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The aim with the TRANS4M-R project is to create rail freight as the backbone of Europe's lowest emission and most robust logistics network. Rail Sweden and Trafikverket are together with 70 partners developing the Full Digital Rail Freight Operations and Seamless Rail Freight.

Stor motorväg går över en järnväg. Ett tåg kommer ut underifrån motorvägen

The Europe’s Rail (EU-Rail) technology initiative is one of the main pillars of the European Union’s Horizon Europe innovation program (running from 2021 to 2027). Aiming to speed up the shift from road to rail, the initiative supports a wide range of mobility-focused innovations.

The rail freight industry is facing numerous issues, including a limitation of network capacity and productivity. The aim of the FP5- TRANS4M-R project is to increase the modal split share to 50% by 2030. The objective is to create rail freight as the backbone of Europe's lowest emission and most robust logistics network, fully satisfying end customer criteria.

Two technology clusters “Full Digital Freight Train Operation (FDFTO)” and “Seamless Freight Operation” will develop, validate and demonstrate the FP5- TRANS4M-R technologies following an integrated systemic approach across the sector.

Cluster 1: Full Digital Rail Freight Operations (FDFTO)

To satisfy customer requirements and expectations, digitalization and automation of operational tasks and processes (such as yard/depot/terminal automation and control) are required. Equipping accessible assets with automation components and sensor techniques increases flexibility and utilization, throughput, capacity, efficiency, and reliability, resulting in the following KPIs:

  • Reduced time for train formation/decomposition (shunting/coupling/uncoupling)
  • Reduced time for train preparation/departure
  • Increased average train length [m] up to maximum length under existing infrastructure limits or greater loads

This will be accomplished through the use of enabling technologies, new sub-systems and components, freight wagon development, and locomotive upgrades for associated DAC-functionalities.

Read more about the Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC)

Cluster 2: Seamless Rail Freight

This cluster focuses on the seamless and in-depth integration of multimodal logistics and transportation chains with operational planning and execution in rail freight.

This will benefit the Seamless KPIs (Key performance indicators) by boosting connectivity to consumers and other modes of transportation, matching service quality to customer expectations, and productivity (in terms of average transit time and capacity utilisation). This will be accomplished through digitalising planning and management functions through the use of AI-based enabling technologies.

Rail freight will thus play an important role in the digitisation and automation of Europe's broader transport and logistics industry. This cluster ensures that data flows consistently from customer order to train preparation at all handover points (yards/borders/recipients).

Transformers logotyp för arbetspaket 5

Project time 

Project manager
Anna Björkman

Funded by the European Union and the Swedish Trafikverket. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Europe's rail. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.