The three-year OSIRIS rail research project came to a close today and its findings are already helping European rail operators to reduce their energy bills and the environmental impact of their operations.
The aim of the OSIRIS project, of which UITP (International Association of Public Transport) was a key partner, was to identify operational and technical innovations that reduce energy costs in running rail systems, which are a significant cost for operators. The project brought together 17 partners, including public transport operators, railway manufacturers and research centres and was co-funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme.
The project designed a modular duty cycle system to suit the needs of urban operators (modelled on UITP’s SORT standard). These duty cycles will help measuring and validating the energy consumption of rolling stock. In addition, OSIRIS developed innovative methodology for simulating, evaluating and optimising energy consumption in urban rail systems, with the objective of reducing the overall energy consumption of Europe’s urban rail systems by 10% by 2020, a target that has already been met.
A series of operational and technical innovations were developed and tested during the project – including auxiliary energy converters, on-board energy storage systems and technical room cooling systems – with promising results. As the project comes to a close, the next steps will be to ensure the uptake of the results by the wider UITP network.
Reflecting on the project results, UITP Secretary General Alain Flausch said: “The continuous improvement of energy efficiency is vital for urban operators, not only to reduce their energy bills but also to maintain their competitive edge in terms of their environmental impact compared to private transport modes”.