The Technological Research Institute (IRT) specializes in developing, testing and validate technologies and innovating solution in response to the railway field ‘stakes. These solutions are developed in the research programs.

In order to bring out the objectives on which to bring the effort on R&D, Railenium built its road map on a collectively shared stakes approach by the actors, railway operators and network managers, builders, equipment, engineering offices, construction companies. There are five of them


E1: Costs reduction:

  • Development
  • Acquisition
  • Certification
  • Maintenance
  • Operation condition

E2: Performance, security, operation

  • Capacity
  • Reliability
  • Robustness
  • Resilience

E3: Efficiency of the development cycle

  • Conception
  • Innovation process
  • Approval, certification
  • Mutualisation investments

E4: Reduction of the environmental scar*:

  • Energy
  • Noise
  • Pollutant emission
  • Sustainability

E5: Enhancing the traveller’s experience

  • Quality, comfort
  • Accessibility
  • Mobility offer
  • Services

Five main stake for the railway field


Managing the cost of railway transportation

This is a major stake for the railway transportation. At the European level, the Shift2Rail program help a global objective of cost reduction to 50% through two main axes:

  • Reduction of the global possession cost on a Life Cycle Cost approach of the equipment, material and infrastructures starting with an optimized conception to recycling going through a research of cost reduction at every level of manufacturing, set in operation and maintenance operations;
  • An optimisation of the maintenance production cost, whose importance is significant in the railway systems, which is explained in particular by the lifespan of the equipment and railway infrastructures. This optimisation goes through three major levers: digitalisation of the maintenance operations; predictive maintenance, expected and conditional; the performance of the maintenance operations.

The enhancement of the network’s performances

The future train is fast, cadenced, steady, comfortable, economic and communicative.

Enhancing these performances suggests to make the network available during the maintenance’s operations, anticipate and effectively manage disturbed situations, handle the regularity of the trains and ensure the durability of the infrastructures.

The suggested solutions by research are in particular focused on:

  • Planning the maintenance/work logistic activities;
  • The development of new signalling systems;
  • The use of new information and communication technologies;
  • The anticipation of the possible risks in real conditions in order to reinforce the operation safety of the tracks and art work.

The performance of the innovation processes

This part is since the beginning the heart of the Railenium project, through in particular considered investments and the ambition to reduce the “Time to market” of the developments handled in the IRT. It requires a work with all the members of the field on the following axes:

  • Needs of investments, on test and means installation at scale 1 (of railway loop test type), as well as on equipment (test bench) that could give interesting alternatives in terms of cost, delays, control of the test and means conditions and replication;
  • Methods of certification, identification of the progress points ( in particular the place of digital simulation and physics test and means replacing the test and means on the operated network where, at least, by reducing their use);
  • A better use of the test and means in operated network ( access conditions and exchange of collected data on the operated network) and the setting in network of all the test and means.

Reduction of the environmental impact and power efficiency.

To be set in a sustainable perspective implies, in particular, reducing in a significant way the power consumption of the railway network, a subject still very new for the field. Railenium mobilises many of its research programs for a transportation system more respectful of the environment, including revitalising the railway freight:

  • The reduction of the power consumptions (performance of the tracking chain, aerodynamic of the trains, recycling energy, smart grid applied to the railway electrical network, eco-driving, decrease of the vehicle tare)
  • Using new materials, sustainable and recyclable in end of life;
  • Diffusion of the eco-conception ways taking into account the deconstruction;
  • Reduction of the polluting emissions, in particular the emission of particles and management of the air quality (in trains, stations, underground networks);
  • Control of the acoustic disturbance generated, that can become a drag for the railway development ( in particular for the freight).

The enhancement of the traveller’s experience

  • Enhancement of the quality of the railway transportation time based on two plans: traveller comfort (design, hygiene, reduction of the vibrations, the noise and air quality) and connected traveller;
  • The accessibility for al travellers and development of performant solutions and at a managed cost for the people with reduced mobility or seniors;
  • Mobility management (development of intermodal solutions, service offer to accompany the traveller).