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Infrastructure Guidelines for Environmental Railway Performance

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€1 138 665
EU Contribution
€1 138 665
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Rail icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

The INFRAGUIDER was a Coordinated Action project. It was established with inspiration from the results of RAVEL and REPID (BRITE/EURAM projects) and PROSPER (a UIC project), and especially the Leaflet 'Environmental specification for new rolling-stock'.

INFRAGUIDER set ou to provide a European answer to urgent environmental challenges: climate change, hazardous substances and resources management.


The INFRAGUIDER Coordinated Action project's primary objective was to define the guidelines for developing an effective European method/tool for the environmental impact evaluation of the railway infrastructure (existing and new). Despite the fact that a similar process has already been provided for the rolling stock, the railway infrastructure is a more complex system where a silent revolution has been performed in order to:

  • face high performances of trains (high speed trains);
  • attract freight transport;
  • reduce maintenance and operational costs, and;
  • comply with the local, regional regulation in terms of environmental impact.

To avoid that, this revolution will create a great unbalance among regions. To support the know-how and best practices transfer, it is important to assess by a consensus process at European level the following items:

  • the current state of environmental performance within the railway sector, and to highlight the criticalities to become effective and practical for the internal Environmental Management system implemented by railway companies and suppliers;
  • the infrastructure functional subsystems and interfaces from the environment point of view;
  • balance of goods in terms of material flow, environmental performance indicators EPIs and relevant ranking.

Finally, as result of the three steps mentioned above, the specification for the environmental part of a sustainability management system was provided and disseminated to end users (railway infrastructure managers and international organisations), to suppliers and academia (through EURNEX poles of excellence). According to this description, INFRAGUIDER was delivered in four main work packages. Additional work packages related to the management and communication/dissemination of the project are included in order to guarantee and to monitor the quality and effectiveness of the coordination mechanism.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
The European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Specific funding programme


An analytical assessment of the environmental management of railway infrastructure managers was performed. Within these organisations there are in particular five key functions where environmental performance can be controlled. Material flow analysis has been combined with life cycle assessments according to the international standards ISO 14040-44, to quantify the environmental performance of railway infrastructure eco-procurement. The results comprise of:

  • A collection/overview of tools and methods that are in use and/or available for the environmental impact evaluation.
  • Development of a systems models, describing how different infrastructure managers have implemented environmental management processes, related to the functions described by the ISO 14001 environmental management system.
  • Development of material flow models that describe how the major materials and substances are entering the railway infrastructure and leaving as waste or as emissions to air, ground and water.
  • Development of a material and component database collecting the data obtained by the INFRAGUIDER infrastructure managers.

The gathered information provided a clear understanding of the environmental framework of the railway infrastructure. This initiated a constructive process, resulting in a compilation of tools to assess and manage the environmental performance of materials and components.

The overall result is a combined view of railway infrastructure material flows, railway infrastructure management and railway infrastructure material procurement. This provides clear guidance towards improved environmental performance, both on a global climate scale and on the local and regional scale, including waste minimisation and reduction of toxic substances.

Other results

The added value of the project is the exploration of the not yet exploited potential of railway network assets renewal and planning to positively affect the environmental performance of the infrastructure managers.

The consortium was composed of different stakeholders, infrastructure managers, suppliers and academia. This reflects the knowledge from both inside and outside the railway companies.

Strategy targets

Innovating for the future (behaviour and technology): Promoting more sustainable development


Lead Organisation
Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario Per I Trasporti E La Logistica
Via All' Opera Pia 11A, 16145 Genova, Italy
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€126 421
Partner Organisations
Technische Universitaet Wien
Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Wien, Austria
EU Contribution
€183 120
Union International Des Chemins De Fer
16 rue Jean Rey, 75015 PARIS, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€137 549
RodaVagen 1, 781 89 BORLANGE, Sweden
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€123 478
The University Of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€106 902
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited
1 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN, United Kingdom
EU Contribution
€54 324
Balfour Beatty Rail S.p.a
Via Lampedusa 13, 20141 Milano, Italy
EU Contribution
€93 572
Wiener Linien Gmbh &co Kg
Erdbergstrasse 202, 1031 Wien, Austria
EU Contribution
€66 982
Obb-Infrastruktur Ag
Vivenotgasse 10, 1120 Vienna, Austria
EU Contribution
€57 010
Eco2Win Ab
Ansgariigatan 17, 55466 Jonkoping, Sweden
EU Contribution
€169 943
National Railway Company “Cfr” Sa
Dinicu Golescu 38, 10873 Bucuresti, Romania
EU Contribution
€19 367


Technology Theme
Energy efficiency
Energy efficient information systems
Development phase

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