MODTRAIN project scope diagram

MODBOGIE — Running gear

Within the definition of a vehicle architecture, the motorised bogie represents a very significant and critical module to achieve required performances in terms of energy efficiency, increased power / weight ratio, wider dynamic performances, reduced environmental impact (acoustic noise and EMC) and reduced maintenance costs.

The key objective of this Subproject is the standardisation of functional modules and their interfaces through the development of a "Virtual Motorised Bogie" and its demonstrators.

Starting from a set of performances and functional requirements of the complete train system and from TSIs, a subsystem specification set will be developed for the motorised bogie; then the definition of the components, the interfaces among them and the interfaces with other subsystems will be carried out. For MODBOGIE, technical and operational interoperability issues must be specifically considered.

For major components of the subsystem itself, a standard test plan will be defined for acceptance and validation of the project and the product, selecting the necessary hardware and software tools generally recognised.

The major external interfaces to be defined are with the car body for structural issues; command / control for diagnostics and monitoring; power conversion system for traction motor supply, and the track for vehicle dynamic performance.

After a first step of validation of functionalities and interfaces by software simulation and demonstration, the construction and testing of lab demonstrators for the most critical components will be undertaken.

MODCONTROL — Train control and monitoring system

Within the definition of the train and vehicle architecture, the Train Control and Monitoring System (TCMS) represents a critical subsystem to achieve the required performance in terms of integration and maintenance cost. The TCMS can be considered as the "nervous backbone" of the train and is a subsystem with well-identified own characteristics, satisfying a specific set of requirements, and with clear interfaces with other on-board subsystems and ground facilities.

A key objective of MODCONTROL is the standardisation of TCMS functional modules and their interfaces with other subsystems, on-board and external to the train, through the development of a "Virtual Train Control System" and its demonstrators.

The MODCONTROL approach is to elaborate generic Functional Requirements Specification and System Requirements Specification for a new generation of TCMS. These specifications will aim at the standardisation of essential interfaces of the TCMS subsystem with other major subsystems of the train, such as the Traction Control System, the HVAC, the Door System, the Brake System and the Auxiliary Power System. One main goal is to interface easily the TCMS with subsystems provided by different suppliers.

Then, in a second step, MODCONTROL will design and simulate a TCMS prototype that meets the above specifications, in order to prove its feasibility. Improving RAMS and reducing LCC will be key design constraints.

In summary, by defining and specifying the necessary evolutions of the TCMS, MODCONTROL will:

  • Allow the implementation of new concepts for vehicle architecture resulting from the other MODTRAIN Subprojects.
  • Contribute, for its domain, to the new standardisation and harmonisation efforts that will be necessary to achieve an integrated and interoperable transport system, as well as an open market for key TCMS components and attached subsystems.
  • Provide enhanced performance, at reasonable costs, taking advantage of results of related research programmes and of relevant innovations in communication and information technologies occurring in neighbour industrial sectors.

MODPOWER — On-board power system

The technical scope of MODPOWER comprises the electrical supply, distribution and conversion systems on board all types of trains. Auxiliary power supply systems, battery systems as well as the interfaces between traction components, including the high voltage equipment and the pantograph, are objects of investigation.

The subproject MODPOWER will contribute to the overall MODTRAIN project targets by means of design concept standardization, standardization of functional, mechanical and electrical interfaces and harmonization of maintenance concepts. Improvements within reach will be higher system availability and reliability, better customer relevant performances, better specified function specifications for the long term rolling stock operational maintaining, as well as cost reductions enabled by scaling effects and initial cost savings, for example cost savings related to design, engineering, tools, tests and approval procedures.

The standardization results regarding interfaces, essential system characteristics and concepts will be summarized in technical specifications and validated by system simulations. The participation of major partners of the railway operator group and the railway industry will ensure a quick introduction of these technical contributions and defined approval processes into standards, obligatory documents and conformity assessment procedures.

