The primary objective of the InfraGuidER (Infrastructure Guidelines for Environmental Railway Performance) Coordinated Action is to define the guidelines for developing an effective European method and tools for the environmental impact evaluation of the railway infrastructure (existing and new).
Despite a similar process has been already provided for the rolling stock the railway infrastructure is a more complex system where in the last years a “silent” revolution has been performed in order to face the high performances of trains (high speed trains), to attract the freight transport, to reduce the maintenance and operational costs, to comply with the local, regional regulation in terms of environmental impact.
To avoid that this revolution will create a great unbalance among regions and to support the know-how and best practices transfer it is important to assess by a consensus process at European level the following items:
the current state of environmental performance within the railway sector, and to highlight the criticalities to become effective and practical for the internal Environmental Management system implemented by railway companies and suppliers;
the infrastructure functional subsystems and interfaces from the environment point of view;
balance of goods in terms of material flow, environmental key performance indicators EKPIs and relevant ranking.
Finally, as result of the three steps, the specification for the environmental part of a sustainability management system is provided and disseminated to end users (railway infrastructure managers and international organisations), to suppliers and academia (through EURNEX poles of excellence).
Other two work packages related to the management and the communication/dissemination are included in order to guarantee and to monitor the quality and effectiveness of the coordination mechanism.
InfraGuiDer has Nitel as coordinator, in the person of Dr. Marina Fracchia, and involves totally 11 partners, four railways (Network Rail, CFR S.A, Banverket and Wienen Linien), one consultant eco2win, one manufacturer BBRail Italy, and finally two universities (Birmingham and Vienna).
InfraGuidER fits with SST-2007-1.2-01 The Greening of transport-specific industrial processes.