Innovative Control Tower for European rail freight transport

published: 17-10-2018

The SMART-RAIL project (Smart Supply Chain Oriented Rail Freight Services) on November 17 in Brussels presented itself to the European rail transport community at innovation initiative Shift2Rail’s Lighthouse Projects Event.

Panteia takes stock in SMART-RAIL as manager of one of its core innovation initiatives: Control Tower for long distance rail freight transport. We connect market parties, research institutes and public authorities such as infrastructure managers (IMs) and port authorities. As well as adding our own extensive knowhow, we make the most out of combined backgrounds and fields of expertise.

Control Tower The Control Tower for long distance rail freight transport will enable a more reliable, visible and competitive rail freight service as part of the multimodal chain. It consists of an add-on IT interface to the existing control system for road transport in use with project partner Seacon, a Logistic Service Provider (LSP). Initial implementation on two rail corridors will serve as a showcase for further uptake in the rail freight sector.

By improving predictability and visibility - and thereby reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) - the Control Tower will show the ability to make rail freight a better and more competitive product. Information sharing between different stakeholders is to create regular, and ultimately real-time, status updates on the rail corridor. Implementation is now foreseen for rail corridors Bettembourg – Le Belou and Rotterdam – Venlo, possibly followed on corridors Neuss-Budapest and Venlo – Melzo.

Shift2Rail Shift2Rail is the first European rail initiative to seek focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions through accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. R&I carried out under this Horizon 2020 initiative will develop the necessary technology to double the capacity of the European rail system and increase its reliability and service quality by 50%.

The Shift2Rail event offered the occasion to present the work carried out so far, look ahead and pave the way for integration of the projects’ results within Shift2Rail. The event was opened by Mr. Philippe Citroën, Director General of the Association of the European Rail Industry. As an overarching conclusion, it was noted that rail transport’s potential for growth through innovation is evident. However, a change of mindset and sense of urgency in the sector are vital for achieving that goal.

For more information visit the SMART-RAIL or Shift2Rail webpage.

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