SMART Rail Workshop


Existing railways - how to cope with new requirements?

1st SMART RAIL Regional workshop

7th May 2012 (14:00 – 18:00), within the CETRA 2012 conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia


Aims of the Workshop

Workshop Programme

SMART Rail (2011-2014) in a nutshell


Aims of the Workshop:

  • to bring together experts in the areas of highway and railway infrastructure research, SME’s and railway authorities who are responsible for national infrastructure;
  • to identify together with asset management experts and SMARTRAIL partners the special requirements, needs and knowledge gaps, constraints & priorities in the area of the project;
  • to discuss stakeholders’ priorities with the focus on Eastern and Southern Europe;
  • to present main research topics covered in the project:


WP1 Monitoring and Inspection
Dr. Ken Gavin
Aims to bring about a step change in the traditional methods of visual inspection and ad-hoc monitoring with integrated monitoring systems which utilize the latest embedded sensor technology and optimized in-situ testing methods.

WP2 Assessment and Models
Prof.dr. Alan O’Connor
Aims to develop models which will greatly improve the ability of the track owners to predict the future condition of the infrastructure and hence to greatly improve the efficiency of maintenance programmes.

WP3 New rehabilitation technologies to extend service life of existing railway infrastructure
Dr. Irina Stipanovic Oslakovic
Aims to develop, and verify by on-site application, sustainable (cost-effective, durable, rapid) technologies for effective rehabilitation and strengthening of “older” existing railway.

WP4 Whole Life-Cycle Cost Calculation Tools
Dr. Friderik Knez
Aims to develop a model by which the rail industry will be able to assess railway infrastructure rehabilitation techniques economically and environmentally friendly.


Workshop Programme:

14.00 – 14.15 Welcome and purpose of the Workshop (Assist. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Steinicke)
14.15 – 14.35 Presentations of the SMART RAIL project (Dr. Ken Gavin)
14.35 – 15.30 Interim Requirements/ gaps identification to project main areas /WP together with users present (Michael Robson / Frank Panse) and pre-prioritisation by user comments
15.30- 16.00 Coffee break
16:00 – 17:00 Actions and response by WP-managers incl. first set of research directions / possible solutions to the problems (ALL) - 20 min each incl.
  • Monitoring and Inspection (Dr. Ken Gavin) and Discussion
    Assessment and Models (Prof. Dr. Alan O’Connor) and Discussion
  • New rehabilitation technologies (Dr. Irina Stipanovic Oslakovic) and Discussion
  • Whole Life-Cycle Cost Calculation Tools (Dr. Friderik Knez) and Discussion
17:00 – 17.45 Feedback and resulting consequences for requirements, needs and gaps (All)
17:45 – 18:00 Summary and conclusions – way ahead

SMART Rail (2011-2014) in a nutshell

In September 2011 SMARTRail (Smart Maintenance and Analysis of Rail Transport Infrastructure) project has been launched, funded under theme SST.2011.5.2-6. TPT Cost-effective improvement of rail transport, as a collaborative FP 7 research project. The SMART Rail project brings together experts in the areas of highway and railway infrastructure research, SME’s and railway authorities who are responsible for the safety of national infrastructure.

Safe and efficient transport infrastructure is a fundamental requirement to facilitate and encourage the movement of goods and people throughout the European Union. There is approximately 215,400 km of rail lines in the EU which represent a significant asset. Many of the rail networks in Eastern Europe and in parts of Western Europe were developed more than 150 years ago. These networks were not built to conform to modern standards and suffer from low levels of investment and in some cases poor maintenance strategies. Replacement costs for civil engineering infrastructure items such as rail track, bridges and tunnels are prohibitive. In the current economic climate it is vital that we maintain and develop our transport network and optimize the use of all resources.

The goal of the SMARTRail project is to reduce replacement costs, delay and provide environmentally friendly maintenance solutions for ageing infrastructure networks. This will be achieved through the development of state of the art methods to analyse and monitor the existing infrastructure and make realistic scientific assessments of safety. These engineering assessments of current state will be used to design remediation strategies to prolong the life of existing infrastructure in a cost-effective manner with minimal environmental impact.