Encompassing 18 partners including UIC and coordinated by UNIFE, MERLIN is a three-year collaborative R&D project co-funded by the European Commission under FP7 that was started on 2 October 2012. MERLIN’s overall objective is to investigate and demonstrate the viability of an integrated management system to achieve a more sustainable and optimised energy usage in European electric mainline railway systems.
MERLIN achievements to date:
Most of MERLIN’s work packages have now kicked off and the first set of deliverables is expected soon. Since the beginning of the project the following achievements can be reported:
The task relating to the identification of the key railway network elements and main sub-systems specifications has also started. It is aimed at identifying, describing and characterising the key elements of the different sub-systems of a mainline railway system and describing the main components with regard to their energy consumption. Furthermore, this task has also developed a global consumption map describing the energy usage per component and sub-system both in terms of quantity and application (breakdown of tasks performed using the energy measured) and both for freight and passenger traffic. The output of this work should be ready before the summer and will provide direct input to development of the Reference Architecture for the Railway Energy Management System.
To help define and develop the Reference Architecture of the Railway Energy Management System to be developed in MERLIN, the CoralTree (a software tool developed for use in previous projects) has been set up according to the project structure. The setting up of this tool was carried out by Work Package 2 (WP2) during the first four months of the project. This provides the basis for the next activities in WP2 related to the definition of architecture and specification for Railway Energy Management Systems (REM).
The common methodology for the five scenarios explored in MERLIN is currently being developed in order for the scenarios to be evaluated in a common way and allow the data gathered through the scenario simulations to be compared.
Disseminating the MERLIN project’s outcomes
To meet the European Commission’s requirements relating to dissemination, future achievements and public deliverables will be reported on the MERLIN website. A strong graphic identity has been defined for MERLIN (see the MERLIN brochure) and UIC is involved in actively disseminating the project.
Railway Operators are invited to give their input on some of the project outcomes by becoming Members of the MERLIN Rail Reference Group
To allow railway operators and industries not involved as partners in the project to provide advice and influence on the developments of MERLIN, the so-called Rail Reference group has been set up. Several railway operators and industrial companies expressed their interest in joining even before the project was launched on 2 October 2012. To widen this group UIC officially invited the members of the UIC Energy Sector. Companies who have expressed their interest in joining the Rail Reference Group will be invited to a kick off meeting on 11 September 2013 at UIC Headquarters in Paris.
Companies interested in joining the RRG may contact the Work Package Leader Dissemination of the MERLIN project (contact details below).
To further promote the project, MERLIN was presented during the interactive and lively Eco Driving and Driver Assistant Systems workshop held at UIC on 26 June. The presentation focused on planned activities relating to this field and also to extend the network of those informed of the MERLIN project in order to ensure the project is taking into account parallel related activities.
MERLIN consortium members also take the opportunity to promote the project in all potential management-related events, conferences and publications.
Further information on the project will be published on a continuous basis on the MERLIN website, including public deliverables. Also watch out soon for information on the MERLIN mid-term conference which is expected to take place in the first half of 2014 – details are currently being finalised regarding location and collaborations with the 2014 edition of UIC Energy Efficiency Days.