17th International Conference on Railway Engineering Design & Operation


1–3 July 2020



With the main objective to preserve our delegates’ well-being, but also with the belief that the scientific community should not be stopped, WIT decided that COMPRAIL 2020 should not take place as scheduled in Berlin, Germany, but take place as an online event instead.

The conference was organised by the Wessex Institute, UK, represented by Professor Giorgio Passerini together with the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain), represented by Professor Jose Manuel Mera and Kogakuin University (Japan), represented by Professor Ryo Takagi.

The conference, which started in Frankfurt, Germany in 1987 is well-established and always attracts a wide international spread of delegates. 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.

Opening of the Conference

The conference programme opened with a presentation of the Wessex Institute followed by an opening address and welcome message from Professor Ryo Takagi.

Invited Presentations

There were a series of invited lectures on advanced topics of research and applications, as follows:

  • “Certification of EGNOS safety-of-life service for ERTMS according to IEC 61508 and EN 50129]”, by Dr Ales Filip, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic.
  • “On the distribution of the random arrival time” by Prof. Boris Davydov, Far Eastern State Transport University, Russia.
  • “Optimising acceleration and braking performance profiles of railway vehicles for the robust operation of ultra-high frequency timetables” by Dr Ryo Takagi, Kogakuin University, Japan.
  • “Development of route guidance supporting system for the visually impaired in railway Station” by Dr Jong-Gyu Hwang, Korea Railroad Research Institute, South Korea.
  • “Experimental study on the viability of decentralized railway traffic management” by Dr Rémy Chevrier, SNCF Innovation & Research, France.

Conference Sessions

The papers presented during the conference were classified under the following headings:

  • Advanced train control
  • Planning and policy
  • Monitoring and maintenance
  • Energy efficiency and power supply
  • Signalling and train control systems
  • Timetabling and rescheduling
  • System Integration
  • Multi-modal integration
  • Telecommunications in rail transport
  • Ticketing
  • Safety and security
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Track design and maintenance strategies
  • Intelligent railway systems
  • Railway resilience
  • Environmental impact and CO2 reduction

Conference Publication

Papers presented at this conference are published in Vol. 199 of the WIT Transactions on Built Environment (ISSN 1743-3509). Papers presented at the meeting are available Open Access in the eLibrary of the Wessex Institute ( from where they can be freely downloaded by any interested parties.

A few papers were selected for publication in the International Journal of Transport Development and Integration. This Journal covers the subjects of all transportation modes and the general topic of transport systems, with particular emphasis on their integration and harmonisation.

Closing of the Conference

We are very sorry that we were not able to meet our delegates in person this year.

WIT is aware that one of the benefits of the conferences is the networking among colleagues and the only reason for implementing this strategy is the exceptional circumstances created by the COVID-19 crisis. Thus, to allow the authors to maintain that capability, delegates registered at COMPRAIL 2020 who had their paper accepted for publication, will be able to attend the next conference in the series (or a different conference of their choice devoted to similar topics that takes place prior to that) free of charge, and if they wish, make an oral presentation of their published paper.

We would like to thank the delegates for participating in the event and look forward to meeting them at the next conference in the series.

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