MOVINGRAIL moves online

MOVINGRAIL moves online

Workshop on Roadmap and Business Risks for Virtual Coupling, 6th May 2020

The MOVINGRAIL project is looking at further development of train-centric signalling systems to make significant improvements to the capacity of the various types of railway systems. As a multi-partner, international project, workshops and meetings are vital to maintain the project’s focus and to keep the team together.

However, given the current global circumstances, in-person meetings and workshops are not possible. Thanks to virtual meeting technology, the most recent MOVINGRAIL workshop was organised by project partners at the University of Birmingham and TU Delft using the popular Zoom platform. This online workshop focused on Virtual Coupling, which is an extension of the moving block concepts being developed by other MOVINGRAIL tasks.

The purpose of the virtual workshop was twofold: to define a roadmap for the implementation of Virtual Coupling in European railways and to finalise a set of business risks and rank them. Surveys were distributed one week prior to the online workshop to get an understanding of priorities and time orders of the different roadmap steps, as well as to assess probabilities and impacts of Virtual Coupling business risks.

MOVINGRAIL VC workshop 06 05 2020

Twenty-two participants across Europe have participated so far and have provided valuable input. The team has been able to hold discussions on several propositions based on the roadmap survey results and on the estimation of duration of some of the activities. Ultimately, the roadmap has been visualised online in a Swimlane template based on the survey results and the workshop discussions. The University of Birmingham team members have been able to provide a top-10 list of the business risks, after analysing the probabilities and impacts extracted from the survey results received so far.

Both surveys remain open until 18th May and the team continues to invite responses:

Survey on virtual coupling business risks:

Survey on virtual coupling roadmap:

The final results will be analysed in future workshops and the results will be used to inform future policy and risk management.


The project will bring forward innovative concepts of “moving-block” railway traffic operations by (1) advancing testing methods for ETCS Level 3 and (2) Analysing Virtual Coupling which will lead to convoys of automated trains under cooperative adaptive control.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 826347.