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FuTRO Launch

FuTRO is launched!

On the 1st May 2013, the FuTRO vision of the future of traffic regulation on the railway was launched by the RSSB at the British Library in London. Over 100 delegates from the supply industry came to hear about FuTRO and to take part together in a series of workshops. The report of the launch has now been published by the RSSB and can be accessed here.

What is FuTRO?

Understanding and managing the placement and movement of trains is fundamental to the operation of a safe and efficient railway. The industry calls this process regulation. FuTRO – Future Traffic Regulation Optimisation — is an ambitious programme of exploration and innovation that’s part of the UK’s Rail Technical Strategy 2012 (the RTS). FuTRO is concerned with how the regulation of trains on the railway must change, adapt and improve – starting today, and up to 30 years into the future.

At the launch of the RTS in December 2012, Steve Yianni, Chair of the Technical Strategy Leadership Group (and soon-to-be CEO of the Transport Systems Catapult), described FuTRO as the single most important initiative related to enabling the future railway.


Steve Yianni: [FuTRO is] the single most important initiative related to enabling the future railway.


It impacts all of the so-called 4Cs, significantly reducing Carbon and Cost, whilst simultaneously raising Capacity and Customer satisfaction.

The scope of FuTRO is therefore very wide, and includes many of the different aspects and systems involved in creating and delivering a positive end-to-end experience on the network. The innovation to deliver this vision is expected to come from an equally wide range of sources, including the physical sciences, all types of engineering, system design, and the human/social sciences. Inspiration from outside the traditional rail supply industry is seen as key to FuTRO’s success. Insights and technology from related and unrelated fields are therefore being actively sought.

How can I get involved?

The FuTRO team’s next steps are to formulate a series of calls for research, to take place in the Autumn. This is likely to include a series of more in depth workshops to further explore ideas emerging from the launch. Look out for more information coming soon!

You can engage with the programme by emailing, or by tweeting @FuTRO_UK.

Other RTS and Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) related events and calls are announced on, so please do check regularly. The FuTRO team would love to hear from you!



Download the full report here.

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