Institute of Transportation Research


For 80 years, the VWI (VWI Verkehrswissenschaftliches Institut Stuttgart GmbH / Institute of Transportation Research Stuttgart) has been involved in the scientific research and practical implementation of integrated transportation systems and public transportation projects. Since its founding by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carl Pirath in 1929 (re-established as “GmbH” in 2002), the VWI has focused on all aspects of transportation with a focus on the interactions between engineering and economics. The diverse backgrounds of the VWI employees in the fields of civil engineering, transportation engineering, computer science, and economics offer an interdisciplinary outlook on all projects.

VWI GmbH services include:

  • Planning, construction, and operation of rail-bound transportation
  • Aerodrome planning and capacity calculation
  • Development and implementation of transportation-related cost benefit analysis methods
  • Design of transportation systems
  • Development of systems for transportation planning, prognosis, and appraisal


Systematic planning:

  • Conceptual planning of transportation proposals
  • Layout of railway lines and railway line section planning
  • Transport demand prognosis

Feasibility studies:

  • Early decision making concerning transportation systems
  • Standardised evaluations of infrastructural measures investments

Operational planning:

  • Design and adaption of timetables
  • Operational concepts
  • Optimisation of operational concepts

Infrastructure planning:

  • Planning of railway track (according to official guidelines, for example EBO, BOStrab)
  • Planning of stops, stations, and intermodal transfer points
  • Scientific  consulting for calls to and writing of tenders

System technology:

  • Train safety and signalling technology
  • Transportation technology/transportation telemetric
  • Calculation of railway track performance

Railway-vehicle technological appraisal:

  • Vehicle evaluation and options
  • Creating of specifications

Economic feasibility studies:

  • Economic feasibility studies
  • Follow-up costs calculations
  • Cost-benefit-analyses

Basic research:

  • Development of methods and analysis concepts
  • Execution of study and research projects
  • Transformation of scientific methods to other related fields


  • Training in railway engineering for developing countries
  • Further education in railway engineering for non-engineers
  • VWI employees as external university lecturers