The European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) has published a new rail research and innovation agenda – the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), for the rail sector in Europe setting out how a new programme of technical and operational innovation can transform the railways’ contribution to mobility in Europe. The new agenda addresses the needs of railway users, the economy and society, and protect natural resources and the environment.
“Rail has demonstrated it can satisfy the mobility needs of goods and passengers, can accommodate capacity growth and can deliver large transformation programmes. The sector is rich in ideas to make effective use of technology and innovation,” Alberto Parrondo, ERRAC Chairman said.
The new agenda describes nine research and innovation projects required to maximise Europe’s railways’ contribution to meeting emerging mobility needs, strengthening green freight, exploring new solutions such as automation, digital twins and smart asset management. The ‘transforming projects’ (TPs) will contribute to the delivery of a common system vision that is to be developed within the ‘System Pillar’ and the TPs, which deliver it, developed within the ‘Innovation Pillar’ of the new rail Partnership.
The Innovation Pillar will produce solutions directed at three targets, though the related transforming projects. The delivery of new services, the optimisation of rail system’s operations and the development and implementation of innovative assets are the three targets.
The System Pillar will focus on capturing and defining the general vision and target requirements for the railway system architecture; ensuring the synchronized delivery of user and interface specifications for all required parts; defining a smooth transition path from the current situation towards the target; preparing the operational rules adapted to this the new architecture; examining the business case for the innovations and their socio-economic impact.
The TPs highlighted by the rail research and innovation agenda that was produced on the sector’s behalf by the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) are:
– Smart integration for railways within door-to-door mobility;
– Rail as the backbone of a green freight logistic chain;
– Connected and open rail framework for European mobility;
– Network management planning and control;
– Environmentally friendly and attractive sustainable mobility;
– Assets for automated and autonomous and remotely piloted operations;
– Smart asset management and maintenance of the future;
– Non-traditional and emerging transport models and systems;
– Railways digital twin, simulation & virtualisation.