Within the framework of Innovation Programme 5 of the EU Initiative Shift2Rail the project partners are developing a new service-oriented profile for rail freight transport. The aims include on-time deliveries at competitive prices and linking rail transport with other modes of transport. The needs of customers are always taken into account. Another objective of Innovation Programme 5 is to increase the productivity of rail freight transport. In order to achieve a significant improvement in this area, researchers are addressing current operational and system-related weaknesses and constraints, as well as interoperability issues, so as to be able to develop cost-effective solutions. Their work focuses on optimizing existing infrastructure and transferring technology from other sectors to rail freight.
The previous projects FR8RAIL I-III and FR8HUB of the Innovation Prgramme 5 created a framework for an effective railroad for freight transport as part of the logistics value chain. Intelligent equipment and rail terminals that enable the provision of accurate information to end customers and operators will advance the level of automation. The aim of the follow-up project FR8RAIL IV is now to further develop technologies relevant to rail freight transport in order to achieve the goal highlighted in the Shift2Rrail master plan of increasing the productivity of rail freight transport. In FR8RAIL IV, the project partners are developing, among other things, next-generation locomotives, concepts for realizing train lengths of up to 1,500 meters, systems for automating rail freight transport, new wagon concepts for increasing the reliability and cost-effectiveness of freight transport, and the implementation of condition-based maintenance intervals. The Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology is leading the project and is responsible for the aerodynamic optimization of the freight wagon and train composition.