- Country Profiles
- About TRIP
Infrastructure accounts for about 70% of railway systems' total costs. Rail infrastructure managers spend millions of euros each year on maintaining network infrastructures throughout Europe while the supply industry is investing hundreds of millions in research and development on rail technologies to deliver cost-effective products for rail infrastructure.
Any reduction of production and maintenance costs would, therefore, have a significant impact on the overall cost of the provision of rail infrastructure for operators. However, a reduction in the production cost itself at the site of the supply industry has to go hand in hand with a reduction in maintenance and renewal costs for infrastructure managers (IMs).
There is a strong need to bring together those responsible for the delivery of railway transportation with those responsible for providing products, services and technologies to this industry, in order to reduce life-cycle costs (LCC), improve reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) of infrastructure, while still increasing the service life of infrastructure and overall performance of the rail system.
The INNOTRACK project was a joint response of the major stakeholders in the rail sector – infrastructure managers, railway supply industry and research bodies – to further develop a cost effective high performance track infrastructure by providing innovative solutions towards significant reduction of both investments and maintenance related infrastructure costs.
INNOTRACK has been a unique opportunity to bring together rail IMs and industry suppliers and to concentrate on the re-search issues that has a strong influence on the reduction of rail infrastructure LCC.
The main objective of INNOTRACK was to reduce the LCC, while improving the RAMS characteristics (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) of a conventional line with a mixed traffic duty.
The second major objective of INNOTRACK was to streamline the introduction of innovative solutions. Railways have suffered for too long from innovative technologies that turn out to be too ambitious and expensive to maintain. This led to significant innovation in products and services offered by the industry. However, to ensure that the innovative solutions do indeed bring benefit to both industry and IMs two issues needed to be tackled:
The third important objective was to harmonise LCC calculations to provide comparison points on a Europe-wide basis.
As an overall measurable objective, INNOTRACK aimed at a 30% LCC reduction of track-related costs.
INNOTRACK was organised in seven sub projects (SP). To achieve a wider approach, a matrix organisation was formed. The three vertical technical projects were developed to meet the technical demands. The three horizontal where created to verify and to give other aspects on technical solutions based on the above mentioned new demands.
The three technical (vertical) sub-projects were:
These sub-projects could be described as traditional technical projects. They were supported by three cross-disciplinary (horizontal) sub-projects:
In addition, SP 7 was developed to ensure the coordination, quality assessment and dissemination.
The result from innotrack is like a toolbox with many innovative solutions, the most important of which are presented as 'highlights':
The INNOTRACK project was unique in many aspects: it was the first research project of this scale (with a budget of roughly € 20 M) concerning track structure that involved infrastructure managers, industry, research institutes, and universities. Since development of innovative technical solutions involved not only the industry, but also infrastructure managers and research bodies, the technical validation became an integrated part of the development process. This work has now commenced with solutions being adopted by the industrial partners and testing in field by the involved infrastructure managers. The tight integration between numerical simulations, experiments, and field tests is typical for much development in INNOTRACK.
INNOTRACK has provided a unique opportunity to bring together all major stakeholders – manufacturing and contractors; supply industry; infrastructure managers; railway undertakings; system integrators, and the elite of the European railway research community.
During the course of INNOTRACK it has been possible to have a concentrated focus by all these parties on identified common European cost drivers. The outcome of these concentrated efforts, as manifested in INNOTRACK's over 140 R&D reports, will shape the development of the railway track sector of Europe for a long time.
Union Internationale des Chemins de fer, France Voestalpine Schienen GmbH; ÖSTERREICHISCHE BUNDESBAHNEN - Infrastuktur Bau AG; VAE GmbH
Association of the European Railway Industries
Ceské dráhy akciová spolecnost; Czech Technical University in Prague; G-Impuls
Réseau Ferré de France; VOSSLOH COGIFER; Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées; ALSTOM Transport SA; European Federation of Railway Track Work Contractors; Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français; ARTTIC SA
Universitaet Karlsruhe (TH); Polyfelt Deutschland GmbH; ConTraffic GmbH; Goldschmidt Thermit GmbH; DB Netz AG
Delft University of Technology (Technische Universiteit Delft); PRORAIL B.V.
Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias
Banverket; Chalmers University of Technology; Damill AB
SPENO INTERNATIONAL SA
Rail Research UK; Rail Safety & Standards Board; Network Rail Infrastructure Limited; Balfour Beatty Rail Projects Limited; Carillion Construction Ltd; University of Southampton; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Newcastle; Corus UK Ltd, trading as Corus Rail
Mr Bjorn Paulsson
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF RAILWAYS
TRIP is funded by the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).