 of Shift2Rail to create the basis for the Safe-Train-Integrity System (STI)
  • Integration of the processing of automatic coupler, automatic corner lockings and the Electronic Brake Control (EBC) into the Safe-Train-Integrity System for the wagon operation
  • Final specification of the concrete wagon type for swap body transport logistic and the needed components form suppliers: wheel, suspension, damping, disc brake system, EBC, coupling, corner lockings Approval concept.

WP05 - Extended Market Wagon

Telematics and Electrification will enable the intelligent wagon. This intelligent wagon will bring new functions related to digitalization and automation, such as, CBM, Cargo Monitoring, Automatic Train Configuration, and many other. On the one hand, telematics will contribute to the collection, transmission and usage of the necessary information from and for the wagon by means of the wOBU (wagon On-board Unit). On the other hand, electrification will be responsible for supplying the required energy to the telematics by means of the Energy Management System (EMS). Based on the results of previous S2R IP5 projects the objectives of this work package are aligned towards completing the development of the intelligent wagon:
  • Definition of additional functionalities for the intelligent wagon based on telematics and electrification.
  • Development intelligent wagon subsystems, i.e. weighting system, wagon intelligence algorithms for localization, freight brakes, etc.
  • Definition of the integration of telematics on the wagons.
  • Definition of the test protocol and field test areas for the subsystems and functionalities of the intelligent wagon.
  • Testing of subsystems and functionalities of the intelligent wagon.

WP06 - Freight Loco of the Future

The overall aim is to further improve the high-power propulsion system of mainline freight locomotive (including the auxiliary network) to lower significantly the LCC and TCO of the traction chain. The goal is to reduce the operating costs of the freight locos, which are directly impacted by the energy costs.

The main objectives are:
  • Development of a highly efficient, minimized volume, medium frequency SiC-based auxiliary power supply. This activity consists of a study and the development of a small-scale lab prototype.
  • Evaluation of applicable SiC elements for usage in high voltage converters considering results of the IP1 PINTA project. This activity consists of an evaluation matrix.
  • Proof of concept for higher switching frequencies for high voltage converters applications using increased dv/dt to minimize system losses of power traction chain. This activity consists of a study and the development of a small-scale lab demonstrator. Development and validation of a new battery module based on automotive/industrial cells for rolling stock application. This task will be directly linked with the WP6 tasks being carried out in FR8HUB.

WP07 - Management

The objectives of this work package are:
  • To ensure an efficient coordination with the WP leaders and the technical management team (TMT) is aligned; 
  • To ensure efficient management of common consortium activities; 
  • To ensure efficient overall administrative and financial management of the project; 
  • To ensure the running of a quality assurance process; 
  • To manage the risks and propose mitigation strategies and contingency measures if needed.

WP08 - Dissemination

This work package, which is led by DB, focuses on the provision of efficient information into and about the project, with particular focus on the ‘end user’ stakeholders so that they can contribute by providing needs and share the project’s expected outcomes and so that they can be adequately involved in the dissemination of the project results.




Results and Publications

* D 8.1 Dissemination and communication strategy


* Please note that this/these deliverable(s) is/are undergoing S2R JU review and acceptance processes.

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.

Projects News & Events


On December 13th 2019 took place in Frankfurt, Alpha Rotex headquarters of DB Cargo AG the Kick Off meeting of F8Rail III.
Representants from all the Partners of the Consortia got together in a whole day event were we reviewed guidelines of successful collaboration and a deep introduction of all the Work packages part of F8Rail III.


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Norbert Kahl

Project Coordinator

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On December 13th 2019 took place in Frankfurt, Alpha Rotex headquarters of DB Cargo AG the Kick Off meeting of F8Rail III.
Representants from all the Partners of the Consortia got together in a whole day event were we reviewed guidelines of successful collaboration and a deep introduction of all the Work packages part of F8Rail III.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 881778