- Project Dates: From June 2011 to May 2015
- Project Leader: Dr. Francis Franklin
- Staff: Dr. Emmanuel Matsika, Dr. Paul Hyde
- Sponsors: European Commission
- Partners: Consorzio TRAIN Network Rail UIC UNIFE + others
The purpose of the SUSTRAIL project is to contribute to the rail freight system to allow it to regain position and market. The proposed solution is based on a combined improvement in both freight vehicle and track components in an holistic approach aimed at achieving a higher reliability and increased performance of the rail freight system as a whole and profitability for all the stakeholders. The SUSTRAIL integrated approach is based on innovations in rolling stock and freight vehicles (with a targeted increase in speed and axle-load) combined with innovations in the track components (for higher reliability and reduced maintenance), whose benefits to freight and passenger users (since mixed routes are considered) are quantified through the development of an appropriate business case with estimation of cost savings on a life cycle basis. In fact, an holistic approach to vehicle and track sustainability has to be taken, since improvements in track design and materials alone are not enough as demands on the rail system increase.
Contributions from the different topic areas (vehicles, track, operations) will be demonstrated on real routes, offering geographic dispersion as well as differences in type, speed, and frequency of traffic. A strong multidisciplinary consortium committed to concrete actions aligned toward a common outcome has been grouped for the achievement of the challenging objectives of the project with a balanced combination of Infrastructure managers, freight operators and Industry, including large and small enterprises, with support from academia.
NewRail has a major role benchmarking the routes selected in the project, assessing the test track (including MiniProf rail and wheel measurements) and in developing a new freight vehicle body.