ACEM-Rail - Automated and cost effective railway infrastructure maintenance - is a Research project funded by the European Commission (DG Research, Call FP7-SST-2010-RTD-1). It is a three year project which started in December 2010. The budget is around 4 million euro.

ACEM-Rail project aims to improve the railway maintenance by the development of a highly integrated automatic system. It focuses on the track (including superstructure and substructure).
It includes:

i) The development and utilization of solutions for the efficient inspection and monitoring of the infrastructure condition.
ii) The utilization of systems for the analysis, decision making and planning of maintenance operations to be performed based on optimization models dealing with the uncertainties of the maintenance process.
iii) The development of an asset management system.
iv) The optimal execution and monitoring of preventive and corrective maintenance operations by the use of new processes, tools and systems.
v) The adoption and adaptation of maintenance solutions utilized in other industries.

The final goal is to reduce the costs and the interaction of maintenance operations with railway
services as well as to improve the quality, safety, reliability and sustainability of the railway

The main goals of the project are:

> Analysis of current maintenance activities in order to identify those to be automated.
> Automated and intelligent inspection and monitoring of infrastructure condition. Automated planning and decision making of preventive and corrective maintenance
> Monitored execution of preventive and corrective maintenance operations.
> Optimal management of railway infrastructure subsystems to facilitate an automated and
cost effective maintenance.
> Infrastructure subsystems and components redesign proposal to facilitate automatic maintenance monitoring and operating.
> Reduction of costs, time, resources and impact on rail services by the realization of automated and cost effective maintenance activities in conventional and high speed lines, with the goal of maximizing the capacity and availability of rail infrastructure and rolling stock. As a consequence the rail freight sector will be benefit as the rail will be available for freight transport during the night and this mean of transport of goods will be more competitive.
This will allow to increase the rate of rail freight transport (what would decrease road transport for the same purpose) for the benefit of the environment and the health of population.
> Demonstration of the developed technologies in a real railway system.