The 15th International Conference on Railway Engineering Design and Operation (COMPRAIL 2016), is the latest in a series of very successful meetings which started in Frankfurt in 1987 and continued in Rome (1990); Washington (1992); Madrid (1994); Berlin (1996); Lisbon (1998);
Bologna (2000); Lemnos (2002); Dresden (2004); Prague (2006); Toledo (2008); Beijing (2010); the New Forest, home of the Wessex Institute (2012) and Rome in 2014. The meeting is organised by the Wessex Institute and sponsored by WIT Transactions on the Built Environment and the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. The Conference aims to update the use of advanced systems, promoting their general awareness throughout the management, design, manufacture and operation of railways and other emerging passenger, freight and transit systems. It emphasises the use of computer systems in advanced railway engineering. 

The meeting attracts a variety of specialists interested in the development of railways, including managers, consultants, railway engineers, designers of advanced train control systems and computer specialists. It provides a forum for researchers, academics and practitioners involved in railway engineering to present and discuss the latest developments. Since 1994 all published papers are archived in the Wessex Institute eLibrary (www.witpress. com/elibrary), where they are permanently available to the international community.

Conference Topics

The following list covers some of the topics to be presented at COMPRAIL 2016. Papers on other subjects related to the objectives of the conference are also welcome.

  • Advanced train control
  • Operations quality
  • Risk management
  • Planning and policy
  • Monitoring and maintenance
  • Energy supply and consumption
  • Communications and signalling
  • Train control systems
  • Timetable planning
  • Rescheduling
  • Safety and security
  • Railway vehicle dynamics
  • Driverless and automatic train operation
  • Operational planning
  • Interface management
  • Systems integration
  • Maglev
  • High speed technology
  • Interoperability
  • Passenger flow management
  • Computer simulations

Benefits of Attending

Publication of Papers Papers presented at COMPRAIL 2016 are to be published by WIT press in a Volume of WIT Transactions. Selected papers will appear in a special Issue of the International Journal of Transport Development and Integration (ISSN:2058-8305; Digital ISSN:2058-8313).

Reviews Abstracts and papers are reviewed by members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee and other experts.

Open Access WIT Press is an advocate of Open Access which offers maximum dissemination of your work.  WIT Transactions and Journal papers can be downloaded for free ( 

Indexing and Archiving Papers presented at Wessex Institute conferences are referenced by CrossRef and have appeared in notable reviews and databases. Papers are submitted to various indexing services such as Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Google Scholar, Scopus and ProQuest. All conference books are listed in the British Library and American Library of Congress.

Conference Proceedings Delegates will receive a copy of the papers presented at the Conference on a USB Flash drive. The USB will, in addition, contain papers from previous conferences in this series. Following the Conference, authors will receive an electronic copy of the publication in which their paper has been published.

Digital Archive All conference papers are archived online in the WIT eLibrary ( where they are easily and permanently available to the international scientific community.

Networking Participants can present their research and interact with experts from around the world, becoming part of a unique community.

Reduced Fee for PhD Students The Wessex Institute believes in the importance of encouraging PhD students to present and publish innovative research at their conferences. As a result, the Institute offers PhD students a much reduced conference fee.


*Google Scholar Indexation  
WIT Press has made all its conference and journal papers open access in an effort to help its dissemination within the scientific and technical community.

This means that you are now able to download any paper in the WIT eLibrary ( totally free and without having to pre-register.

This major development has the added benefit of allowing the Google Scholar search engines to fully index all WIT papers.

Google Scholar is a search engine created specifically for researchers to facilitate the indexation and citation of academic papers free of charge. This service is becoming the most accepted comprehensive benchmark and quality standard.

In Google Scholar you will be able to see the number of citations of your articles as well as the ‘h-index’ ranking for both author and publications. The h-index is the largest number h such that at least h articles (by the author or in a publication) were cited at least h times each.

The impact of your work is given by the ‘i10 index’ which refers to the number of publications within the last 10 years that have at least 10 citations.

You can also easily create within the system an Author’s Profile which helps to highlight your achievements.

Google Scholar is becoming the most popular system in the world and its metrics are independent and unbiased. Unlike other ranking systems, it is free.


To register online for this conference please complete the registration form by clicking on the 'Register' button at the top or bottom of this page. If you would prefer to print out a copy of the Registration Form, please download the PDF Registration Form below and return to the Conference Secretariat.

