C4R Project Increases Rail Capacity without Laying Down New Tracks

Rail freight transport is today characterized by inefficiencies in the use of the existing infrastructure while the growing demand is activated by giant containers vessels handling thousands of units in the ports. Lack of industrialization prevents gaining from economies of scale while bottlenecks penalize the optimization of the network use. The rail freight transport market share remains low whereas for environmental reasons immediate progress is required. Capacity4Rail (C4R) intends to analyze the key factors enabling rail freight market share to increase on the most promising segments. The innovations planned by Capacity4Rail are concentrated on three macro-areas from the concept to simulations and tests: wagon structure design, wagon equipment technology and train maneuverability. For the wagon structure, the project focuses on the new design giving direct efficiency: better payload, less deadweight, extended usable length, maintenance cost reduction. With a reduced weight due to the use of new materials the design evolution allows to make the best use of the gauge profile. For the wagon equipment technology a continuous electric line carrying a bus of information all along the train and bringing energy to the wagon allows placing various sensors increasing safety and reliability. With this new wagon connectivity, predictive maintenance is developed but also accurate real time information are available for the customers enhancing the planning efficiency of the next supply chain evolution. The wagons are equipped with an electric command of the pneumatic brakes for an instant and simultaneous braking and releasing. The brakes of all wagons reduces drastically the longitudinal forces in the couplings enabling progressive lengthening of the train reducing operational costs and network capacity consumption per ton transported. For the train, this new braking system improves its maneuverability, giving access to better paths aiming to reduce the wear of the wheels created by the new brake composite shoes imposed for noise reduction. All these potential progress are researched and checked in terms of affordability taking into account not only the global added value created but an equitable reward of all the stakeholders having invested for such innovations. Proposed roadmaps incorporate viable business models for a progressive implementation on the basis of simulations. A virtuous circle is initiated improving the use of assets, reducing noise, informing customers more efficiently, reducing maintenance and operational costs in an affordable way.


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  • Accession Number: 01608204
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:27AM