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Change is on the Horizon -Tics’s David Fletcher opens 2016 NeTIRail-INFRA event

Optimisation of railway technology to ensure the viability and sustainability of socially important rail links at Brussels techical dissemination event.


Dr David Fletcher opening NeTIRail in Brussels

NeTIRail-INFRA, a 5.4m€ project funded by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 Programme, and coordinated by University of Sheffield, held it’s mid-term conference at the Maison Grand Place in Brussels on the 4th November 2016. The event brought together a wide range of stakeholders representing railway operators, infrastructure operators and maintainers, technical industries and research organisations from across Europe and Worldwide.  

The meeting was an opportunity to disseminate the research results from the first 18 months of the project and present the plans for the future. Launched in June 2015, the project aims to develop future railway technology and infrastructure tailored to the economic, reliability and societal needs of different categories of rail systems. The presentations included studies from University of Sheffield, University of Leeds, TU Delft, IFSTTAR, International Union of Railways, INTADER and ADS Electronics on a range of engineering and economic topics.

The conference was opened by Dr David Fletcher, Project Coordinator, giving an brief introduction to the project,  the project structure and the key research topics addressed in each part, which include three core technical packages as well as societal and economic packages.

A number of presentations were then delivered by the various task leaders under three main sessions:

  • Costs, Society and Decision Support
  • Lean Analysis, Corrugation Strategies and Monitoring
  • Lubrication Systems, Transition Zones and Overhead Lines


    An example of the types of track the project results will target.

The technical work being led by Sheffield includes the improvement of vehicle-track dynamics in  transitions between soft embankments  and more rigid bridge structures (an area in which peaks in track forces currently lead to heightened maintenance needs), and improving overhead line power supply systems (reduced fatigue failures, and first laboratory validation of autonomous force monitoring devices to clip on the 25kV overhead lines). LS-Dyna models of the transition zones and overhead line models have been developed to simulate these systems. This research was presented by research associate Dr Rahi Rahbari.  


Further details about the NeTIRail-INFRA project can be found at

Or follow them on twitter @netirail

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