PDF Registration Form

Conference Fees

Includes conference proceedings, other documentation and refreshments.

Registration Fee, €890

Conference Chairmen, WIT Fellows and members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, €780

Students, €500

Publication of Papers

Papers presented at COMPRAIL 2016 are to be published by WIT press in a Volume of WIT Transactions. Selected papers will appear in a special Issue of the International Journal of Transport Development and Integration (ISSN:2058-8305; Digital ISSN:2058-8313).

All conference papers are archived online in the WIT eLibrary ( where they are easily and permanently available to the international scientific community.

WIT Transactions have since 1993 been publishing exceptional conference papers which are referenced by CrossRef and have been indexed in international databases. All conference books are catalogued and archived in the British Library and American Library of Congress.

Open Access

WIT strongly believes that removing the barrier to research published online will greatly aid progress in all scientific and technical disciplines, as well as all other spheres of knowledge. Most WIT conference and all journal papers are freely available online.

Madrid, Spain

madridBeing one of the largest cities in Europe, Madrid has so much to offer to its visitors. Since Philip II, in the 16th Century, made Madrid the capital of Spain in the 16th Century, the city has grown to become one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, maintaining most of its magnificent architecture through the centuries. Madrid’s cultural highlights include the “El Prado” and “Reina Sofia” museums which show works from Picasso, Velazquez and Gaudi as well as many other international artists. Other sights are the Royal Palace and gardens, as well as tree-lined avenues which add to the charm of the city. Madrid town hall square or Plaza Mayor is one of the best places to enjoy the famous Spanish gastronomy and night life.

Travel Information

By Air

Madrid Barajas Airport

Madrid Barajas Airport is located approximately 17km from the conference venue and offers direct flights from a number of international airports in Europe. Airlines servicing this airport include:

  • Air Europa – From Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, London and Milan
  • Easyjet - From Berlin, Bristol, Edinburgh, Lyon, Paris
  • Iberia - From Athens, Barcelona, Istanbul, New York, Munich, Vienna, Venice and Geneva
  • TAP - From Lisbon
  • Vueling – From Florence, Rome, Bucharest and Malta

For information on all airlines flying to Madrid, visit the following website link:

From the Airport to the Conference Venue

Bus: Línea Exprés (the express bus) runs from Madrid-Barajas Airport to the Atocha-RENFE transport hub in Madrid city centre in just 40 minutes in normal traffic conditions. The service runs every 15-20 minutes during the day and every 35 at night. A single ticket costs €5 and you can buy tickets (cash only) on board the bus. Luggage is carried free.

Note: The stop at Atocha-RENFE is not used from 23:30 to 6:00. During this period the departure point is in Plaza de la Cibeles, where there are connections for all the Municipal Transport (EMT) night buses, known as “búhos” (owls).

Rail: RENFE Cercanías trains operate along the C1 route between Madrid Barajas Airport Terminal 4 and Atocha (journey time: 25 minutes) A single ticket costs around €2.60. There are RENFE offices in the arrivals area of Terminals 1 and 4, which provide information and ticketing services for the national rail network. 

From Atocha Renfe you can take Metro de Madrid Line 1 towards Pinar De Chamartin, departing at Antón Martín. The service runs between 06:00 and 02:00 and departs every 5-10 minutes depending on the time of day. The journey will take around 5 minutes and will cost around €2.00 to travel within zone A.

Taxi: Taxis are available from outside all terminals (journey time to the city centre: 20-30 minutes; fare: around €30). Passengers should make sure the meter is turned on at the beginning of the journey and they are advised to use official taxis which are white in colour with a red stripe.

Hire Car: Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, Europcar and SIXT operate at the airport. We recommend that you take the M-40 and A-3 roads signposted Av. del Mediterráneo.


Madrid-Cuatro Vientos

Madrid-Cuatro Vientos is the second busiest airport by number of passengers in Madrid. It is located in the west of the city and is an airport dedicated to domestic flights: there are around 40 Spanish cities using the hub to operate domestic flights to Madrid, including the tourist areas of the Balearic Islands, with the routes from Ibiza to Madrid, Palma de Mallorca-Madrid. The airport is located around 15km from the conference venue.

For information on all airlines flying to Madrid-Cuatro Vientos, and destinations, visit the following website link: 

From the Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport to the Conference Venue you should take the Metro de Madrid Line 10. Change at Tribunal and take Line 1 towards Pinar De Chamartin, departing at Antón Martín. The journey will take around 35 minutes and will cost around €2.00 to travel within zone A.

