Virtual Vehicle

VIRTUAL VEHICLE to lead Shift2Rail consortium

VIRTUAL VEHICLE to lead Shift2Rail consortium

Increasing the commercial viability of rail road traffic – this is the goal of Shift2Rail, a 920 Million Euro public-private-partnership between European Union and its railroad sector. The VVAC+ („Virtual Vehicle Austria Consortium+“) is one of only 19 European consortia and partners selected to participate in Shift2Rail. The consortium of 13 partners has been allocated 21 Million Euros over a six-year period and will be headed by the VIRTUAL VEHICLE.

Four Austria-based market leaders of the international railroad industry, the largest European producer of rail cars and eight other players of industry and science make up the VVAC+ („Virtual Vehicle Austria Consortium+“).

At a press conference in March at the VIRTUAL VEHICLE Research Center, politicians and industry representatives alike agree: The VAAC+ participation in Shift2Rail is a huge success and of long-term importance for this location of industry. „I am pleased to see the involvement of VVAC+ in the largest European railroad-technology-program. This is important for Austria and our large and innovative railroad-sector. New technologies and research pave the way for growth and environmentally friendly traffic”, says minister of transport Klug.

New solution for infrastructure and transport of goods

VVAC+ partners together provide in-depth experience in a variety of different areas. They are able to develop not only solutions to specific problems but are also able to integrate them with the big picture. “As part of the VVAC+ project, we conduct research on a “low maintenance switch”. The use of new materials and innovative designs increase the resistance to wear and weather – thus greatly reducing incurred costs!” explains Dr. Martin Rosenberger, coordinator at the VVAC+ project and head of the “Rail Systems Research” sector at the VIRTUAL VEHICLE.

Another goal is to increase efficiency of 5-L-freight cars by reducing their operational weight – a 10% increase in payload should be possible. Simultaneously research will be done on breaks and anti-skid measures, in order to increase weight limits and thereby cost-efficiency of individual cars. But the VVAC+ project is also concerned with the needs of passengers, aiming to reduce wheel and driving noise as well as outages.

Technology made in Austria

Shift2Rail prepares ambitious Austrian products for global export. Innovative high performance rails, mechatronic switches and intelligent chassis made-in-Austria will be used in large-scale European projects. Local technologies such as the autonomous “railroad car trackers” will be employed as well.

The local minister of economy Buchmann is pleased with the VIRTUAL VEHICLE's efforts and the resulting strong Styrian involvement in this European research initiative: “Our leading role in Shift2Rail allows us to solidify our global competitive position. This secures existing jobs and perhaps even creates new ones.”

Currently first concrete research projects are defined. They will be launched later this year.

Complete press release