UIC is as project coordinator actively involved in the ERRAC Roadmap project, funded through the 7th EU Research Framework Programme (FP7). Furthermore, the UIC as well as a number of active UIC members are actively involved as Work Package Leaders and participants to the work of the WP’s. The new ERRAC website is maintained by the UIC under WP07.
In February and March, the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) organises a series of open workshops in Brussels designed to help the European Commission to define its agenda for future European rail research.
A workshop on freight-focused research issues ERRAC WP02 will take place on 25 February and a workshop on research related to long-distance passenger services on 3 March.
Participation is open to all interested parties.
The aim of the passenger workshop is to identify and propose research to the European Commission, which supports seamless door-to-door passenger transport with a focus on long-distance rail services. It will also look into interfaces with urban transport systems and other transport modes.
In the freight workshop, the focus lies on identifying research that can promote efficient supply chains that are more flexible in responding to customer demands. This includes items such as tracking and tracing of goods, interoperable information systems and developments that enable rail freight able to blend with passenger traffic. Technical topics that relate to development of rolling stock and infrastructure are dealt with in other work packages.
In both workshops draft roadmaps, each produced by a core group of specialists including the New Opera team and the European Passengers’ Federation, will be presented and form the basis for discussion. Both drafts together with an agenda will be circulated to interested parties at the first week of February.
The next meeting of ERRAC Roadmap WP06 will take place on January 27th at the CER premises in Brussels. A WP06 Workshop is also scheduled for March 18th, for which invitation and programme will be circulated soon to all concerned.
WP06 of the ERRAC Roadmap project concerns 2 important issues:
1. the evaluation of EU-funded rail research projects. A project checklist has been developed - on the basis of the numerous evaluated projects - against which to check new research project proposals. It helps to strengthen the proposal and helps to avoid weak points.
2. the development of an “Rail research Innovation data base”. The idea is that many research projects have run its course over the years – EU funded FP projects, ERRI projects and many more. However, to find the research results is not at all easy, with the danger that many of the results cannot be used to build new research upon.
The new data base will mend this problem and will gather as many as possible rail research projects and results and will give an indication of how actual and useful the results might still be for the future development of an European railway system (ERRAC Vision 2020 and updates). Of course results from the WP’s evaluation tasks will be found there. There will be data on researchers and more. The data base is in the construction phase.
The next meeting of the ERRAC Plenary is scheduled for May 18th. It will be held in the Royal Academy in Brussels. The ERRAC Plenary gathers about 60 members, representing all railway stakeholders and representatives of all Member states.