By Rail

Madrid Atocha

This is the largest railway station in Madrid. It is the primary station serving commuter trains, intercity and regional trains from North East, Central and Southern Spain, and the AVE high speed trains serving direct routes to Albacete, Antequera, Barcelona, Calatayud, Cordoba, Huesca, Lleida, Malaga, Toledo, Sevilla (Seville), Valencia & Zaragoza (Saragosa).

From Atocha Renfe you can take Metro de Madrid Line 1 towards Pinar De Chamartin, departing at Antón Martín. The service runs between 06:00 and 02:00 and departs every 5-10 minutes depending on the time of day. The journey will take around 5 minutes and will cost around €2.00 to travel within zone A.


Madrid Chamartín

Chamartín Train Station is located in the north of the city about six kilometres from Barajas-Madrid International Airport. Chamartín train station is mainly served by trains from the north-west and west of Spain, as well as from France.

From Chamartín you can take Metro de Madrid Line 1 towards Valdecarros departing at Antón Martín. The service runs between 06:00 and 02:00 and departs every 5-10 minutes depending on the time of day. The journey will take around 25 minutes and will cost around €2.00 to travel within zone A.

For more information visit RENFE – Spanish railways –

By Road

Madrid has 6 principal highways entering and leaving the city; the A-1 to A-6. It also has three major ring roads; the inner-one is known as the M30, an outer one is the M40 and the outermost is called the M50

The Mediterráneo AP-7 motorway, which runs the whole length of the Spanish Mediterranean coastline from north to south, connects with the European motorway network, the A-23 Sagunto-Somport motorway and the A-3 Madrid-Valencia motorway.

Once in Central Madrid, the conference venue is located 500 metres from the Atocha railway station and the Reina Sofia Museum which are well signposted.

ALSA operates long distance bus services connecting Madrid to other cities in Spain including Barcelona and Valencia, northern regions of Spain and Portugal.


Please note that all information included above is correct at September 2015. All prices and travel details are subject to change.


Conference Venue 

The Tryp Atocha Madrid is built within a splendid palace dating back to 1913 and retains its original architectural detail and beauty. Located in the historical heart of the city, called “Barrio de las Letras” (Arts District), the hotel is within walking distance from the city’s main museums: the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum, delicious tapas bars, chic shops and exciting night life. The hotel is also within walking distance from the main train station in Madrid (Atocha station).


Special accommodation rates have been negotiated at the Tryp Atocha Madrid. Please ensure that you book your accommodation by completing the Accommodation Booking Form which can be found on the link below. We highly recommend that delegates stay at this hotel for ease of attendance to the meeting.

Tryp Madrid Atocha
Atocha 83
28012 Madrid

Please note: All delegates are responsible for booking their own accommodation and settling their own accounts.

Visa Information

A Schengen Visa is the document issued for visiting/travelling in and within the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country. Schengen visas are issued by the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. If you intend to visit one of the Schengen countries for business, as a tourist or for a personal/private visit, you must first obtain a Schengen visa, unless your country is part of the Shengen territory or has a special agreement. You can check which whether citizens of your country require Shengen VISA here:

Where to apply:

  • You should apply to the Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence (unless you are resident in Ireland). 
  • If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, apply to the Embassy or Consulate of that country. 
  • If you intend to visit several of the Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which your main destination is situated (longest duration of stay).

Processing time: Your application should be lodged at the Embassy or Consulate at least 2 weeks before the proposed journey is undertaken. Requirements for a Schengen visa may vary slightly between the different Schengen countries. Please visit the following link for further information:

Important information: Please notice that although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, it is your responsibility to check that the visa and travel requirements with the corresponding Embassy in your country.

Invitation Letters

If you require a letter of invitation for your visa application, please submit a request for a letter of invitation to the conference secretariat.
Registration fees must be paid in order to be issued an invitation letter. Please make sure you read the cancellation policy stated in the registration form before sending your payment.

All letters of invitation will be sent to you by email and regular mail unless otherwise specified.
Please provide the following information in your request:

  • Title (Dr., Professor, Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms, etc.)
  • Your full name (Please specify family name and given name)
  • Organization
  • Full mailing address
  • Additional information such as if you are presenting a paper at the Conference
  • We cannot provide visa letters for spouses or guests, however we can include their name on your letter

Additional Information

Please use the links below to access additional information related to the conference. All links open in a new window.