The MARATHON Project is set to reduce costs by maximising productivity of the European rail network

Posted: 18 April 2011 | | No comments yet

The MARATHON project is aiming to improve the rail infrastructure productivity reducing operating costs for making rail freight more competitive….

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Anticipating the modal shift from road to rail which is the object of the recently published White Paper from the European Commission the MARATHON project is aiming to improve the rail infrastructure productivity reducing operating costs for making rail freight more competitive.

The European Commission, together with the entire European rail sector, recognises the need for creating a cost-efficient and highly productive rail freight market as a central pillar for a European sustainable mobility. The MARATHON project focuses on the existing infrastructure to realise this ambition.

Due to its past fragmentation, the European railway system efficiency must be conquered through harmonisation and standardisation of the operating rules making them uniform in the EU Rail Freight space. In pursuing this overall objective the fast implementation of technologies and business solutions capable of delivering operational and visible cost effective results represents a fundamental improvement.

The MARATHON project is set to implement in practice the business case of operating longer heavier and faster trains on a selected high-volume Trans European freight corridor. The increase of trains length, speed and weight on a currently constrained rail infrastructure is the key element of this project.

The bundling of freight volumes combining intermodal with other corridor directional traffic between large scale terminals/hubs/ports is expected to generate the critical mass fostering advanced rail freight services based on transport industrialisation produced at lower costs. Furthermore the rail system management will be rejuvenated by adopting a cooperative approach between the transport actors of the entire rail freight transport chain as largely applied in other modalities.

The MARATHON project through the adoption of innovative hardware/software and radio communication technologies is to set an example for other European infrastructure managers and operators aiming at implementing these longer faster and heavier trains. The achievement of greater lines productivity combined with EU standards and recognised safety rules are a step change towards greater effectiveness on rail tracks delivering the EU citizens a more environment friendly and sustainable cargo mobility. (under construction)

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