For the first time, a comprehensive European grasp of the railways is being taken through the Shift2Rail initiative. Nearly SEK 9 billion is being invested from the EU and the industry for the purpose of developing the rail system to meet tomorrow's needs. Part of the Horizon 2020 project, Shift2Rail will run up until 2023. With 71 member organizations working in six innovation programs, the Swedish Transport Administration is taking part as a Swedish partner and one of the founding members. CLOSER is now coming in to support the Administration in its latest project: FR8HUB.
The project being created is a complex one. It is a multi-year project consisting of many European companies, with a large budget to facilitate rapid technological development. At the same time, there are many parallel projects under way and an all-embracing organization, Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, that require collaboration. This structure is necessary to ensure that the rapid development that is always taking place is built on previous experience.
"A European coordinator for EU projects has a great deal of influence on content and design. That is why we here in Sweden need to become better at taking this role, in order to encourage Swedish companies' engagement and development" says Nicklas Blidberg from CLOSER, the project manager for the FR8HUB project in Shift2Rail.
The FR8HUB project will work on both technological development and strategies for how to succeed, from a business and logistics perspective, in implementing the technologies in the market. The technological development mentioned above is linked to a great extent to rail junctions, and is a component of the major vision in Shift2Rail. The project will work on improving methods and approached for increasing the interaction between the rail network and the sorting yards. It will also work on creating simpler information flows through the Intelligent Video Gate concept and developing sensor technology that communicate the need for preventive maintenance on wagon bogies. The project will also look more closely at how locomotives can be developed - both possibilities for existing locomotives currently operating at the terminals to become more environmentally friendly, and also the next generation of energy-efficient freight locomotives.
"It is gratifying to be able to bring CLOSER into Shift2Rail and to ensure that Sweden obtains the competence to manage major EU projects. We believe that they will strengthen the consortium through their knowledge, and at the same time contribute to more people having the opportunity to gain insight into the project and our results" says Jan Bergstrand of the Swedish Transport Administration, with responsibility for freight as part of Shift2Rail.
Project manager: Niclas Blidberg på Lindholmen Science Park