INNOTRACK -- Innovative Track System --- A unique approach from infrastructure managers and competitive track supply industry to develop the innovative products of the future
Paper in proceeding, 2006
InnoTrack is a R&D project that has gathered 35 European participants to a joint project. Several leading rail infrastructure mangers (IM) and industrial suppliers are partners in the consortium. This initiative gives a unique opportunity to concentrate on research issues that will contribute to a reduction of rail infrastructure Life Cycle Cost (LCC) and doing so in close cooperation between rail IMs and industry suppliers, the two major players in the rail industry.. In addition, several of the leading European universities in the area are actively participating in the project.
The EC White paper on Sustainable Transport calls for rail operators to:
• Double passenger traffic & triple freight traffic by 2020
• Reduce LCC by 30%
The Railway Business Scenario 2020 also calls for railways to capture 15% of freight & 12% of the passenger market.
To achieve these objectives, investment alone is not sufficient, but has to be complemented by significant innovation and technology transfer. This can only be achieved in a very close cooperation between IMs and industry suppliers. In this process, it is essential that the IMs, as the end users, set out their priorities and needs, at a European Level, to solve critical problems for achieving the white paper objectives.
This will be done by performing research on four key topics:
• Track support structure
• Switches and Crossings
• Logistics for track maintenance and renewal
To ensure that cost reductions can be consistently evaluated across Europe, InnoTrack will also devise an innovative generic methodology for LCC calculation, based on best LCC practices at a EU level, to be offered IMs across Europe.
For each of the research topics, InnoTrack will:
• Analyse root causes of the identified issues on a European scale taking into account the effect of different duty conditions whilst providing product and service solutions for cheaper and longer lasting tracks
• Draw together common European specifications regarding Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) combined with LCC
• Provide innovative solutions to reduce failure rates and decrease LCC of material, equipment, machinery and systems
Finally, InnoTrack will assure a wide dissemination through UIC and UNIFE, two organisations representing IMs and industry.
The current paper gives an overview of the InnoTrack project.