About Marathon2Operation

The M2O Consortium is Coordinated by the University of Rome Tor Vergata

[M2O] Project Summary

To achieve the objectives of the European Commission White Paper on Transport 2011 aiming at a shift to rail of 30% of road freight over 300km by 2030, rail freight transport market share has to increase strongly. The market requirement are competitiveness, reliability, flexibility, frequency and information. The FP7 Marathon project demonstrators have already shown the feasibility of 1500m long coupled heavy trains. M2O project, financed by Shift2Rail initiative, is a step further to implement and to overcome the results of the Marathon project which has shown the feasibility of the long heavy consist created by coupling two trains with distributed traction: one locomotive (Traction Unit) at the head of the train and one other remote controlled in the middle. The Marathon train, tested twice in France in 2014, has a total lenght of 1524m, and is composed by 72 wagons for a total of 210 TEUs carrying 4036 tons. M2O aims at overcoming the configurations of the Marathon project with long and heavy consists involving up to four active locos. The project develops and delivers a reliable radio communication system based on GSM-R, compatible with various types of locomotives, and simulates the in-train forces in all possible operational situations ensuring safety and security. The consortium incorporates partners of the FP7 Marathon project having already experienced the tests performed in 2014 and the specialist of TrainDy, a software that simulates the in-train forces in all various operational situations in nominal and degraded modes. A qualifying part of the M2O project development is the intense collaboration with the partners of the FR8RAIL II project. This sinergy will deliver the safety and certification-related (TRL5) part necessary for the running of two test trains in 2019 and 2020, so that the solutions developed are ready for exploitation into the marketplace. The M2O proposed solution is aimed to be compatible with various suppliers of GSM-R and its safety analysed by NIER Ingegneria and assessed by TÜV SÜD. The solution is integrated in the train DPS and the safety of the system is studied to cope with the various operational situations. Having set the radio communication system, the project defines the main possible train consists characteristics in terms of speed, type of wagons, acceptable load and its distribution along the train by using TrainDy simulations to ensure that the consist runs safely. These simulations will be monitored by Nier Ingegneria in terms of safety to ensure that the various hazards have been correctly taken into consideration while performing the simulations and that the adequate mitigations have been elaborated. M2O project results and developments will be properly disseminated to interested stakeholders and general public in order to raise awareness and boost consensus.

The M2O Consortium is Coordinated by the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy and is composed of leading European companies, associations and universities engaged in the field of Research, Technology Innovation and testing, GSM-R manufacturing, Inspection & Safety assessment, Transport engineering. The presence in the consortium of specialists of safety engineering will make it possible to prepare the necessary files to get the “green light” to test such a train on the network, paving the way towards its future certification. UIC, the worldwide organization for railways, is also part of the M2O consortium.

Marathon2Operation–M2O is the acronym for: MAke RAil The HOpe for protecting Nature 2 futureOperation

Key Facts:

Project Coordinator:
University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

Project Consortium:
University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy), Newopera Aisbl (Belgium), Nier Ingegneria (Italy), UIC (France), TÜV SÜD (Germany), Funkwerk (Germany)

