October 2013

Research Coordination Efforts is the Order of the Day

New challenges that JSC RZD faces at its path to the further development of highly efficient rail transportation system in the Russian Federation required joining top-level research coordination efforts. With this in mind, in 2010, at the premises of JSC “VNIIZhT”, the premier institution of RZD in the sphere of development, testing and introduction of new technologies, as well as corporate economy research and integration of research and development works into the rail transport the Joint Scientific Council of JSC RZD (OUS JSC RZD) was established.

The activity of the OUS JSC RZD is aimed at stimulating scientific research within the JSC RZD and defining scientific policy that would provide the best way to achieve all strategic objectives of development of Russian Railways.

Among the members of the Council are 30 leading scientists, participating in its work on a permanent basis, including 9 academicians and corresponding members of The Russian Academy of Sciences, 4 Rectors and Presidents of major Russian Universities, 8 Directors of key Research Institutes, as well as 9 scientific partners, including 2 academicians and 1 University Rector. The Chairman of the Council is Director General of VNIIZhT, Member of the JSC RZD Management Board, IRRB Chairman, DrSc in Economics, Prof. Boris Lapidus.

The OUS JSC RZD activity encourages the leading rail sector institutions to integrate their knowledge and efforts, which enables to create appropriate environment for fundamental and exploratory research. It intends to reduce discovered technological gaps and to gain the lead in certain spheres, as well as to increase involvement of youth in research activities as a part of development of discipline-oriented scientific schools within the rail sector. It is also worthwhile, that during the Council’s sessions close attention is often paid to the issues connected to the development of railway transport that should be considered from the scientific point of view, and elaboration of strategic decisions on a high academic level.

Since its first day the Council has held more than 40 sessions, reviewed more than 50 items connected with planning and realization of priority research focused on the development of railway transport and RZD as its basic element.
The latest reviewed noteworthy issues are:

  • establishment of a new Euro-Asian railway corridor Moscow-Bratislava-Vienna;
  • realization of the Concept of piggyback transportation organization on “Space 1520 mm”;
  • scientific support to drafting of a regulatory system and technological concepts for the development of a high-speed transportation in Russia;
  • assessment of quality improvements of the most important transport construction elements;
  • elaboration of the Concept of development and expansion of innovative rolling stock on the railway system;
  • development of new infrastructure and rolling stock collaboration ways;
  • supercomputing and grid technologies potential; prospective of their use in railway transportation;
  • concept of IT updating of the railway track maintenance system based on IT technologies. This includes infrastructure management and supervision of railway tracks’ condition with due regard to the West-European experience, in particular the experience of the Austrian 3B infra GmbH company;
  • scientific assistance to the projects of lean manufacturing in JSC RZD

The OUS JSC RZD activity is oriented to updating of the priority research areas, taking into account the increasing importance of matters connected with the performance of railway transport and related industry sectors.
Sessions’ records are regularly published in the “Joint Scientific Council of JSC RZD Bulletin”, which is an official edition of JSC “VNIIZhT’ since April 2012. Since November 2012 the Bulletin is listed on the Russian Science Citation Index.

Comprehensive collaboration with the biggest Russian scientific informational website – Scientific digital library (eLIBRARY.RU) has been established, which includes access to the Russian Science Citation Index database. Quoting permanent members and scientific partners of the Council , as well as other leading rail researchers is monitored. Strong growth of the citation index shows that research activity of the Council is relevant. So contribution of a single researcher, as well as the performance of the whole Council is evidence of their efficiency.

Apart from debates on the most important results of research works, the OUS JSC RZD pays close attention to outstanding scholars, whose scientific heritage stays significant and relevant still today. For instance, one of the sessions was dedicated to the scientific heritage left by academician Leonid Kantorovich, Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences.

