Project Structure:

Roll2Rail aims to impact the performance at railways system level by introducing breakthrough technologies as a radical change that should revolutionise the train concept for the future. The innovations to be achieved in the various work packages will Roll2RAIL will focus on technological innovations in different subsystems of the vehicles which, each and all together contribute to achieve the desired impact at vehicle level and whole railway system level on capacity, reliability, efficiency, comfort and LCC. The project expects innovations in 8 different areas such as traction and power electronics, train communications, car bodyshell, running gear technologies, brakes, train interiors, noise and vibration and energy performance.

Work Packages and Work Package leaders.

: Having reached the maximum efficiency with current power electronics technology (silicon), the project aims, on one hand, at reaping all the benefits of the incipient silicon carbide semiconductor technology, which will derive in smaller lighter, more efficient and more reliable railway traction systems. At the same time, low-floor wheel-motor assemblies for high-speed trains will be addressed. Key aspects of performance such as noise emission or reliability/availability will be studied, along with possible technical standardisation that will derive on cost reductions. All these ingredients together form the basis of the 2020+ railway traction technology.

By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled
  • Standard specifications of the new power electronics components for railway applications;
  • System architectures for the implementation and use of these components for specific applications in urban DC systems and in mainline AC system;
  • Feasibility of new wheel-motor low-floor configurations to be applied in high speed environment; Technical solutions to reduce acoustic and electromagnetic noise coming from motors will be developed, and;
  • Technical criteria and system architectures for reliability and availability.

WP2: The aim is to develop a radical new generation of train communication systems based on wireless technologies for train control and monitoring functions, thus reducing or even completely eliminating onboard communication cables and simplifying the train coupling procedure. As the development is perceived as high risk and is dependent on the development of the technology in other sectors, possible different levels of implementation are foreseen, with increasing difficulty but also higher benefits: starting from non-critical functions (e.g. multimedia, infotainment), functions relevant to vehicle availability (e.g. air conditioned) and the highest level being safety critical functions (full train control and monitoring system).

By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled:

  • Radio communications technology assessment for railways applications (onboard, train-to-train and train-to-ground), to increase reliability and reduce life cycle costs;
  • Development of standard high level resilient architectures and physical interfaces for the train wireless communication systems, to drive their deployment in real products in the future.

WP3: Weight cannot be further reduced with currently used materials. Therefore this WP aims at developing composite material technology and to facilitate its application in railways. The REFRESCO FP7 funded project is currently working on the setting up of a framework for specifications and standards to allow the use of composite materials in structural parts of trains. Roll2Rail will capitalise on the results of REFRESCO. It should also be kept in mind that both projects are addressing differing but complementary aspects of the car bodyshell subsystem, which will be brought several steps forward in Roll2Rail with the identification of the most adequate materials for use in railways with consideration of the technical conditions (strength, fatigue, vibration, noise, thermal insulation, maintainability), the function of the sub-assembly inside the carbody (which will require different solutions/combinations of materials) and also the manufacturing conditions in this sector.

By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled
  • Development of two technical specifications (High Speed Train and Urban) for the car bodies that will be created and also the definition of those car bodies and parts which will be used for further tests;
  • Studying the integration of coach subparts in composite material car bodyshells;
  • Establishing a selection process in order to find the new combination of composite materials that are adequate for each sub-part of the whole carbody assembly;
  • Researching about joining technologies used for new generation composite materials applied to railway environment, and;
  • Researching manufacturing processes and automation solutions.

WP4: Concepts for innovative running gear technologies have been technically feasible, however they have failed to move to the market because the benefits were obtained at railway system LCC level which is difficult to quantify. To unblock innovation in this area, a cost modelling methodology is required which is valid and accepted widely throughout Europe. This will reflect and quantify the global impact of running gear performance on the whole railway system economics. The universal cost quantification model is essential to orientate the work to be carried out in Shift2Rail (e.g. mechatronics, new materials, wireless sensors...), to quantify the value of the results and ultimately to ensure the market uptake of the newly developed technologies.

