The challenge for the railway sector regarding energy is to increase the capacity while improving the energy consumption and limiting the environmental impacts, and to decrease the investment and exploitation costs, while maintaining safety and service quality. It makes it necessary to rethink railway power supply under future requests, reflecting the status of different systems. 


Facts and Figures

  • Topic: Future traction power supply for railways and public transport
  • EU Contributions: 750 000€
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Project start date: 01/12/2019
  • Project end date: 30/11/2021
  • Partners: 4 partners from 3 countries
  • H2020-S2RJU-OC-2019
  • Grant agreement n° 881772

The project FUNDRES presents a deep thinking and related work to define the future of railway, based on new unified Future UNified Dc Railway Electrification System based on 9 kvDC, able to integrate the existing lines during transition period. In the coming years, MVDC power grids will contribute to the deployment of renewable energies and the electrification of transport systems. Compared to classical AC electricity distribution networks, they are generally more energy efficient and facilitate the interconnection of sources, storage elements and loads. In 2018, a new 9 kV DC railway electrification system is presented as an opportunity for railway sector. The ambitions of FUNDRES are to bring substantial improvements in the energy technology area and station for the future unified system based on 9 kVDC. The consortium composed by LAPLACE, EPFL, POLIMI and UIC will develop several scenarios, validated by experimental demonstration at the laboratory level. The digital twin offers the possibility to predict the behaviour and the impacts of the proposed unified electrical system based on 9kvDC.

The project outputs will be used to deliver new integrated technology demonstrators and scientific progress for the project IN2STEMPO, and more largely for Shift2Rail, which will be implemented in the railway network.



The main objectives of the FUNDRES project is to:

  • Quantify potential impact of the increase in voltage levels in DC railway electrification;
  • Explore suitable power supply schemes and impact of power electronics and energy storage technologies, as well as interactions with 3-phase utility grids in ancillary service markets;
  • Deliver modelling tools to simulate all relevant scenarios and to implement Digital Twins, both at equipment level and system level;
  • Set up representative experimental demonstration to evaluate performances of the future DC system, focusing on 9kVdc as an example;
  • Give recommendations for the new future unified DC railway power supply to the project’s advisory group, to the members of Shift2rail’s Innovation Programme n°3, to standardisation committees.

Project structure

WP NumberWP TitleLead beneficiary
WP2Grid interaction Railway power supply and public gridECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE (EPFL)
WP3Integration of renewable sources, storage systems and charging infrastructures in 9 kVDC railway systemPOLITECNICO DI MILANO (POLIMI)
WP5Communication, dissemination and link with other projects of S2RUNION INTERNATIONALE DES CHEMINS DE FER (UIC)


The Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (LAPLACE) is the leading French research centre in the field of electrical engineering and plasma with 160 full-time researchers and a similar number of doctoral and post-doctoral students.

In the field of power converters, the “Static Converters” group of LAPLACE conducts research on new architectures with a preferred direction towards medium and high-power applications. The main investigations concern original concepts of combinations of interleaved switching cells, which can be superimposed and/or magnetically coupled in parallel, giving rise to innovative topologies.

LAPLACE coordinates the project,  leads WP4 related to Solid State Transformer and will provide support to EPFL in WP2 for experimental demonstration.

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology. The research interests of the Power Electronics Laboratory are in the broad area of the Electrical Energy Generation, Conversion and Storage.

Objectives in connection with the project

With strong background in design optimization of high-power electronics converters, main objective of Power Electronics Laboratory is to develop and demonstrate highly flexible conversion structures that can support development of 9kV power distribution networks for railway sector as well as their interaction with public utility grids.


  • Develop a representative demonstrator of a AC-DC converter for interconnection to 9kVDC lines to public AC grids.
  • Demonstrate performances of the new technology under realistic operating conditions.
  • Establish a demonstration test platform to verify developments from other work packages.
  • Demonstrate system level gain of proposed 9kV lines in relation to surrounding AC and DC networks and integration of renewable energy sources and energy storage technologies. 

    Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) is one of the leading science and technology Universities in Europe.

    At the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the “Electrical Drives and Power Electronics” research group carries out research on power electronics for industrial and railways applications and their interaction with the infrastructure. At the Department of Energy, the research activities of the Electrical Systems for Transportation team include technologies for sustainable urban and long-distance mobility of passenger and goods.

    The main activity of the WP3 is the modeling and simulation of the proposed system in different operating conditions. Many interactions with the other Work Packages will be necessary to define the structures and the control strategies of the various AC/DC and DC/DC converters with or without galvanic insulation. Different levels of accuracy for the entire system will be proposed: low, mid and high levels.

    UIC - International union of railwaysThe International union of railways (UIC) is the worldwide organisation for international cooperation among railways and promotion of rail transport at a global level. It gathers 200 members, among them railways, rail operators, infrastructure managers, etc. The mission of the association is to promote rail transport at world level with the objective of optimally meeting current and future challenges of mobility and sustainable development. 

    The project is managed by the UIC Rail System Department and UIC is leading the work package on communication and dissemination (WP5).

    Documents and downloads

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    Fundres flyer

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    Project coordinator:
    Mr. Philippe LADOUX – LAPLACE

    Ms. Christine HASSOUN – UIC

    This project has received funding from the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 881772 (FUNDRES)

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