New joint research project on improving energy efficiency for railways

Electric train

Providing increased confidence in the use of instrumentation to harvest waste energy in the transport system

DC railway and metro systems, supplied by unidirectional substations, show significant waste of energy for their inability to fully recover the energy produced by electric braking. Estimates show that an amount of 1 GWh per year, about the annual consumption of 365 families, can be wasted in one single commuter line. Bidirectional substations and/or storage systems are expected to significantly improve the energy efficiency but presently equipment and procedures lack to determine their real overall efficiency performance as well as the efficiency of their components like power transformers and converters.

Following needs expressed by IEC TC9, CLC SC9XC and CLC TC14, the new project Metrology support for enhanced energy efficiency in DC transportation systems (22NRM04, e-TRENY) will develop future methodologies for DC transport efficiency determination, that combine accurate on-site measurements with circuit models of the railway electric system.

The project is one of the first to start within the European Partnership on Metrology.

The activity is organised into four technical work packages:

  • Configurations of non-conventional DC substations and on-site measurement setup development
  • Infrastructure for on-site traceable measurement of energy efficiency
  • Efficiency measurement of power converters used in DC transport systems
  • Efficiency determination of whole DC supply system.

The project consortium is composed of well-established European National Metrology Institutes, industrial companies and universities, which provides a unique combination of specific experience and knowledge in the field of efficiency measurement of converters and machinery on the one side and of their operation and integration in a railway system on the other side.

The project consortium is composed of:

Project coordinator Domenico Giordano from INRIM said

‘This is a great opportunity for the metrology community to foster the energy transition of the public electric transportation system’.

This project builds upon the work of previous EMPIR project Metrology for smart energy management in electric railway systems (16ENG04, MyRailS).


This news story details a project that has been selected for funding from the European Partnership on Metrology, but at the time of publication is still being negotiated.
The information provided here is subject to change as no contracts are formally in place.


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