To approach the fundamental questions on how to reform the transport sector towards more sustainability, and thus to comply with the ambitious mode shift, climate and safety targets set by the European Commission’s 2011 Transport White Paper, the LowCarb-RFC study applies the following working steps and methodologies.
WP1 seeks for gathering and analysing the current state of research on future scenarios for visions in the rail freight sector on methods to assess and quantify these scenarios and on existing stakeholder discussion and dissemination platforms for rail freight solutions.
WP2 develops a baseline scenario which will most likely become real in case policy, technology and markets develop without major surprises. It will specify the various modelling tools which are used to assess transport market developments: the ASTRA system dynamics model run by Fraunhofer ISI and M-Five, the Logistics Chain Model by the University of Antwerp, the local logistics assessment method by Fraunhofer IML and other impact assessment methods required throughout the project.
WP3 develops the target vision and scenario for an international European freight market largely based on rail. This involves a complete technical and organisational modernisation of the rail sector, as well as a detailed concept for a supporting policy environment by 2050. The WP concludes with an environmental impact assessment.
WP4 delves into the very details how the Pro Rail Scenario can be realised by focussing on the major barriers towards rail and institutional changes. Short case studies of transition processes in other sectors are conducted, and in-depth consultations with railways, logistics companies, industries and policy bodies within the Stakeholder Participation Platform are performed to identify feasible transition pathways.
WP5 goes into an alternative scenario which investigates whether the sustainability targets are achievable despite a marginalisation of the rail freight sector. In this scenario, technical and organisational improvements of road transport, such as autonomous driving, larger vehicles, electrification or alternative fuels will be allowed to a high extent.
This final scientific step shall bundle the results of the Pro Rail Scenario and the Pro Road case and look at their implications particularly for the logistics infrastructure and markets in Northrhine-Westphalia (NRW). It explores investment and de-investment needs, environmental effects and social impacts in the road haulage, railway and inland navigation sector.
Stakeholder Participation Platform. This work package supports all other activities in the project by enabling continuous discussions with relevant stakeholders from railways and goods forwarding industry. A bi-directional flow of inputs questions, suggestions and comments together with confidential discussions in small groups shall ensure that both, science and practice, are benefiting from an open and honest exchange of relevant thoughts and facts. The Stakeholder Participation Platform is run by project partner Transport and Environment (T&E).