A train running on a track in digital environment. (JPG)

© voestalpine Railway Systems


Project Description

The COMET1 Project Rail4Future2 (R4F) aims to enable, for the first time, a fully virtual assessment of the behavior of the railway infrastructure system by deploying large-scale simulations based on hybrid-models enhanced with AI3 capabilities, real-time data input from the railway operations and visual-analytics methods.

A diagram describing the associated processes from the Rail4Future project. (PNG)

© TU Wien MIVP

Process chart of Rail4Future


  • Developing a R4F Platform able to handle different levels of findings, gathered through simulations, machine learning, data analysis.
  • Virtual integration strategies of heterogeneous data: section information (digitalized rail network information, etc.), context information, sensor data & modelling approaches from simplified analytic calculations, comprehensive FEM4 simulations up to machine learning models and etc.
  • Functions development (surrogate model /model reduction) for specific damage & deterioration analysis of railway sections.
  • Building a common framework for railway infrastructure reliability assessment.
  • Development of relevant tests, validation scenarios (KPIs5) on real-world data.
  • Automated integration of models & information with different levels of detail (tool-chains, FMI6, etc.)
IT architecture showing the used IT technologies and their relationships with each other in the Rail4Future platform. (PNG)

© TU Wien MIVP

IT-Architecture of the Rail4Future platform

Impact and Effects

  • Different railway infrastructure assets can be automatically and efficiently integrated.
  • A continuous flow of reliable and meaningful information throughout the entire life span of different railway infrastructure subsystems can be ensured.
  • The R4F Platform may also play an essential basis for the design of a virtual assessment platform as a universally applicable solution for digitized railway systems in the future.

Project partners of Rail4Future

The companies with logos that are project partners of the Rail4Future project.

© FFG - BMK - SFG - Wirtschaftsagentur Stadt Wien - Land Steiermark - AIT - Amberg Engineering - FCP - Fraunhofer - GC Group - HBK - IGT - IQ Soft - Joanneum Research - Laabmayr - ÖBB - Plasser & Theurer - Voest - RCRS - RID - Siemens - Strucinspect - TÜV Austria - TU Graz - TUM - TU Wien - Vermessung Schubert - Virtual Vehicle - vrvis - Wiener Linien

Key Data Rail4Future

Project start: 01.04.2021

Project end: 30.09.2024

Project duration: 42 months

Time period: 2021 - 2024

Status: ongoing

Keywords: Large Scale Simulation; Turnout & Track; Bridge & Tunnel; Predictive Analytics; Hybrid Modeling;


Zhou, S., Dumss, S., Nowak, R., Riegler, R., Kugu, O., Krammer, M., & Grafinger, M. (2022). A Conceptual Model-based Digital Twin Platform for Holistic Large-scale Railway Infrastructure Systems. Procedia CIRP, Vol. 109, pp. 362–367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2022.05.263, opens an external URL in a new window


1 COMET -> Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies

2 Rail4Future -> Railways for Future: Resilient Digital Railway Systems to enhance performance

3 AI -> Artificial Intelligence

4 FEM -> Finite Element Method

5 KPI -> Key Performance Indicator

6 FMI -> Functional Mock-up Interface