The development of railway scientific schools is of primary importance as well.
Since the beginning of 2012, each session of Joint Scientific Council of JSC RZD devotes some time to quarterly report of a young researcher on current challenges of the development of Russian railways. Since then the Council has listened to reports of young researchers from VNIIZhT and Russian transport Universities (Universities of railway engineering in Moscow, Rostov/Don, Siberia, Far East). Some of them were awarded a research prize, established by the Council for students and postgraduates of transport universities.
For the first time, this national award for students and postgraduates was set up in 2012 to find talented youth and propose them to take part into research and analytical work, connected with development and upgrading of railway sector.
Winners and nominees demonstrated a high level of information competence, their reports were of a high quality and very profound, results of their research were innovative and useful for dealing with the basic issues of rail transport.
In 2013, the award is organized for the second time, new requirements for participation are attracting new candidates, range of topics are enlarged and specified.

The Russian Fundamental Research Fund and the OUS JSC RZD have established their collaboration. Since the beginning of the year 2013 the Chairman of the Fund works with the Council as a scientific partner.
There are already 4 projects, realized in the sphere of railway transport powered by VNIIZhT:

  • Theoretical justification and development of the AC traction energy system with the conduction of overvoltage with the help of Scott-connected transformers of major substation in conditions of non-sinusoidal electric energy suppliers and users;
  • Fundamental principles of materials and structural systems of current collection of high-speed rail according to the results of research of interaction of current collector elements and contact wire;
  • Fundamental principles of destruction of rail steel in conditions of heavy haul and high speed transportation;
  • Drafting requirements to indicators that describe the friction approach management in the wheel-rail system for further research.

Under the aegis of the Joint Scientific Council efforts were intensified on integration of Russian rail science into the world’s scientific community in terms of co-projects and research implementation of the following:

  • determination of the primary strategic areas in railway transport from the point of view of the enhancement of its socioeconomic efficiency;
  • certification and standardization;
  • train running safety;
  • pricing;
  • modernization of the scientific process to reach a new level with up-to-date technical and managerial initiatives;
  • training of promising research personnel.

Since 2011, the annual International forum “Transport Science: Innovative Solutions for Business” has been held. The Forum is aimed at consolidating the potential of the world rail science in order to implement projects, which will improve efficiency of the transport business.
In 2012, the Forum was successfully held for the second time. 90 representatives from 10 countries were a part of that event.
Key issues considered during the Forum were:

  • optimization of transportation flows in the interest of business: innovative approaches to transportation management;
  • scientific brainpower as the basis for innovative development of rail;
  • integration of transport science on a pan-European scale.
  • transport engineering: scientific and technological innovations in a service of manufacturers.

As the result, the Forum contributed to defining comprehensive guidelines for the rail research development, and major priority areas of global research in railway transport received support, which establishes a more clear way for moving towards planned goals.
In 2013, the third Forum took place on JSC “VNIIZHT” Experimental ring in Scherbinka. Its discussions stuck to key areas of railway sector evolution in XXI century. Attention was concentrated on cost reduction and acceleration of passenger and freight travel.
More than 100 delegates from 12 countries attended the Forum, in particular representatives of UIC, railway research centers and big transport companies from Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, USA, and Russian Federation.
During the Forum the following questions were considered:

  • Prerequisites and main features of railways’ Renaissance in XXI century;
  • Macroeconomic and geo-economic role of railways in the context of globalization;
  • Demand on establishing global rail development strategy up to 2050;
  • Mechanisms of innovative development of rail sector with due regard to real intensification of operational railway lines;
  • Removing cost-related obstacles with regard to development of high-speed passenger traffic;
  • Development of heavy haul traffic as a tool to cut the costs on bulk cargo transportation;
  • Prospects of development of rapid and high-speed rail transport of goods with high added value etc.

Participants highlighted in their reports once again, that under conditions of ongoing reform of railway sector and increase in competitiveness on transport market, systemic growth of JSC RZD efficiency can be reached only due to realization of breakthrough and scientifically proven solutions and significant increase in research activity management efficiency.

For more information about activity and results of the Joint Scientific Council of JSC RZD please visit the website: http://www.vniizht.ru/