RAIL CoLAB is a non-profit multidisciplinary research association, with the purpose of promoting and carrying out Research and Development (R&D) initiatives and activities aimed at improving the railway system, through scientific support and technological innovation in the intervention of relevant business, academic, and economic players, promoting synergies among them, and bringing together national and international entities to ensure new forms of collaboration between the public and private sectors, which are, at the same time, enhancers of economic value creation and scientific and qualified employment.

Areas of Work


  • New innovative energy management model and operation monitoring systems (e.g., hydrogen).
  • New sustainable and resilient materials and digital technologies.
  • Improved (eco)-design of rolling stock and infrastructures life cycle assessment.
  • More efficient manufacturing, inspection and maintenance techniques.
  • More efficient planning and management of rolling stock operations.

Smart Asset Management
and Maintenance

  • Advanced solutions for prognosis and health assessment at system level.
  • Maintenance solutions supported by digitalization of assets during the lifecycle.
  • Advanced Decision Support Systems (DSS) for holistic management, integration, and cooperation
  • Development of specific & enhanced technologies for maintenance execution
  • Development of demands and verified regulations for design and renewal of assets enabling cost effective maintenance
  • Condition Based Operation/Performance based operation
  • Safety and legal aspects of AI-based approaches to asset management.

Digital Platform for the Management and Detection of Critical Events

  • Development of an AI Digital Twin “Automated Resource Planning”.
  • Digital twin of rail equipment with prediction capabilities coming from the combination of simulation models fed by operational inputs.
  • Digital twins and BIM based common data environment.
  • Integrated operation and maintenance management.
  • Planning and control of new detection and alert system.
  • Safety-critical event detection and alerting.
  • Alert and interface management.

Development of Communications and Cyber Security

  • Development of a standard automation platform.
  • Increase of available bandwidth for railway applications using communication technologies such as 5G or by aggregating links.
  • Decreased latency in communications, in order to develop of deterministic railway applications based on wireless communications.
  • Reduction the space occupied by the monitoring data to be sent, by applying data compression techniques.
  • Increased security in communications.