- Project Dates: From May 2011 to April 2015
- Project Leader: Tom Zunder
- Staff: Marin Marinov, Dewan Islam, Emmanuel Matiska, Clare Woroniuk, Ross Jackson
- Sponsors: European Commission
- Partners: Trafikverket, Network Rail, FloraHolland, NEA, TNO, Gruppo Clas, KrioTrans, P&G
Modern manufacturing techniques and logistics require reliable, time sensitive delivery of lower density and higher value goods. This presents a market opportunity for rail freight to grow, partly due to increasing congestion on roads, and mainly due to the need for reliable and environment friendly transport of goods. At the same time, to meet customer requirements, rail freight has to rise to the challenge of needing to be reliable and available, as well as complying with other market demands. Depending on the market segment these may be faster transport time, specialised goods systems, tracking and tracing, greater flexibility, lower prices or premium services. Furthermore in congested situations rail freight may have a competitive advantage compared to other modes of traffic.Objectives:The SPECTRUM project is a medium scale collaborative project funded by the European commission. The objectives of the project are to work towards defining railfreight services that consist of:
- A freight train that performs like a passenger train in terms of speed, acceleration, braking, momentum: allowing full scheduling on inter-urban and suburban train networks with no excessive consumption of train paths or the inflicting of delay on other rail traffic;
- Increased operational productivity through intensive asset management systems, integration of train, capacity management, infrastructure utilisation and integration through handling systems into the co-modal networks of modern logistics;
- A freight train that is smarter by design in terms of the on-board array of systems for condition monitoring of the train technology, cargo status and tracking and tracing;
- Has a standardised and universal power supply system for the delivery of power to temperature controlled containers (reefers) in a controllable fashion.
- Assess the feasibility of such services within existing networks in terms of available infrastructure and operational capacity.
- Define a business case on the basis of the market demand and the required investment in rolling stock, infrastructure including handling facilities.
- Develop suitable handling and transhipment techniques and deployment.
- Develop freight trains with optimal length and design, able to operate seamlessly with rail passenger traffic, carrying goods at speeds compatible with daytime passenger traffic.
- Develop freight trains with modular design to meet new market demands (e g temperature controlled cargo), with higher productivity, volume and lower unit costs.
- Specify critical process improvements to enhance interfaces with other transport modes in the supply chain.
- Increase opportunities for operators to offer services to compete with or complement air and road freight
- Release rail capacity for increased utilisation of freight without diminishing passenger services;
- Allow premium railfreight services to operate in market sectors previously lost to other modes;
- Reduce urban congestion and mitigate local environmental dis-benefits from goods deliveries;
- Develop a standard for power supply on freight trains that will allow significant take-up of rail for both long and short haul temperature controlled cargoes;
- Provide pre-competitive innovation in power supply, wagon, vehicle and running design to enable new market offerings in the medium to long term.