Control, communication, cyber security - the development of a flexible, real-time, intelligent rail traffic management and decision support system will involve innovation in these and many other areas. An EU-funded project dedicated to signalling and automation systems is helping to advance the necessary R&D.
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Companies from nine European countries have joined forces in the X2Rail-1 project, which was launched in September 2016 for a duration of three years. Their joint contribution to the future of rail traffic management focuses on six key technologies.
Enhancing communication systems, notably in support of next-generation automation systems, is one of the partners main objectives. Other aims include increasing usable track capacity, improving signalling architectures as a contribution to a more decentralised and less cost-intensive system, and developing new cyber security systems for railways.
The partners are also striving to boost train punctuality and minimise energy consumption through extended use of automatic train operation systems. Further activity in the project relates to backward compatibility of technologies that underpin the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), which builds on two standards respectively dedicated to train control and to mobile communications for railway operations. In addition, the project is working on architectures for new lab testing systems and simulations.
X2Rail-1 is a project funded by Shift2Rail, the joint undertaking promoting the development of novel rail product solutions, the competitiveness of the European rail industry and adaptation to changing EU transport needs. It is one of several projects to which the European Commission contributes as part of this joint technology initiative, which aims to deliver the technologies needed to complete the Single European Railway Area.