Work packages 1 to 6 are the main technical research work packages, whilst work package 7 and 8 are concerned with producing recommendations, project promotion, consensus building and dissemination. The MERLIN structure is represented by the following figure:

Work Package Description:

Railway Network Specification - Work Package 1 (WP1 Leader – Ansaldo STS):

The aim of this work package is to identify, describe and characterise the key elements of the different sub-systems of a mainline railway system leading to the development of a global electricity consumption map defining levels of energy consumption.

The scope includes the characterisation of: (non-exhaustive list) vehicles, distribution networks, substations, energy storing devices, local energy sources, internal power rings and the liaison with the public grid, covering a scope from the point of common coupling to the rolling stock.

Reference Architecture for Smart Energy Use – Work Package 2 (WP2 Leader – D’Appolonia)

WP2 aims to define and develop the Reference Architecture of the Railway Energy Management System based on the Railway Network Specification.

Two configurations of the Reference Architecture will cover:

Define and characterize energy related modules:

  • Energy data gathering;
  • Interfacing;
  • Communication;
  • Management;
  • Control.

Scenarios Definition – Work Package 3 (WP3 Leader – ADIF)

The main objectives of this WP are as follows:

The contents of TecRec100_001 Specification and verification of energy consumption for railway rolling stock will be used for vehicle-related activities.

Energy Efficient Components and Energy Management Technological Solutions– Work Package 4 (WP4 Leader – Alstom)

This work package will develop the holistic railway energy management in terms of new smart grid structures, new controllable components (such as the controllable traction transformer), or new intelligent devices for energy management at infrastructure grid level or at vehicle level.

This WP develops new components, strategies and concepts, for any point of the (electric) energy chain, making it possible to implement the advanced operational REM reference architecture. The technological solutions will tackle the system-wide energy management approach, where an interaction between vehicles, infrastructure and operation is foreseen.

The new solutions will be evaluated and assessed in WP6, by simulations or under real traffic conditions.

Energy Management System Development and Validation – Work Package 5 (WP5 Leader – University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

The aim of this WP is to develop and validate algorithms and concepts leading to a railway smart strategic energy management system based on the architecture defined in WP2. The system will include a graphic user interface and will be able to perform and handle the following tasks:

Scenarios Evaluation & Proof of concept – Work Package 6 (WP6 - Leader CAF)

The main objective of this WP is to evaluate the energy management and optimisation prospects on all the scenarios defined in WP3. This will be conducted by simulating a significant number of case studies, where the new energy management strategies and technical solutions developed in WP4 are included. Such optimisation prospects must be demonstrated through the validation of the improvements applied to two scenarios (suburban transport and mixed passenger & freight traffic).

The results coming out from both simulations and field demonstration are expected to be valuable inputs for WP7.

Recommendations for market uptake and implementation & Standardisation - Work Package 7 (WP7 - Leader FFE)

Within this WP, the overall project results will be evaluated and assessed against the background of market uptake and standardisation potentials. Standardisation is one of the most important aspects in developing an efficient, competitive and safe rail system. Two Technical Recommendations (TecRec) will be developed in this work package using inputs from WP1 to WP6. The TecRecs will serve as a common comprehensive standard, approved by UIC and UNIFE and therefore recognised as a voluntary sector standard.

Dissemination and Training - Work Package 8 (WP8 - Leader UIC)

This work package will ensure that the project results are effectively communicated externally of the project. This will involve traditional promotion activities such as active participation in appropriate conferences, production of dissemination material such as leaflets and workshop organisation. Additionally, this work package will also coordinate a more engaging activity which is the creation and involvement of the MERLIN Rail Reference Group. Companies and organisation that are identified as potential end-users of the project results will be invited to join this group which will provide advisory support and recommendations to the project. This will be done by the project and the group exchanging documents and information, and will help ensure that MERLIN’s outcomes are viable and relevant to the users they aim to eventually serve. Several workshops will take place throughout the project life-time where the Rail Reference Group will be invited to take part.