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MODURBAN – next generation urban rail systems

Partners representing major rail integrators, suppliers, operators, research centres and the Union of the European Railway Industries (UNIFE) met in Brussels on 27 January 2005 for the kick-off meeting of EU Integrated Project MODURBAN (Modular urban guided rail systems).

Alcatel Business Development DirectorOlivier Perraud addresses MODURBAN kick off.
Alcatel Business Development DirectorOlivier Perraud addresses MODURBAN kick off.

The aim of the MODURBAN-project is to design, develop and test innovative and open common core system architecture and key interfaces for urban guided rail systems, paving the way for the next generation urban public transport. The project covers subsystems such as control-command, energy, safety and access.

Over 75 participants were welcomed by EC Head of Unit for DG RTD, Luisa Prista, and by EC Project Officers Joost De Bock and Frederic Sgarbi. Keynote speeches were delivered by industry representatives Alcatel and Siemens. Urban rail operators Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) and Metro de Madrid, members of the MODURBAN consortium, also contributed enlightening presentations.

The project is relevant to new lines and services as well as to the renewal and extension of existing ones. Urban operators and industry should both profit economically as the targeted results will contribute to a reduction in average cost per passenger per km, a reduction in the average bidding costs, increased reliability of subsystems as well as reduced maintenance costs.

Improving service, increasing passenger numbers

Madrid Metro
Madrid Metro

A more reliable system, with more efficient maintenance systems and procedures will increase the capacity and the quality of urban transport systems and hence their attractiveness for citizens.

The principle innovations of the MODURBAN project include:

  • Onboard intelligent interfaces, notably an Onboard Interchangeable Module for Automatic Train Protection, based on standardised interfaces with the Wayside Interchangeable Module for Automatic Train Protection (Operational Control Centres and ATP, including interlocking and wayside objects management);
  • A integrated communication system, encompassing operation, monitoring and service functions;
  • Safe access to vehicles, including door systems on automatically operated trains and platform screen doors;
  • Reduction of energy consumption through innovative vehicle design, including the use of light materials, energy-friendly auxiliary systems and energy regeneration systems.

The approved budget for MODURBAN is €10.4 million. The consortium includes operators and industrial partners from the new EU Member States. An intensive communication process has also been established with those industries and operators that are not MODURBAN partners but who will also implement the results.

Project co-ordinator UNIFE leads the way

The European Rail supply industry was formerly represented by three France-based associations: AICMR (Association Internationale des Constructeurs de Matérial Roulant), AFEDEF (Association des Fabricants Européens d'Equipements Ferroviaires) and CELTE (Constructeurs Européens des Locomotives Thermiques et Electriques).

With the creation of the single market in 1993, there was an urgent need to focus on European transport. The three associations merged in 1991, forming UNIFE, the Union of the European Railway Industries. In 1992, UNIFE moved to Brussels. Today it represents nearly 100 leading European companies responsible for the design, manufacture, maintenance and refurbishment of guided land transport systems, subsystems and related equipments.

UNIFE includes 12 National Organisations and associated members representing 900 railway supply companies. The European rail supply industry generates €27 billion in revenues per year and employs 130 000 people. UNIFE members manufacture 60% of rail equipment worldwide.