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Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Rail Freight

IP Coordinator: Norbert Kahl - DB


Total Project Value:
€ 599 955,00
from 01/12/2018 to 31/12/2020
S2R (Of H2020) co-funding:
€ 599 955,00
Luciano Cantone
Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata
Complementary projects:


The MARATHON2OPERATION (M2O) project has the following objectives:

  • To deliver a reliable communication solution based on GSM-R to transfer orders and information to and from the Driver of the master locomotive to the unmanned traction unit(s) present in the train to provide distributed traction with one to four traction units, only one being manned and the other(s) remote controlled, with 1500m as a maximum length of the train. This communication solution should be compatible with various types of locomotives.
  • To fulfil safety requirements at the reception end situated at the entrance of the interface with the command panel of each of the remote-controlled traction unit.
  • To integrate the GSM-R radio technology with the interface of the Traction Unit (TU) and the Distributed Power System (DPS). This topic will be the target of a hazard analysis to define backup solutions using transmission of braking orders via the brake pipe, or operational procedures to ensure the safety of the train.
  • To simulate the in-train forces with the use of TrainDy software with the various distributed traction configurations, various load distributions, various types of wagons and with a maximum length of 1500m. The target is to define safe configurations in terms of speed limit, wagon quality and acceptable payload (global and distribution) to operate and react safely in all possible operational situations.
  • To prepare, in alignment with the partners of the S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2018 project, the safety and certification-related (TRL5) part necessary for the running of two test trains in 2019 and 2020, as requested by call text.
  • This project is aligned with the objectives assigned by the European Commission in the last white paper to have 30% of road traffic on rail by 2030. To reach that goal a massive increase of rail freight transport is necessary while the infrastructure necessary for such an increase with classical trains will take a much longer time to be decided, financed and built. Enhancing the existing infrastructure capacity is a must while increasing at the same time the rail freight transport competitiveness. ERTMS, necessary for a smooth border crossing between Member States, which is slowly developing has such an ambition while increasing the safety but, due to high retrofitting costs of existing long-life traction units, penalizes the rail freight transport competitiveness. Building on previous projects results this project intends for new configurations using GSM-R and multi locomotives distributed traction to allow, jointly with the S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2018 project to be launched, to perform tests with a 740m train and a 1500m train with distributed traction. This project when implemented will allow a gain up to 40% capacity per ton transported compared to the present control command situation or even 16% capacity gain per ton transported when ERTMS level 3 would be implemented. This project is a way to use the existing infrastructure capacity at its best in the short term with marginal investments, while enhancing the rail freight transport competitiveness up to 30% in comparison with the classical existing freight trains at their optimal use.
  • To give to the users a reliable communication solution largely usable based on a widely spread safe GSM-R network and a table giving guidelines for constituting such trains safely as regard speeds, type of wagons, load distribution in the trains, driving behaviour, operational rules and type of distributed traction in relation with classical route configurations (curves, gradients).
  • To widely disseminate the results to obtain a significant positive impact on the environment and a progress of knowledge in this field.

Results and Publications

* D.2.1 GSM-R or LTE radio, Design solution


D.3.2 Test demonstrators with DPS, Specific application Safety case


D1.1 Integrated Quality and Risk plan


D2.2 TrainDy_ Sensitivity analysis report


D2.3 Integrated system, Safety report


D3.1 LTD simulations report


* D3.3 Test demonstrators with DPS, LTD simulations report


D5.1 Dissemination exploitation and communication plan


* D5.2 Dissemination, exploitation and communication report


* 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.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 826087