Friday 21 October 2022

5GRAIL: 3rd Project Advisory Board meeting held on 4 October

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The EU-funded Horizon 2020 5GRAIL project held its third Advisory Board meeting on 4 October, with all of the progress to date being shared with participants in a virtual setting. 27 participants from 19 different organisations attended the event.

Jean-Michel Evanghelou, UIC Deputy Director of the Rail System Department and Project Coordinator, opened the meeting by re-emphasising the main 5GRAIL objectives of developing and testing onboard and trackside prototypes for supporting the major railway applications developed and especially those adapted to the FRMCS architecture. He explained that 5GRAIL is only a steppingstone towards finalising FRMCS and that we are almost at the laboratory testing phase.

Dan Mandoc, Head of FRMCS at UIC and 5GRAIL Technical Coordinator, gave a brief status update on the overall planning of the project. He also showed the use cases being tackled by the project, mapped against 3GPP 5G and MCX (Mission Critical) existing capabilities. Some of the latest achievements were highlighted, like the fact that the first FMRCS prototypes (TOBA and applications) have been developed, and that the first ATO call was performed in February 2022 over a FRMCS simulator. It was also highlighted how important ongoing standardisation work is, as chipset production will also be simplified once a dedicated standard is available.

A more detailed overview of the 5GRAIL test cases and prototypes was given by WP1 Leader, Vassiliki Nikolopoulou (UIC), focusing on the latest achievements and current plans, including lab tests, field tests and road/track coexistence. WP2 Leader, Farid Bazizi (Kontron Transportation), then provided an insight into how prototype implementation is going, with the focus being on the overall architecture of TOBA and the applications, their interfaces and ending with aspects of TOBA service quality and multi-connectivity.

The WP3 and WP4 Leaders, Michael Klöcker (NOKIA DE) and Sébastien Tardif (Kontron Transportation), took to the floor to give an overview of the lab tests, including the lab configurations in Budapest and Paris. They also detailed which equipment had been installed so far in each lab and the current status of their integration. The presentations were complemented by short videos from the labs.

Moving onto the field tests, an overview of the current achievements was given by the head of the German test site, Bernd Holfeld (DB Netz), and the head of the French test site, Nazih Salhab (SNCF Réseau). The characteristics of each test site were presented, together with an overall timeline for the field tests and current levels of preparation.

The presentations closed with the WP6 Leader, Marion Berbineau (Université Gustave Eiffel) showing the work being done on the coexistence of rail and road communication systems. The aim is to define various scenarios (including level crossings) where rail/road systems presently interact and what will happen when there are self-driving vehicles and trains. This set of specific scenarios is implemented via discreet event simulators and the conclusions are formalised based on the simulation/emulation results.

Delivering the first FRMCS prototypes, 5GRAIL has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 951725. The project, coordinated by UIC, started in November 2020, and will last for 30 months. The 18 project partners – including Alstom, CAF, DB Netz, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Infraestruturas de Portugal, Kontron, Nokia, ÖBB, SBB, Siemens, SNCF, Teleste, Thales, UIC, UNIFE, and Université Gustave Eiffel – represent 11 different countries.

For further information, please contact Sophie Sérodon, UIC 5GRAIL Project Manager, at

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