The tasks of the German Centre for Rail Traffic Research are defined in the Federal Research Programme for Rail Transport describing the need for research that arises from the central issues of the railway system. The German Centre for Rail Traffic Research and the Federal Research Programme are coordinated by the structure of the topic areas and the cross-cutting issues. Therefore, the German Centre for Rail Traffic Research works in accordance with the thematic structure of the Federal Research Programme aiming for participation of all departments to obtain optimal results.
The Federal Research Programme focusses on the entire rail transport including
Rail transport is a thoroughly coordinated complex of infrastructure, vehicles, operation, and especially also between man and machine. To handle this complexity, rail transport is looked at from the perspective of the following topics:
These three topic areas provide the systemic basis for the Federal Research Programme. Rail transport is thus understood to be an integrative system that contains essential external interfaces including customers, suppliers, citizens, and authorities. Changes in individual fields always also affect other rail system components.
Assigned to these topic areas are the cross-cutting issues of digitization, automation, and migration as well as legal issues. They complement the integrative approach of the Federal Research Programme and make it possible to consider interdependences and interactions. All innovations, technical or operational, require a perspective that covers the entire system.