By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled:

  • Development of an accurate but practical (i.e. simplified) quantitative model of all the physical phenomena which have an impact on the railway system LCC and which are influenced by running gear performance. This can be broken down into:
    • The influence of running gear technology on track maintenance cost. This can be achieved by either reducing track deterioration rates or by relaxing the requirements on track quality by introducing more intelligent or active suspension systems;
    • The reduction of maintenance cost on the vehicle itself by e.g. reduced wheel wear and damage.
  • Development of accurate but practical (simplified) quantitative models of all the range of railway system management operations (e.g., maintenance operations, energy management, noise and passenger comfort);
  • Development of quantitative representations of the economic impact of these aspects, considering the different possible railway business models in Europe.

WP5: Homologation of a train including homologation of a brake system has lately become an increasing time and cost intensive issue. Therefore the European commission decision for taking a European approach for homologation tries to further standardise and harmonise the requirements. In addition many countries have remaining own national requirements which also can be different or inconsistent with other requirements or in between. Roll2Rail will study in depth the existing homologation requirements including national level and envisage future requirements for the brakes. This is the first step necessary to come to a reduction in effort for homologation of brakes. Cooperation with both Notified and Designated Bodies will be developed throughout the whole activities.

By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled
  • Analysis of the relevant rules and specifications for homologation with proposals for standardization and harmonization  
  • Analysis of the current homologation processes with focus on Europe and identify the weaknesses
These achievements in the scope of Shift2Rail are essential for enabling the implementation of technological innovation in braking systems without delay.

WP6: The development of future train interiors should be based on analyses of new needs during travelling in the modern internet based society, increased number of commuters as well as an older population. In addition, there is a challenge for the rail sector with the innovative solutions that are under development for future passenger environment on-board other competing modes of transport such as cars and planes.

By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled:
  •  Providing guidelines or best practice to ensure the “voice of the passenger” is captured in future train specifications whilst respecting the evolving future needs of passengers, and the boundary conditions that apply to rail interior design.

WP7: To reduce the overall noise from railways in Europe and allow for better designs there is a specific need to further develop an assessment procedure that can separate track noise from vehicle noise. One example of rolling stock legislation is the TSI NOISE where pass-by levels are often dominated by rolling noise for which track noise contribution plays an important role and track parameters are key factors. By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled:

  • The development of a practical and reliable hybrid method for the separation of rolling stock noise from track noise during vehicle pass-by. That will include the validation of the model using field test data as well as the identification of areas for further improvement that will be carried out within Shift2Rail. The separation method should be applicable for all types of rolling stock and should be suitable for regulatory purposes such as TSI.

WP8: This transversal activity looks for a coherent alignment with other energy discussion and standardisation groups (e.g. UNIFE, UIC, UITP, CER, CENELEC...), as well as with existing standards or normative. It is intended to support technical and scientifically other work packages on the energy specific aspects and to push on potential new solutions and/or evaluation and pull on local results at early stage of technologies developments (up to TRL3).

By the end of the project, the following specific achievements will be fulfilled:
  • To Link the energy targets to the most appropriate standardised approach for determination of energy efficiency in railway operation;
  • To develop a standardised methodology for the calculation of energy consumption for Passenger, Freight and Urban trains.

WP9: This WP looks at the overall system level by combining the innovations developed in each of the individual Work Packages. This will focus on the definition of the adequate methodology for evaluating system-level impact in the desired areas. This includes not only a model for calculation, but also establishing adequate baselines and case studies. WP9 will also quantify the performance at WP level in all aspects that can influence the global impact and use of the proposed methodology to achieve global impact figures.

WP10: This WP will ensure proper dissemination and promotion of the project and its results, in a way which is consistent with the wider dissemination and promotion activities of Shift2Rail. It ensures that the outputs of the project are delivered in a form which makes them immediately available for use by the Innovation Programme 1 within Shift2Rail. It will also ensure that all important actors in the European railway sector are informed about Roll2Rail, its objectives , content and results. It will also facilitate acceptance of the project outcomes by the standards and regulatory bodies as well as by the main actors of the EU rail sector.

WP11: This work package takes care of the coordination of the project and overall administrative and financial management activities.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 636032

ROLL2RAIL Privacy Policy


Total Budget: €16 million (EU funded)
Project Start Date: 1 May 2015
Project End Date: 31 Oct 2017 
Duration: 30 months
Partners: 31 


Avenue Louise 221
B-1050 Brussels
+32 (0)2 642 23 24

Copyright © 2015 Roll2Rail Consortium