The rapid development of Asia’s economies, especially China, India and Russia, has dramatically increased the volume of trade between Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, Asian countries are Europe’s largest trading partners. Currently, this exchange of goods takes place predominantly by ship. However, the railway offers a realistic alternative to maritime transport that is gaining in importance. Several routes are already available as a trans-Eurasian land connection. Due to their historical development and currently limited capacities, numerous tasks have to be mastered in order to be able to realise efficient offers in rail transport. This includes the modernisation of infrastructure, operational procedures and service concepts. Interoperability issues are also of central importance for good capacity utilisation. To support research and practice in this area, a network of leading research and industry players from Europe and Asia has been established within the NEAR2 project. Its members are developing an agenda for research and development activities for long-distance rail freight integration. It integrates the existing structures and preliminary work, especially of the European railway research networks, and thus makes current research findings accessible. The aim was to establish an international and interdisciplinary permanent structure that can provide the necessary impetus for further economic and scientific development. The contribution of nexus, via the Centre for Technology and Society at the TU Berlin, consisted of an examination of international cooperation and integration research.

The railway engineering expertise of the Technical University of Berlin is incorporated via the specialist areas of rail tracks and railway operations as well as rail vehicles.

Duration: 02/2012 – 01/2015
Client:Europäische Kommission, 7. Forschungsrahmenprogramm
Prof. Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel (Project management), Dr. Martin Schiefelbusch

Project partner:
Technische Universität Berlin, Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft;
Technische Universität Berlin, Fachgebiet Schienenfahrwege und Bahnbetrieb;
Technische Universität Berlin, Fachgebiet Schienenfahrzeuge