MODLINK — Modular man-machine and train-to-train interfaces

EUDD embedded in a realistic simulation environment (© Siemens Transportation)

EUDD embedded in a realistic simulation environment (© Siemens Transportation)

MODLINK is the largest of the four MODTRAIN subprojects. The objective of MODLINK is to develop and test modular and harmonised improved technical solutions as essential contribution to a competitive European rail system on three major working areas:

  1. Integration of a working train cab & man machine interface (working area EUCAB),
  2. Development of an interoperable passenger and crew MMI concept (working area EUPAX),
  3. Development of an inter-train data transmission link from different operators (working area EUCOUPLER).

MODLINK therefore consists of these three work packages EUCAB, EUPAX and EUCOUPLER corresponding to the main fields of activities "Driver Interface", "Passenger/crew interface", "Train-to-train high capacity data interface". The development and integration activities in the three working areas will result in full size functional mock-ups. Industrial design features, functions and components with interchangeable modules will be demonstrated as integrated solutions for European harmonisation.

3D draft design graphic of the EUCAB-EUPAX mock-up (© Bombardier Transportation)

3D draft design graphic of the EUCAB-EUPAX mock-up (© Bombardier Transportation)

The MODLINK subproject is lead by FAV - Transport Technology Systems Network Berlin - together with Bombardier Transportation Hennigsdorf. All system suppliers Alstom, Siemens and Ansaldobreda, the leading railway operators DB, SNCF and Trenitalia, UIC as the worldwide railway association as well as some 20 further partners from science and SMEs are actively involved in this project.

This involvement of both rail industry and operators along the lines of the new culture of cooperation prepares the ground for the consensus approach inevitable to achieve the ambitious goals.

The close collaboration among the partners, users and European railway associations enables already during the project the provision of valuable analysis results for future European harmonisation and standardisation purposes.

MODLINK represents the focal point demonstrating MODTRAIN capabilities in tangible hardware.

MODUSER — The MODTRAIN User Platform

MODUSER is the 5th subproject of MODTRAIN interfacing with the four other technical subprojects MODBOGIE, MODCONTROL, MODLINK and MODPOWER in a horizontal manner.

One of MODUSER's main tasks is to inform relevant railway stakeholders, which are not direct partners of MODTRAIN, about the project's development and results, in order to enable the stakeholders to react in good time to the project's future impacts on operation and production and to give valuable technical input to the MODTRAIN project in the areas of their expertise.

The key objectives of the MODTRAIN User Platform are:

Understanding the commercial requirements from:

  • Railway undertakings
  • Infrastructure managers
  • Continuously checking with sub-suppliers and component suppliers for:
  • Compliance with new requirements
  • Feasibility, performance and cost of the new modular components
  • Adaptation of existing components to modular requirements


  • Guaranteeing useful interaction with the 4 technical MODTRAIN Subprojects for Functional Requirement Specification (FRS) / System Requirement Specification (SRS)
  • Test and validation procedures for deliverables from the 4 technical MODTRAIN Subprojects
  • Exchange of information with other European Integrated Research Projects and consultation of expertise from the Network of Excellence, UIC and its Technical Committees

The MODUSER Subproject is under the co-leadership of UIC (International Union of Railways) and UNIFE (Association of European Railway Industries). SMEs at national level are represented by the four national railway industry associations ANIE/ASSIFER (Italy), FIF (France), RIA (United Kingdom) and VDB (Germany). The national associations inform the industry at national level about MODTRAIN and establish a pool of SME experts for the necessary technical interaction with the project.

In order to assure the widespread involvement of all relevant railway stakeholders, UIC has some specific tasks within the MODUSER module, namely

  • To organise MODUSER module as the platform of all RU, IM and end clients
  • To set up independent expert working group as needed for checking the compliance with requirements and performance of the new components
  • To facilitate the consensus building between industry and operators
  • To use available expertise within the members of the UIC Technology and Research bodies for validating the procedures and acceptance testing of the new modules

MODUSER regularly disseminates updated project information via national and European MODTRAIN conferences and seminars, the MODTRAIN newsletter and the MODTRAIN website with the latest events calendar. In parallel, UIC circulates information on the project progress to the experts and members of the relevant working bodies and they, in return, expect to provide useful feedback to the project.

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