Schedule - 10 October

International research symposium with new scientific insights on Intelligent Rail Infrastructure and Whole Systems Performance coming from the ExploRail research program. Keynotes from Clive Roberts (Professor of Railway System at the University of Birmingham) and Pier Eringa (CEO ProRail). The official completion of the ExploRail research program
For everyone involved or interested in (the results of) ExploRail and value of new scientific insights in practice.




Walk in




Official opening of ExploRail symposium


Innovation manager Chris Verstegen (ProRail), Jeanet Bruil (Head of Strategic Partnerships & Policy SSH domain) en Herrie Nijhuis (director TTW, NWO) open the ExploRail symposium. By using anecdotes, they shed a light on the unique partnership between academia and practice that the ExploRail project enabled. What is the payoff of the programme? And how will we sustain this partnership in the future? Together they will start the short documentary. This will be the official start of the day. In the short documentary the ExploRail research project will be summarized. We will meet important key figures, bring science and academia closer together, get to know the challenges and opportunities and learn about the main findings. It is a call for action. By MDNA.

Keynote - Julia Cramer

Science to share


There are times when the gap between science and practice seems irreconcilable. ExploRail shows the opposite. How do you conduct research with both a scientific and practical purpose? And how to share the results for maximum impact? Julia Cramer, scientist in quantumtechnology explains her passion for sharing scientific insights on a subject which seems to be to difficult to explain.

Short coffee break


ExploRail explained

Round table sessions #1


Visitors choose one of the sessions: 1) DRTRACk – Using vibrations to predict maintenance Predict and optimize railway maintenance by the use of new technologies. For example the use of trains equipped with detection gear to measure anomalies of railway tracks. Measuring vibrations to optimize maintenance. It really works, but how? By: Prof. dr. Zili Li (academic supervisor) & Prof. dr. Rolf Dollevoet (ProRail research coach) 2) ARRANGEER – Smart railroad maintenance Optimize maintenance by using new modelling techniques. Want to know how to develop the most efficient maintenance strategy? The ARRANGEER researchers developed a decision support system that enables to compare different maintenance strategies to be able to choose the best. By: Dr. Mariëlle Stoelinga (academic supervisor) & Martijn van Noort (ProRail research coach) 3) RAILROAD – Enable resilience to cope with calamities and disruptions In the case of unexpected disruptions or calamities, the workload of rail operators is suddenly very high. The researchers within the RAILROAD project developed smart interfaces that support the rail operators to process and share real time data. Think of smart tools that enable team reflection and the development of an e-assistant. How do you develop such a smart interface? And how can they be applied in practice? By: prof. dr. Jan Maarten Schraagen (academic supervisor) & Alfons Schaafsma (ProRail research coach) 4) OCPROM: Smart maintenance management How can we use new technologies and work together with various railway partners to enable a maintenance strategy in which the original time table is preserved and inconvenience for travellers is limited? By: Wilma Bobbink, Cuong Dao & Loe Schlicher (post-doc researchers), ?? (ProRail research coach) 5) PYRAMIDS – More ideal contracts Working better together to optimize maintenance by using new technologies. Railway maintenance is a complex interplay involving various railway stakeholders. How can technology support a more harmonized interplay? With special attention for smart ways to develop contracts and doing condition-based maintenance. By: Dr. Alfredo Nunez (researcher), Zhou Su (PhD) ??? (ProRail research coach)



During lunch, ExploRail results are exposed

ExploRail explained

Round table sessions #2


Visitors choose one of the following four round table sessions: 1) ADMIRE – Advanced monitoring and management of intelligent railway infrastructure This project developed new intelligent systematic, efficient and robust models for monitoring of intelligent railway infrastructure. Think for example of rail inspection by the use of videos made by trains. Which data is necessary to be able to optimize rail maintenance? And how can this data be monitored and gathered? By: Zili Li (academic supervisor), Siamak Hajizadeh (PhD) and Hans Bronswijk (ProRail research coach) 2) SMARTOCCR – Supporting the OCCR in smart ways A disruption in the railway system never stands on its own. It always affects the rest of the system. How do you minimize nuisance for other trains in the case of sudden disruptions? How can the original timetable be endured? Which self-thinking systems are available to achieve this? By: Dr. Rob Goverde (academic supervisor) and Dirk Kes (ProRail research coach) 3) PRIME – A new generation railway steel The material of rails can tell a lot about (future) wear. The relation between material properties and the development of damage decomposed, with an eye on a new generation on railway steel. By: Prof. Jilt Sietsma (academic supervisor) and Rolf Dollevoet (ProRail research coach) 4) MACSYD: Effective failure communication Within the Operational Control Center Rail (OCCR) different parties work together 24/7 to solve rail disruptions as fast as they can. How to optimize the communication between these different parties working together in the OCCR? By: Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan, Danny Schipper (PhD), Prof. dr. Alfons van Marrewijk & ??? (ProRail research coach)

Keynote - Pier Eringa

Collaboration for futureproof railnetworks


The director of Dutch rail manager ProRail reflects on the importance of new scientific insights as a drive of innovation in the railsector. A brief introduction to Dutch challenges in a European context and the role of research and partnerships. Discussion afterwards together with Rolf Dollevoet and Mr Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking and responsible for the overall management of the S2R JU activities.

Explore the Railcenter

A short excursion


Railcenter is a unique place in the Netherlands (and Europe) where the railway industry comes together. Through training services, and by offering the railway industry a place for testing and analysis, innovation, and knowledge sharing, Railcenter supports improvements for a safer and more reliable railway system. In groups we explore this recently opened center of railway industry.

Keynote - Clive Roberts

International Railway Developments


Clive Roberts is a leading European professor Railway Systems, working at the University of Birmingham and Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. His research is mostly related to the improvement of the performance of railway systems. He works extensively with the railway industry in Britain and overseas. In a keynote speech, he gives a brief introduction on recent developments regarding to the actual and urgent railway challenges in Europe.

Drinks and bites