Friday 30 April 2010
European Rail Research

ERRAC Roadmap WP05 Open Workshop

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The 2nd Open Workshop of ERRAC WP05 organised by Jonathan Paragreen (NetworkRail) held at the CER premises in Brussels 22 April 2010 focused on “Whole Railway Cost Models and Drivers for Innovation and Competition”.

The main focus of this workshop was to define a roadmap structure for strengthening the competiveness of the railway sector in the overall transport market.

Railways intend to gain more market share both for freight and for passenger services.

The participants quickly agreed that the only way to achieve this goal was not simply to cut costs. Various ideas were brought up, ranging from productivity to sustainability.

Cleary defined strategic goals are supposed to mark the path leading to a strong and competitive railway sector until the year 2050.

The first goals being defined like an increase of rail modal share for freight by 2050 of 45% and rail modal share for passenger by 2050 of 25 % might sound ambitious but ambitious goals might lead to creative and innovative solutions.

ERRAC is open to all new ideas and provides a platform to be creative and think off the beaten tracks. Solutions to increase competiveness can cover very broad fields.

So far the members of this ERRAC working group have agreed on the following 4 clusters:

  • Productivity
  • Capacity
  • Attractiveness
  • Sustainability

It is not the goal to reinvent the wheel but to fully exploit the existing potentials and improve the existing railway system.

In terms of increasing the capacity ideas like redefining ergonomic passenger needs and traffic flow management came up. Making railways more attractive seems to be an endless field but first results of the brainstorming can be reported like easy ticketing systems, anti-vandalism materials or intermodal ease between transport modes among others.

The group identifies the interface between this work group and work package 1 “The Greening of Surface transport”. Some overlaps were already identified and it was decided to leave the entire energy issue including on-train energy storage, lighter trains and driverless trains with energy optimised traffic to this work package.

The next stage of work is to continue to build up the current state of the art including current and past research projects and then identify the technology gaps.

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