The Final Conference of NeTIRail-INFRA, co-organised by UIC (dissemination leader) and SŽ, was held on 24 May at the Prometni Institut within Slovenian Railways (SŽ), in Ljubljana.
The NeTIRail-INFRA project (Needs Tailored Interoperable Railway Infrastructure) is a three-year, 5.4m€ collaborative R&D project funded by the European Commission, sponsored by INEA within the Horizon 2020 programme. The project is coordinated by The University of Sheffield and has a total of 13 partners from eight different countries. The NeTIRail-INFRA concept was based on designing railway infrastructure and monitoring tailored to the needs of specific lines to ensure the most cost effective and sustainable solution for different line types and geographical locations.
The conference, attended by around 40 participants from across Europe’s rail infrastructure industry and academia, was opened on the morning of 24 May by Blaz Jemensek on behalf of Peter Verlič, Director of the Prometni Institut within Slovenian Railways, and David Fletcher, Project Coordinator, University of Sheffield. The day’s sessions were moderated by Jonathan Paragreen, Project Manager, University of Sheffield.
Blaz Jemensek on behalf of Peter Verlič, welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of projects such as NeTIRail. He said: “NeTIRail is an important project for infrastructure managers as it enables them to make cost savings through the maintenance of infrastructure. It is a project that connects Europe – from the UK to Turkey – and represents an excellent opportunity for us.”
Dr David Fletcher, Project Coordinator, University of Sheffield, gave a final overview of the project’s aims and objectives. He explained the economic viability and the societal impact of the innovations: “Many projects are quite technically-focused, and so we wanted to bring in the economic and societal impacts.”
The sessions then featured presentations by the various work packages on the results, innovations and impacts of the experiments and activities conducted throughout the project.
Highlights of the conference included:
- Presentation of all of the technologies developed within the NeTIRail-INFRA project
- Demonstrations of sensor technologies and the decision support tools
- Visit of the Slovenia railway museum
Partners of the project: University of Leeds, UIC, ADS, AFER, TU Delft, ALU-FR, IFSTTAR, TCDD, INTADER, VTI, SŽ, RCCF.
The conference ended with a few concluding words by David Fletcher and Jon Paragreen, who thanked the participants – in particular Vlasta Miklavzin and Christine Hassoun for the excellent organisation – as well as the consortium for pulling together, despite it being an ambitious project.