From June 2011 to May 2015
Project Leader(s): 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.


Dr Francis Franklin

Dr Paul Hyde
Research Associate

Dr Dewan Islam
Senior Research Associate

Dr Marin Marinov
Rail Education Group Manager

Dr Emmanuel Matsika
Research Associate

Professor Mark Robinson
Director of NewRail and Professor of Rail Systems Engineering

Dr Cristian Ulianov
Project Manager

Clare Woroniuk
Research Assistant