Introducing GNSS technology in the railway sector
ASTRail WP1 is intended to analyse and transfer the applicable requirements and solution from the aviation domain to the railway sector, with a particular focus on the application of Fail-Safe train positioning to moving block signaling. For this purpose, the WP moves its step from the review of aeronautical assumptions: the assumptions, requirements and metrics will be then transferred to the railways, identifying the elements which fit the GNSS-enabled rail applications. The following steps will lead to the definition of a possible GNSS architecture cut for trains, considering technical aspects such as the suitable augmentation systems and the design rules for the target algorithms; the proposed solution will consider constraints such as the hazard analysis of ERTMS related to GNSS faults and the error models known from the literature, eventually leading to the definition of a set of minimum performance requirements.
Safety analysis of Moving block signalling system
ASTRail WP2 will perform Hazard analysis of the Moving Block signaling system, in view of complete removal of trackside detection, with the aim to evaluate the viability of the system to comply with strict Safety Requirements applicable for all railway profiles including high-speed and high-density lines.
The approach of the WP2 is to establish a systematic program for the acquisition of the pertinent to Hazard Analysis information and to model the Moving block system. The model of the system will provide the basis for WP2 Hazard Analysis and for WP4 validation applying selected formal methods.
Automatic driving technologies for railways
The aim of the WP3 is to identify which automatic driving technologies from the automotive sector and from other application fields, such as the agriculture, the avionics and the maritime sectors, are the most suited to be applied in the railways to improve Automatic Train Operation. To achieve its scope, the following objectives can be identified:
  • Identify the state-of-art technologies for autonomous driving considering mature and cutting edge solutions;
  • Define the implementation characteristics and the types of applications that from the automotive and the other sectors can be transferred in the railway field;
  • Determine the best autonomous driving solutions among the identified technologies for future use in railways, considering specific use cases and different grade of automation in Automatic Train Operation, e.g. driverless or unattended operations.
Formal Methods for the railway field
WP4 aims at identifying the most mature formal languages and methods to be used in the railway industry for safety-critical system and software development. This goal is achieved by means of a systematic literature review on formal methods applications in railways, and through trial applications of formal methods and tools to the ERTMS Level 3 Moving Block system concept, and to Automatic Train Operation principles. Surveys with practitioners are also performed to investigate the current uptake of formal methods, and feature desired by the railway industry.


Dissemination, Exploitation/Impact Management and Cooperation with Shift2Rail
WP5 seeks to ensure proper dissemination and promotion of the project and its results, in a way which is consistent with the wider dissemination and promotion activities of Shift2Rail. It will ensure that the outputs of the project are delivered in a form which makes them immediately available for use by the Innovation Programme 2 within Shift2Rail. It will also ensure that all important actors in the European railway sector are informed about ASTRail, its objectives, content and results
A further objective of this WP is to collect feedback on the project’s preliminary outcomes to increase the quality and acceptance of the final results. 
Project management and coordination
The target of WP6 is to provide an effective support to the project activities for what concerning management and coordination. In particular, the following objectives have been identified:
  • Monitor the execution of the activities to guarantee a timely delivery of high-quality results within the budget limits and in scope with the project objectives
  • Ensure a day-by-day support to all the partners
  • Coordinate the progress of the project activities from a technical and scientific perspective
  • Ensure a correct management of data
  • Manage risks and contingencies in a timely and effective way; 
  • Monitor the financial and administrative aspects of the project
  • Support the redaction of reports, the organizations of meetings to foster the collaboration among the partners.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 777561

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