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FR8RAIL IV is a project that forms part of Shift2Rail and aims to further develop technologies that are relevant to the rail industry. The objective of the project is to contribute to the overarching goals identified by all the members of Shift2Rail in order to make rail freight more attractive.

FR8RAIL IV began at the end of the summer of 2020 and will continue until September 2022. The project has a budget of 18 million euros. This project has received funding from the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101004051. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Shift2Rail JU members other than the Union.

The work involved in FR8RAIL IV is partly based on the results of previous Shift2Rail projects including FFL4E, ARCC, FR8RAIL, FR8RAIL II, FR8RAIL III and FR8HUB. FR8RAIL IV will further develop technologies such as condition-based maintenance, automatic couplers, telematics and electrification, together with new concepts for intelligent wagons and long trains.

The project has nine Work Packages:

  • WP1 - Condition Based Maintenance (CBM)
    This package will develop the CBM concept and focus on improving sensor-based monitoring systems that report on the condition of components, for example, the engine oil in a diesel locomotive.
  • WP2: CBM Wayside monitoring
    The aim is to make it possible to determine the condition of goods wagons at an earlier stage. The work package will validate diagnostic systems and develop a new model for diagnosing existing wheel damage.
  • WP3: Automatic Coupler
    This package will test the technical solution for an automatic coupler developed as part of FR8RAIL and FR8RAIL II under real operating conditions. A tried-and-tested solution will bring future standardisation in Europe closer and it may be possible to make a product available on the market. The tests will be carried out in Sweden in winter. 
  • WP4: Automation of Rail Freight
    A driver support system that identifies what is happening on the track and the train to allow the right operational decisions to be made.
  • WP5: Core Market Wagon
    An aluminum bogie will be developed for goods wagons. The bogie is the undercarriage that pivots in relation to the body of the wagon. It will increase the load capacity and improve cornering. The wagon will have a load capacity that is almost 900 kg larger.
  • WP6: Extended Market Wagon
    This package involves the design of a robust goods wagon with two axles and a specific body structure with a large capacity. It will focus among other things on improving the aerodynamics of the running gear and the wagon monitoring system.
  • WP7: Telematics and electrification
    The purpose of this work package is to test the functions of wagon on-board units (wOBUs) with an emphasis on wireless communication. By developing a wireless communication infrastructure for wOBUs, seamless communication will be possible for sensors and service-bearing applications.
  • WP8: Long Trains with Distributed Power
    This package will investigate further the technology for distributed power and evaluate the feasibility of goods trains up to 1500 meters long. Preparations will be made for the implementation of these trains and a migration plan will be produced.
  • WP9: Freight Loco of the Future
    This work package aims to assess propulsion concepts for the last mile, such as fuel cells, batteries, etc.

The contribution made by CLOSER to the project is to provide neutral, independent leadership, facilitate research and innovation, and prepare and set up demonstrations of automatic couplers. CLOSER will also make the results of FR8RAIL IV available to organisations outside Shift2Rail and help them to gain a better understanding of these results and the impact that they can have.

Do you want to know more about FR8RAIL IV?

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