The project aims to bring to conclusion the research and development of some key technologies to foster innovations in the field of railway signalling, automation, telecommunication, testing methodologies and Cyber-Security, as part of a longer term Shift2Rail IP2 strategy towards a flexible, real-time, intelligent traffic control management and decision support system.

The project, which spans 22 project participants (+16 linked third parties) and has a total budget of approx. € 34 million, is coordinated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). This project is of particular importance because the results of the entire X2Rail series are to be demonstrated on a European level.

The actions undertaken in the scope of X2Rail-5 are related to the following specific objectives:

  • To improve line capacity and to achieve a significant reduction of the use of traditional train detection systems by means of the introduction of the Moving Block together with onboard determination of train positioning, train integrity and train length;
  • To overcome the limitations of the existing communication system by adapting radio communication systems which establish the backbone for the next generation advanced rail automation systems;
  • To achieve a significant reduction of the use of traditional train detection systems by means of the attainment of an absolute and safe train positioning system based on a multi-sensor concept;
  • To ensure security among all connected signalling and control systems by developing new cyber security systems dedicated to railways;
  • To improve standardization and integration of the testing methodologies and formal methods application reducing time to market and improving effectiveness in the introduction of new signalling and supervision systems;
  • To ensure the evolution and backward compatibility of ERMTS/ETCS technologies, notwithstanding of the required functional enrichment of the future signalling and control systems.

Project Structure

The actions foreseen in X2Rail-5 will bring to the highest readiness level (TRL) taking the results of previous X2Rail-1, X2Rail-2, X2Rail-3 and X2Rail-4 projects. The project is the 5th proposal of the Shift2Rail members in the IP2 “Advanced Traffic Management & Control Systems” domain and it aims to continue the research and development of key technologies within the following Technology Demonstrators:

Adaptable communications for all railways: The objective is to test in field trials and validate the adaptable communication system demonstrators (developed in X2Rail-1 and X2Rail-3). The testing of the demonstrators will take into account the specifications and guidelines coming from X2Rail-1 and X2Rail-3.

Moving Block: The overall objective of the Moving Block Technical Demonstrator is to define a high capacity, low cost, high reliability signalling system, based on Moving Block principles, which is applicable across all railway market segments. The scope is to refine the results specifications developed in the projects X2Rail-1 and X2Rail-3, implement Moving Block Technical Demonstrators and include the results in material for European standardization in the so-called Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI). The Technical Specifications for Interoperability-Command, Control and Signalling (CCS TSI) define the technical and operational standards which must be met by each subsystem or part of subsystem in order to meet the essential requirements and ensure the interoperability of the railway system of the European Union.

Fail-Safe Train Positioning: The objective is to introduce improved fail-safe train positioning function for ERTMS/ETCS through the application of GNSS and other new technologies (e.g., inertial measurement units) as well as other on-board existing sensors (e.g., axle-mounted odometric sensors). Based on the outputs of X2Rail-2 and other previous projects, demonstrators will be tested in laboratories and on site.

Zero On-Site Testing: the action will finalise the general architecture, the communication model and will as well perform validation in a testing environment. The objective is to continue the work started in X2Rail-1 and X2Rail-3 and to reach a simulation and testing environment able to support automated laboratory testing.

Formal Methods: The objective is to build upon work in X2Rail-2 and pivot to a system of systems perspective in the application of Formal Methods. The objective is also to define a Formal Methods demonstrator linked to the Shift2Rail projects LinX4Rail project and LinX4Rail-2.

Cyber Security: The objective is to complete and validate the work done by the work package during the projects X2Rail-1 and X2Rail-3 through the completion and assessment of the demonstrators started in X2Rail-3, and the validation of the proposed ER-ISAC (European Rail Information Sharing and Analysis Centre) model. Another objective aims at assessing validating the protection profile approach developed in X2Rail-3 through the integration of an Integrated Technology Demonstrator.

Integrated Technology Demonstrator: This work package will demonstrate the integration and operation of several technologies from the work packages “Adaptable communications for all railways”, “Moving Block” and “Train Integrity” on a railway test track, using one freight train and one passenger train.



Project title:
Completion of activities for Adaptable Communication, Moving Block, Fail safe Train Localisation (including satellite), Zero on site Testing, Formal Methods and Cyber Security (X2RAIL-5)

12/2020 to 05/2023

Total Project Value:
€ 33.890.375,44

S2R (of H2020) co-funding:
€ 14.844.166,93

Project Coordinator:
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Project participants:
Alstom Transport S.A. – ALS
AZD Praha s.r.o. – AZD
Bombardier Transportation Sweden AB – BTSE
CAF Signalling S.L. – CAFS
Asociación Centro Tecnológico Ceit - CEIT
Deutsche Bahn AG – DB
Fondation de Coopération Scientifique Railenium – RAILENIUM
HaCon Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH – HC
Indra Sistemas S.A. – INDRA
KONTRON Transportation Austria AG - KONTRON
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited – NR
Nottingham Scientific Limited - NSL
ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG – OBB
Schweizerische Bundesbahnen – SBB
SIEMENS Mobility GmbH – SMO
Slovenske železnice, d.o.o – SZ
Thales Deutschland GmbH – TD
Trafikverket – TRV

Complementary projects: