The S-CODE project will address all of the aims and objectives detailed in topic S2R-OC-IP3-01-2016 – Research into new radical ways of changing trains between tracks – and work towards the developments required to realise TD3.2 – Next Generation S&C, as detailed in the Shift2Rail Multi-Annual Action Plan (MAAP). The project will also work in conjunction with the winning proposal for S2R-CFM-IP3-01-2016 – Research into enhance track and switch and crossing system (“IN2TRACK”, reference number 730841).

The project will identify radically different technology concepts that can be integrated together to achieve significantly improved performance for S&C based around new operating concepts (e.g. super-fast switching, self-healing switch).

Within the S-CODE project, the carefully selected consortium members will build on existing European and national research projects (in particular, the lighthouse project In2Rail, Capacity4Rail and Innotrack) to bring together technologies and concepts that will significantly reduce the constraints associated with existing switch technologies and develop a radically different solution.

As shown below, the S-CODE project will run alongside sister projects:

  • (i) the ongoing IN2RAIL lighthouse project, and
  • (ii) the Shift2Rail joint undertaking S2R-CFM-IP3-01-2016 – Research into enhance track and switch and crossing system (“IN2TRACK”, reference number 730841).

It is anticipated that outputs from these projects will feed into the S-CODE project, in order to develop a TRL4 solution that can later be developed into Technology Demonstrator TD3.2 – Next Generation S&C.


In order to develop the project, the consortium decomposed the high level aims documented in the project call and the technical ambition for TD3.2 detailed in the MAAP, to identify the key objectives that will help provide radically new ways of changing trains between track in order to improve capacity, reliability and safety, while reducing investment costs and life-cycle costs.

Objective 1

Identify existing best practice in switch and crossing innovation and fuse this with technological advances from other sectors to develop new approaches for switch and crossing operations, that draw on new concepts for drives, control, monitoring, logistics and installation that will allow the investment costs associated with S&C to be retained (or reduced) whilst significantly improving performance.

Objective 2

Develop a modular switch and crossing architecture that allows subsystems to be easily changed or upgraded such that the gains in S&C system performance available from the adoption of new concepts can be realised progressively without the need for complete system renewal, thus allowing benefits to be attained more rapidly.

Objective 3

Realise resilience-based design methodologies, maintenance free and degradation free systems and self-adjusting technologies that will allow complete self-inspection and self-correcting and healing functionality through the development of an S&C immune system, contributing towards a 50% improvement in the reliability and availability of switches.

Objective 4

Develop concepts that utilise new materials and construction techniques, together with an optimised wheel-rail interface to realise a new movement principle which has the potential to contribute to a reduction in the life cycle cost of switches by up to 30%.

Objective 5

Significantly increase the allowable running speed of trains while also dramatically decreasing the switching time in order to contribute to a capacity improvement of up to 100%.

Objective 6

Ensure that an integrated system, including a fail-safe locking mechanism design is arrived at that mitigates all risks associated with technical failure, human error and influencing external factors, that may result in incidents occurring, thus ensuring that the number and magnitude of incidents is reduced and the safety of passengers and the work force is retained at the highest level.

Objective 7

To validate the new concepts developed in the project in a laboratory (TRL4) to allow assessment of the performance of the innovations.

Objective 8

To provide hard evidence (calculations and simulations, experimental results, and economic, risk, reliability and LCC analysis) that supports the performance improvements made against Objectives 1 to 6.

Objective 9

To integrate the identified, developed and validated concepts to produce a solution(s) that can be taken forward to realise the TD3.2 Next Generation S&C demonstrator.

S-Code - Switch and Crossing Optimal Design and Evaluation

This project has received funding from the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730849.

Shift2Rail  European Union