IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems

The vision of the future of the railway industry. The IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems project is a Research & Development project that aims to design, develop, and smooth the future manufacture of various interior subsystems for trains.

The start of the project is scheduled for July 2019, with MCG as the leader of a consortium also composed by companies such as Famopol, Cablotec, Wiseware, and Almadesign. Itecons is the research center of the IRIS project, which also includes the participation of several external partners.

Project problem/motivation

Rail transport is currently considered the most economical and sustainable way to travel. However, it is necessary to respond to the new challenges that railway line operators will face, namely, megacities, travel to work at ever greater distances, and the increased environmental impact as a result of the high urban growth expected over the next 25 years.


The solution to achieve

IRIS aims to design and develop a set of prototypes for 4 complementary subsystems of railway interiors: side panels, roof panels, HVAC systems ducts, and luggage racks.

These solutions will be designed and built using a research strategy entirely focused on their experimental and exploratory development, with a modular architecture in mind that facilitates assembly on OEM lines. The main objectives are:

  • Reduce the cost of operation;
  • Improve passenger comfort;
  • Increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of the system.


Main mission

The new interior system will have to present an innovative and flexible design that guarantees its attractiveness for train manufacturers and complementarity with the latest developments in the sector in Portugal, which have focused on the seat and floor systems.


The latest news

Innovative technologies developed under the IRIS project

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems Project continues its development at MCG, which means that the demonstrator that replicates a train carriage’s interior is almost ready and in the experimental validation phase. After completing the assembly of the car body (external aluminum structure) and the partition wall prototype, the HVAC ducts and structures were already installed.

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG

The heated floor is also a subsystem made in MCG, in line with a new heated insulation system whose operation has been proven in laboratory tests. This element will be installed on the demonstrator together with the Commute underfloor heating and two other heating films on the side walls.

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG

The IRIS project is proving to be of extreme value for the MCG Transportation engineering teams, who have here a way to acquire new skills and develop new processes and products with the potential to integrate the current and future offer of this MCG business division.

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG

Partition Wall

Composed of a honeycomb core and aluminum skins, is being designed/tested in the current MCG Transportation bonding/vacuum process. It will include a 32” transparent display that will show informative content.

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG

Heated insulation

Modular and designed in a plug-and-play assembly concept, the heating equipment is located behind the baseboard, with temperature-controlled by the user through integrated sensors.

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG

HVAC System

The HVAC ducts have already been successfully submitted to fire resistance and acoustics tests to validate the selected materials both in their structure and in the support supports.

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG


Consortium know-how

IRIS adds a new dimension to the latest developments in the sector in Portugal with an ambitious R&D project focused on user needs. The initiative brings together in consortium five OEM companies leaders in the areas in which they operate, as well as a renowned research center, in order to implement disruptive solutions and thus place Portugal at the forefront of technologies applied to the railway industry.


Consortium composition

Empresas principais:

  • MCG – Development, production, and assembly of prototypes.
  • Famopol – Vacuum-assisted resin injection processes (RTM).
  • Cablotec – Lighting products and various wiring.
  • Wiseware – IoT, electronics, and software systems and solutions.
  • AlmaDesign – Processes for design and ergonomics solutions.
  • Itecons – Research and testing center.


Official site

IRIS Project


Full sheet

Project title:
IRIS: Innovative Railway Interior Systems
Project code:
Main goal:
Strengthen research, technological development, and innovation.
The IRIS project aims to conceive and develop 4 complementary subsystems of railway interiors, designed to improve their manufacture and integration and passenger comfort and to reduce operating costs, in order to increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of railway equipment.
Intervention region:
Center, Lisbon, North
Manuel da Conceição Graça, Lda
Start date:
Date of the conclusion:
Total eligible cost:
1,936,462.42 EUR
European Union financial support through the FEDER:
1,159,183.37 EUR



IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG

IRIS – Innovative Railway Interior Systems MCG