Total Budget:
€ 599.955,00

Duration: 12/2018 – 12/2020

Partners of Marathon2Operation

Università di Roma Tor Vergata

University of Rome Tor Vergata (UNITOV) - PROJECT COORDINATOR
The University of Rome Tor Vergata is a public University, established in 1981. It is a 600-hectares campus located in the South-eastern of Rome. Students in Rome have the opportunity to study in a city that connects the past to the future in a unique way. Thousands of students every year make this city always new, fresh and modern, an ideal environment for studying. In the panorama of Italian universities, the large campus of the University of Rome Tor Vergata is an environment where professors and students alike live in close contact in a stimulating community. Since its foundation, the aim of the University of Rome Tor Vergata has been to create a “new” university with vast open-air and indoor areas and good students/teacher relations and balance. Close interaction between science and the humanities makes academic relations extremely fruitful and stimulating. Main goals of the University of Rome Tor Vergata are: a) Increasing innovative and international educational programs and curricula; b) Improving transnational and interdisciplinary research and developing selected Centres of Excellence; c) Creating bridges between Institutions, Firms and Territory. The University of Rome Tor Vergata offers: a) 112 Degree courses (Bachelor, Master); b) 31 PhDs (Doctoral Studies); c) 214 Specialisation Courses. 40.000 Students attend the University of Rome Tor Vergata every year (6% of the students enrolled from over 120 countries); there are 1.335 Academics and 980 people involved in administrative staff. The University of Rome Tor Vergata is highly involved in International Cooperation with over 500 bilateral agreements with Partner Universities all over the world. The University of Rome Tor Vergata has participated to EU Framework Programs for Research and Innovation: FP7 (102 Grants), H2020 (25 Grants so far). The University of Rome Tor Vergata coordinates the MARATHON2EVOLUTION project (M2E) with the research group on railway dynamics of the Department of Engineering for Enterprise of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. Since 2001, this research group has actively worked in developing the computer package for the computation of train dynamics, called TrainDy. At the beginning of 2009, the code TrainDy gained the International Certification from the UIC. Among the others, the research group on railway dynamics has research activities in cooperation with Faiveley Transport of Italy, Knorr Bremse, DB AG, SNCF, TRENITALIA, SBB CFF FFS. The research group has participated to FP7 MARATHON, which demonstrated the feasibility of running long freight trains by means of radio communication between locos.

New Opera

Newopera Aisbl (NEWO)
Newopera Aisbl is a Belgian registered international non-profit association with scientific aims promoting a more competitive European freight mobility system for the users and long term sustainable mobility in Europe. Newopera Aisbl was founded after conclusion of the EC funded Newopera project (Newopera stands for “New European Wish: Operating Project for a European Rail Network). Newopera Aisbl is the leading promoter of the 2020/2025 Rail Freight dedicated/priority lines concept, developed by the project. To this effect a lot of research and activities were carried out, published and disseminated. The list of projects initiated and being involved in includes NEWOPERA, TIGER, TIGER DEMO, MARATHON, VIWAS, SPIDER PLUS, CAPACITY4RAIL, INNOWAG, OPTIYARD, TER4RAIL, M2O.
The knowledge base of Newopera Aisbl is constituted by the association members which are leading stakeholders and high level experts in the freight and logistics business, covering all modes, and by the European wide network of another Newopera member, The European Freight and Logistics Leaders Forum (F&L) having as members about 100 leading companies in more than 16 different countries. These companies are the ultimate cargo movers and represent the key decision makers for modal shift.


Union Internationale Des Chemin De Fer (UIC)
The UIC – founded in 1922 - is the worldwide international organisation of the railway sector including 198 members across all 5 continents. UIC members are: integrated railway companies, infrastructure managers, railway or combined transport operators, rolling stock and traction leasing companies service providers. The UIC mission is to promote rail transport at world level and meet the challenges of mobility and sustainable development. The main UIC objectives are to facilitate the sharing of best practices among members (benchmarking), to support members in their efforts to develop new business and new areas of activities, to propose new ways to improve technical and environmental performance, to promote interoperability, create new world standards for railways (including common standards with other transport modes) and to develop centers of competence (High Speed, Safety, Security, e-Business, etc).


Nier Ingegneria S.p.A. (NIER)
NIER Ingegneria S.p.A. is a consultancy company operating in different engineering fields, with specific focus on safety and reliability of complex systems and with a extensive experience in the Verification and Validation process of railway systems. NIER Ingegneria, established in 1977, is now headquartered in Castel Maggiore, Bologna (Italy) and has recently set up offices in Milan and Naples. It involves now more than 120 people, between collaborators and employees, with clients both local and international, in particular in Spain (Barcelona, Fusion4Energy agency). NIER has many years of experience in systems engineering and specifically in RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) analysis of electronic and mechanical systems, and of critical infrastructures. In addition, NIER has developed large experience in software verification and testing. Many of the aforementioned activities have been developed for multinational companies involved in the development and management of the railway systems. NIER is now developing innovation activities in the context of predictive maintenance and artificial intelligence. NIER Ingegneria has been involved in several research projects, funded at national or international level.


