LRVTwin: a digital city tram twin


20 city trams in Dresden and Leipzig collect data for the digital twin.

Research: Increasing the use of public transport is a component of the desired mobility transition. Attractive local transport is based on reliable vehicles such as trams. Random surveys on the condition of trams and tracks as well as scheduled maintenance lead to inaccurate information and cause considerable costs. If this information were to be collected automatically using standard sensors that are available in every tram and these data volumes processed using machine learning, this would enable targeted fleet deployment and reduced follow-up costs for maintenance.

The "LRVTwin" project aims to create a best-practice example of a digitalized tram fleet with higher availability and optimized maintenance. Sensors on 20 trams in Dresden and Leipzig and a specially equipped measuring tram in Leipzig will collect the necessary data. Suitable correlation methods and analysis procedures are being developed to evaluate the data. The findings on the condition of the trams and tracks are then visualized.

As part of the project, Fraunhofer IKTS is investigating damage mechanisms in power converters. The data collected is analyzed and translated into a data-driven model for predicting failures. At the same time, service lifetime models of accelerated ageing are created in the laboratory. Based on the analytical correlations and the numerical approaches in physical models for damage and wear events, the accuracy of the data-driven model can be increased. This can then be used to optimize maintenance planning. The resulting reduced costs can be passed on to the customer, which in combination with the improved availability increases the attractiveness of public transport.

At the end of the project, the train and network status will be available in digital form and will be extended from the individual train to a digital fleet. In the future, these models will also be used for fleets in other cities.


Results to date:

  • Extensively sensor-equipped measuring tram runs in regular operation in Leipzig and continuously supplies data.


Project period: January 2022 – December 2024

Project partners: Dresden University of Technology, Institute of Solid Mechanics (IFKM) and Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK), Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe GmbH, Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG, IFTEC GmbH & Co. KG, Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH, SDS Schwingungs Diagnose Service GmbH, Leichtbau-Zentrum Sachsen GmbH, Estino GmbH

Funding agency: TÜV Rheinland Consulting GmbH

Funding: Mobility Fund (mFUND) of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport Affairs (BMDV)