smartrail 4.0: working together to achieve our goals.


Smartrail 4.0 is an industry programme which prioritises and concentrates resources to the advantage of the system as a whole.  The aim of the cooperation is the joint development of solutions which lead to a modernisation of railway production and which are supported by the participating railways. To this end, technological development is jointly coordinated, synergies are used and architecture and migration planning are coordinated with each other at an early stage. All partners are entitled to the knowledge which is acquired. For this reason, smartrail 4.0 also works actively with numerous national and international partners.


Industry collaboration

Swiss rail industry:
smartrail 4.0 is set up as a joint industry programme between SBB, BLS, SOB, RhB, TPF and UPT. The cooperation within the Swiss railway industry is already established. The steering committee and the project organisation of smartrail 4.0 are a collaboration of representatives of the Union of Public Transport (UPT), SBB, BLS, SOB, RhB and TPF. The other railway companies are integrated into the works via the UPT committees. Representatives of the above-mentioned railways also sit on the four steering committees of planning and operation, system modification, train control and vehicle architecture, both on the infrastructure and transport side.

International rail industry:
International collaboration is hugely important. After all, Switzerland is not looking for an isolated solution. Achieving the goals and leading the railway into the future requires international cooperation. Requirements and a common architecture for major European railways are needed in order to create a competitive market for innovative components and systems and, if necessary, to jointly develop European standards.

For this reason, cooperation with several European railways on specific smartrail 4.0 topics such as the overall architecture, traffic management system and localisation has already been entered into or is currently in development. Important partner railways such as DB, SNCF and ÖBB have also started comparable programmes. In addition, smartrail 4.0 supports the EUG (ERTMS User Group) and EULYNX groups in the development of an overall architecture under the name RCA (recommended CCS architecture). This overall architecture is intended to serve as a basis for tenders for the railways and to improve standardisation.

  • RCA Group: EUG (ERTMS User Group) and EULYNX (European Initiative of Infrastructure Managers) an international initiative was launched in August 2018: the members of these two organisations (adif, Banedanmark, Bane NOR, CFL, DB, Infrabel, Network Rail, ProRail, SNCF, Slovenske zeleznice, RFI, SBB, Trafikverket, Väylä) have joined their forces under the RCA (reference CCS architecture) initiative to tackle a harmonised architecture of the future CCS in the railway sector. In February 2019, the RCA white paper was published on the future evolution of CCS and the need to harmonized requirements and a reference CCS architecture. Smartrail 4.0 is strongly aligned with RCA's objectives and architecture.
  • OCORA Group: In addition to the RCA initiative, which was founded by Infrastructure, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the railway companies DB, NS, ÖBB, SNCF and SBB (as of March 2109) with the name OCORA (Open CCS Onboard Reference Architecture). The objectives of this group are the definition of an open vehicle architecture, the promotion and development of open ETCS and Automatic Train Protection source initiatives, the validation of the approach and the promotion and use of OCORA. In November 2019, the OCORA Alpha Release was published as a first result of the joint collaboration.
    The COAT sub-programme is the smartrail 4.0 approach for the currently existing fields of action and the additional functionalities required in the area of CCS - Onboard. This includes the standardization of architecture and interfaces as well as the reduction of approval and verification costs.



In order to carry out in-depth investigations, smartrail 4.0 is working together with research institutes in Switzerland and abroad. This may involve direct mandates, PhDs or student work. The following excerpt gives an insight into the topics that have already been addressed:

  • Occupational psychological effects of automation (contract research, FHNW),
  • Traffic management, Scheduling Methods for Automated Railway Timetabling Improving the Efficiency of Smartrail (SMARTIES, PhD, ETHZ),
  • Research paper on moving block (Prof. Corman, ETHZ)
  • Capacity planning across all timescales (contract research, ETHZ)
  • Vision-based localization and mapping for high precision localization of trains with on-board sensing (PROMPT, PhD, ETHZ),
  • Robustness of a traffic management system for railways (master’s thesis, RWTH Aachen)
  • Train movement optimisation within time bands using ASP (University of Potsdam)
  • Hazard analysis with STPA (contract, ZHAW)
  • Integrated planning (contract research, IDP ZHAW)
  • Application of the tool ROMA (Robust Optimization by Means of alternative Graphs) (contract, University Roma 3)


Industry will continue to be important for the delivery of systems and components in the future. Smartrail 4.0 involves industrial partners in the planning phase for content contributions, since while the programme defines the architecture and functions, industry develops and implements applications, systems and/or products. Smartrail 4.0 relies on established and new industrial partners to develop solutions and products. In order to optimise cooperation and availability on the market, industrial partners are therefore constantly involved in the progress of the work by the programme. Exchange platforms such as industry and innovation days are set up to promote exchanges and cooperation. In addition, new work statuses are constantly being published on the website and on simap. There will be traditional calls for tenders for the test and rollout phase.