TÜV SÜD, founded in 1866 and headquartered in Munich, Germany, is one of the world's leading technical services provider. It currently employes over 24,000 people in over 1.000 locations around the world. It works with its customers to assess and improve the operation of their systems, help them enter global markets and strengthen their competitiveness. Beyond solving problems, TÜV SÜD is dedicated to create economic and tangible added value for its customers. For this reason, the philosophy of the company is to create "Improved safety, more value" with its work. TÜV SÜD collaborates as a "partner" with its clients, providing advice from the beginning of the life cycle of their projects as well as a continuous monitoring to make sustainable progress a reality. TÜV SÜD Rail (TSR), the TÜV SÜD business unit specializing in all aspects of the railway sector, has more than 500 employees working in the infrastructure, signalling, communications, E&M, rolling stock and O&M sectors. TÜV has an extensive and long experience of more than 50 years covers conventional, high speed, subway and light rail systems. As an Independent Safety Assessor (ISA), TÜV SÜD Rail has supported many of the leading companies and institutions prominent in the rail sector. To ensure safety and operability within the whole Life Cycle of the system or project is one of its key competencies. In the field of infrastructure, TÜV SÜD provides a comprehensive range of assessments, testing and certifications to ensure the compliance and safety of track-work, earthworks and civil works. TÜV laboratories are provided with specialized equipment to conduct tests on a wide variety of track components meeting all requirements of applicable standards. TÜV is able to offer EC certification services addressing requirements established in Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) for Infrastructure (TSI-INF), Persons with Reduced Mobility (TSI-PRM) and Safety in Railway Tunnels (TSI-RT). Moreover, it can provide support, know-how and experience in the assessment of maintenance concepts and strategies (incl. guidance for practical realization and applicable rules and regulations for maintenance), maintenance organization and its interface to operations, and recommended maintenance resources (personnel, material, tools, measurement and test equipment).
TUV SÜD Rail (TSR) also has a vast experience in training and qualification of staff ensuring that the client has at the end of the process a well-trained and highly knowledgeable maintenance team. TÜV SÜD Rail offers its clients also a similar complete portfolio of technical services including ISA for rolling stock, signalling (from conventional to driverless systems, based on track circuit and / or transmission based train tracking), remote control and communication systems, maintenance equipment, power supply and power transmission, SCADA and rail automation (safety & cyber security). As accredited testing body, TUV SÜD Rail has its own rolling stock testing center and offers services for the certification of all rail vehicle aspects. The testing facility has a size of around 35,000 m² with 3 km of track, allowing field tests with speeds up to 60 km/h.


Funkwerk Systems GmbH (FWK)
Since 1982 Funkwerk develops and produces radio systems for railway applications worldwide. With over 40,000 GSM-R cab radios sold Funkwerk is the global market leader. This position was achieved by continuous development of current and future products in order to exceed the requirements of the European and national authorities as well as our customer’s demands. The quality and reliability of Funkwerk products which is indispensable in the challenging environment of railway is guaranteed by our development and manufacturing made in Germany. Moreover, Funkwerk is certified according to ISO 9001:2008 and IRIS. Funkwerk’s GSM-R cab radios are service proofed in more than 35 countries, like Australia, China, France, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, India, Spain, and South Africa. They can be adapted to different functional, legal, and design requirements and provide highest availability in various environmental conditions. MESA cab radios provide may interfaces in order to be perfectly integrated in the different vehicles. The unique combination of having hardware and software from one single source is a clear advantage especially in cases of introduction of a new system.


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