OPEUS project

Modelling and strategies for the assessment and OPtimisation of Energy USage aspects of rail innovation


The aim of OPEUS is to develop a simulation methodology and accompanying modelling tool to evaluate, improve and optimise the energy consumption of rail systems with a particular focus on in-vehicle innovation.

The OPEUS concept is based on the need to understand and measure the energy being used by each of the relevant components of the rail system and in particular the vehicle. This includes the energy losses in the traction chain, the use of technologies to reduce these and to optimise energy consumption (e.g. ESSs).

Specifically, the OPEUS approach has three components at its core:

  1. the energy simulation model
  2. the energy use requirements (e.g. duty cycles) and
  3. the energy usage outlook and optimisation strategies recommendation.

The concept builds on an extensive range of knowledge and outcomes generated by a number of key collaborative projects (e.g. CleanER-D, MERLIN, OSIRIS, RailEnergy, ROLL2RAIL) underpinning the research proposed, ALL of which have been led by OPEUS consortium members.

Particularly the tool developed for the CleanER-D project will be used as starting point. Significant complementary work from the academic community will also be used to enhance the activities of the project.

OPEUS concept

Specifically, these previous projects input will be used to:

  • Expand and develop the simulation tool (CleanER-D, MERLIN);
  • Complete the operational requirements by enhancing the urban duty cycles (OSiRIS);
  • Provide a global vision of energy consumption in railways (CleanER-D, OSIRIS, RailEnergy)

OPEUS’ ambition is to firmly contribute to the following key areas:

  • Understand energy consumption of urban railways;
  • Develop a tool to objectively compare technologies and strategies aimed at optimising the energy usage of railway systems;
  • Unlock the potential contribution that novel technologies and associated strategies can make to optimising rail energy consumption;
  • Share a global vision for how energy is used in railways.

News & Events

Shifting rail towards better energy efficiency

To stay competitive, Europe’s rail sector needs to become more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. This EU project provides the tools needed to evaluate and optimise the energy consumption of rail systems.
Table of contents Improving energy performance A strong sense of collaboration Europe has long been the global leader in railway manufacturing and transportation. But this position is being challenged by new market entrants offering attractive new products often at low costs. Believing that the best response to this challenge is innovation, the European Union and the European rail industry launched Shift2Rail (S2R), the first European initiative promoting the competitiveness of the rail (...)

Keywords: OPEUS, Shift2Rail, energy efficiency, rail, railway, transportation, sustainability, rail systems

Read more Published on 6 April 2020

OPEUS and FINE1 Final Conference

on 17 October 2019 at UIC in Paris

On 17 October at the Headquarters of UIC in Paris the final conference of the Shift2Rail JU funded CCA Projects Fine 1 and OPEUS was held. The event was dedicated to the presentation of results achieved by these projects on mitigation of noise and vibration pollutions and reduction of energy consumption by railway systems. The conference gathered around 70 participants from different EU countries. Some of them represented industry and some from academia. Several large railway companies (...)

Read more Published on 31 October 2019


To realise the objectives of OPEUS a series of activities divided into the following nine work packages (WPs) will be implemented:

  • WP01: Urban rail systems energy requirements
  • WP02: Simulation model and tool development
  • WP03: Reference scenarios simulation
  • WP04: DAS study
  • WP05: In-vehicle energy losses study
  • WP06: Advanced ESSs study
  • WP07: Global vision of energy in railways
  • WP08: Dissemination, exploitation and engagement
  • WP09: Management


The OPEUS consortium is formed of six partners from five different European countries representing an extremely well balanced mix of skills, expertise and stakeholders. Specifically, the consortium is made up of two leading academic partners (Newcastle University and Rostock University), one rail vehicle manufacturer (Stadler Rail Valencia), one leading energy storage systems supplier (SAFT Technologies) and two associations (UITP and UIC) representing a mix of railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, local authorities and public transport operators. This solid mix of universities, leading industrial partners and associations allows the consortium to respond to the challenges posed in the project and to realise the key project results.

The partners have previously worked together in international research initiatives, which will support an efficient project execution. Crucially, the partners have all been key participants in previous projects that are essential to meet the challenges and deliver the impact expected on this topic.

These include:

  • CleanER-D’s hybridisation tool developed by Rostock University in collaboration with Stadler Rail Valencia, SAFT, UIC and Newcastle University;
  • OSIRIS urban duty cycle set up, energy requirements and evaluation methodology led by Newcastle University together with UITP and SAFT;
  • MERLIN’s optimisation algorithm for decision support on energy usage developed by Newcastle University and the collaboration of UIC;




OPEUS & FINE 1 Final Conference Programme
Joint High Level session
Energy Session OPEUS & FINE1: Cluster 1 - Case studies
Energy Session OPEUS & FINE1: Cluster 2 - Key results and recommendations
Energy Session OPEUS & FINE1 Cluster 3: What is Next
Joint high-level session