MARATHON is a Collaborative Project co-founded by the European Commission in the scope of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development.
The Project has officially started on April 1st, 2011, with a duration of 36 months.
The project has its foundations on the following four main drivers:
• the rail freight capacity generation,
• the increase of commercial speed leading to better service,
• the traffic bundling for economies of scale,
• and operating costs reduction.
MARATHON shows the effectiveness of operating faster, longer and heavier freight trains on selected European routes, driving the rail freight service modernization. The European manufacturing and logistics industry will derive substantial service and costs benefits from this innovative business approach becoming the target for full market up-take potential.
MARATHON investigates the integration of rolling stock technologies combined with innovative operating patterns in order to provide freight services based on longer heavier and faster trains. This major step change is achieved by coupling together at specific locations trains or wagons into one consist. From there the single train, optimising infrastructure capacity and personnel, runs over main routes reducing costs and improving service performance.