Institute of Transportation Research


For over 85 years, the VWI GmbH (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), VWI Stuttgart has focused on all aspects of transportation with a focus on the interactions between engineering and economics. VWI Stuttgart is headquartered in the Torhaus building in the city center of Stuttgart, Germany and cooperates tightly with the Institute of Railway and Transportation Engineering at the University of Stuttgart (IEV).

The diverse backgrounds of the VWI employees in the fields of civil engineering, transportation engineering, computer science, geomatics, mathematics, and economics offer an interdisciplinary outlook on all projects. Stefan Tritschler is the Managing Director of VWI Stuttgart GmbH.

VWI GmbH services include:

  • Planning, design, and operation of rail-bound and public transportation systems, including routes and stations
  • Development of systems for transportation planning, prognosis, and appraisal
  • Conception of traffic management and safety systems for railway and public transportation
  • Capacity studies and analyses of railway and air traffic systems
  • Development and implementation of macroeconomic evaluations and assessments of transportation infrastructure investments (in particular using the Standardized Evaluation)
  • Economic studies for infrastructure and operations (including calculation of follow-on costs and tariff systems)
  • Model and software development for planning, evaluation, information, and operational control systems

VWI Stuttgart GmbH’s clients include public transportation companies in municipal, roadway, light rail, and bus transportation, as well as railway companies and railway infrastructure companies. Additionally, VWI GmbH works on projects for airports, ports, logistic companies, and industrial and service companies. In the public sector, VWI GmbH is active with local authorities (municipalities, counties), federal and state ministries, as well as regional and special purpose associations.


When working on projects and preparing expert opinions (such as Standardized Evaluations or capacity analyses), many tasks have to be carried out with the assistance of computer software. However, when a software only partially exists or doesn’t exist at all, VWI will create models and software itself in order to obtain the desired, computer-aided results.

The following software solutions have been created by VWI within the recent years:

  • RUBIK: Passenger schedule and transfer information in rural areas
  • PULEIV: Capacity analysis of railway infrastructures
  • PULZUFA: Vehicle dynamics calculations for railway vehicles
  • Verkehrsmodell und Verkehrliche Rechnung: Traffic demand modelling
  • RUDY: Route-flexible, disruption management


Systematic planning:

  • Conceptual planning of transportation proposals
  • Transport demand prognosis
  • Creation of specifications

Feasibility studies:

  • Early decision making concerning transportation systems
  • Standardized evaluations of infrastructural measures investments
  • Economic feasibility studies
  • Cost-benefit-analyses
  • Follow-up cost calculations

Operational planning:

  • Travel time calculations
  • Design and adaption of timetables
  • Design and optimization of operational concepts

Infrastructure planning:

  • Planning of railway infrastructure (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 signaling technology
  • Transportation technology/transportation telemetric
  • Calculation of railway track performance

Modern vehicle technology:

  • Railway and public transportation vehicle evaluation and appraisal
  • