The EU’s Horizon 2020 RUN2Rail project will explore an ensemble of technical developments for future running gear. The acronym stands for Innovative RUNning gear soluTiOns for new dependable, sustainable, intelligent and comfortable RAIL vehicles. This means that it will ask participating universities and companies to look into ways to design trains that are more reliable, lighter, less damaging to the track, more comfortable and less noisy.
As a result, a selection of case studies focusing on the methods and tools elaborated in the project will propose a set of innovations. The RUN2Rail project develops across four thematic Work Streams: Innovative sensors & condition monitoring, Optimised materials & manufacturing technologies, Active suspensions & mechatronics, Noise & Vibration. Consequently, the project will provide a coordinated set of technical key contributions in four areas.
The first key area is the use of novel materials and manufacturing methods in combination with intelligent/active suspensions to enable non-conventional running gear concepts. Another is smart sensors and smart running gear components with self-diagnosing capability. Additional research focuses include the identification of efficient fabrication processes for the running gear (3D metal printing, automated tape layering of composite materials).
Finally, other key areas include the assessment of existing off-the-shelf technology for active control coming from other sectors, as well as the development of a novel and comprehensive methodology for predicting the transmission of noise and vibration from the running gear to the car body.
Universities and Companies Unite for RUN2Rail
Coordinated by the Union Dei Industries Ferroviaires Europeennes – UNIFE Belgium, the project will also involve several universities and from different European nations.
These include the Politecnico Di Milano and Universita Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza (Italy), the University Of Huddersfield and the University Of Southampton (United Kingdom), Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (Sweden) and Universitat Politecnica De Valencia (Spain).
Private companies are also involved. Among these, there are D’Appolonia Belgium (Belgium), Lucchini Rs Spa and Blue Engineering Srl (Italy), Vibratec (France), Metro De Madrid Sa (Spain), Cdh AG (Germany), Evoleo Technologies Lda (Portugal) and Bosch Rexroth AG (Germany).
Finally, working within the four workstreams, RUN2Rail will perform a preliminary evaluation of the related regulatory and standardization issues. Furthermore, the project will enact a careful assessment of the impacts of the new solutions proposed. The research conducted will be multidisciplinary.
Thus, the studies will focus on the integration of different branches of engineering such as mechanical, materials, electronic and electrical engineering. The end result will target establishing models and formal methods to explore a full set of technological developments. Exploiting at best the matching mix of talent and diverse skills offered by the Consortium is key to the success of the initiative.