a full autonomous rail-taxi concept with the aim of lending greater appeal to the rail transport of the future






light & compact infrastructure


high capacity


very high efficiecy


low cost travel




RailEvo is an innovative, autonomous, on-demand, non-stop rail transportation system, comprising small high-efficiency electric rail vehicles, a dedicated railway network and stations. For high speed 150-180 km/h intercity or 50-60 km/h MiniMetro networks.


A dual-mode, fully autonomous vehicle, capable of travelling fast and efficiently on rails and maneuvering in any direction on the station’s flat surfaces with additional mecanum-wheel. RailEvo is a fully autonomous system, sharing technologies already used for autonomous metro systems and AGVs ( Autonomous Guided Vehicles ) while travelling on rails and maneuver on the surface station respectively.

Versatile vehicle
  • Elderly and disabled people can take their own time to embark and disembark the vehicle
  • Groups of 4 or 6 can travel at the same time
  • Travel alone with full privacy
  • Cargo

Line Network

RailEvo provides an on-demand and non-stop service between stations on a rail network. Some stations can be also used as nodes so that vehicles can autonomously change from one line to the other.

The RailEvo system allows a high station density on the lines, literally one station after the other. Conversely, conventional train/metro systems do not allow having such a high number of stations close to each other, because stopping at any one of them would slow down the entire system. Therefore RailEvo can offer an unparalleled service level, literally spread along the entire line through its many stations, which also increases land value in the areas crossed by the line.


Vehicles get into the station through the vertical rail switch. They deploy their mecanum wheels to move omnidirectionally to parking bays, where passengers can alight safely in their own time, away from the main traffic. Vehicle maneuvering speed in the station is about 5-6 km/h. The station max capacity is about 600 vehicles/h or more.

User Experience

On-demand service 24/7: Since RailEvo vehicles are fully autonomous and can move independently on the network and at the stations; the service is personalized and can be offered any time 24/7 from any station to any other station on the network. Users are free to move around the RailEvo network whenever they want. This is an enormous improvement on current rail systems’ user experience, such that many more citizens will use rail instead of their private cars.

Light and compact infrastructure

Light and compact infrastructure: the Railevo infrastructure is about 3,5m wide (similar to a cycling lane) and the maximum axle load of the RailEvo vehicles is about 25 time less than that of a conventional train.

The RailEvo System allows for many different construction possibilities, some of them with a very small footprint, so that it can be tailored to an already busy urban environment:


Vehicle Subsystems

Synergy of the subsystems
  • The double-width configurable axles
  • The High rail adherence system,
  • The Mecanum Wheels.

Vertical Railway Switch

The railway switch system has no movable parts on the railway and allows the vehicle to be deviated vertically from the main rail at any speed without previous deceleration and so without disturbing the traffic flow behind it.

Vehicles travelling on the main rail can have two possible configurations: one to remain on the main rail and the other to engage the railway switch, which is a railway with a bigger track gauge. The vertical deviation is very smooth and comfortable. After the vertical rail switch, the vehicle decelerates and enter the station. The vertical railway switch has no horizontal land occupation, a big advantage especially in urban environments.




Federico Bernabei    

  • Project Coordinator
  • Vehicle design engineer

Alessandro Zappi   

  • Technical & business developer


Alessandro Fantechi

Assoc. Prof. in informatics
at Florence University

Andrea Rindi

Assoc. Prof. in theory of machines and mechanism & railway vehicle dynamics
at Florence University

Enrico Meli

Ph. D. Mechanical Engineer, Researcher
and Assistant Prof. in Applied
Mechanics at Florence University

Egidio Quaglietta

Assistant Prof. in Railway Traffic
Management and Operations
at TU Delft

Giorgio Locatelli

Professor - Chair in Project Business
Strategy at University of Leeds

Dr Michele Degano

Associate Professor in Advanced
Electrical Machines at
University of Nottingham

Savvas Papadopoulos

Lecturer in Electrical engineering
at Edinburgh Napier University

João Pombo

Professor of Railway Technology
at The University of Huddersfield

Veronique Van Acker

Research Scientist,
Urban Development & Mobility

Mario Cools

Associate Professor Transport and
Mobility at University of Liège (ULg)



DITECFER “District for Railway Technologies, High Speed, Networks’ Safety & Security” supports the development of RailEvo seeking for partnerships and business opportunities.



Information Engineering Department, University of Florence (Italy)

Traffic control logics, system safety, simulation and dependability evaluation..


Laboratory of Mechatronic and Dynamic Modelling.

RailEvo vehicle dynamics and vehicle mechanics simulations and tests.



First 1:5 scaled fully working prototype of the RailEvo specialized double width axle manufactured and tested.

Work in progress on the vertical rail switch prototype

Master thesis in civil engineering:

Feasibility study of the conversion of a conventional single track railway into a RailEvo double-track.

Istitution: Civil engineer department, University of Modena Italy

Author: Civil engineer Simone Po

Relator: Prof. Gabriele Giacobazzi

Link MoReThesis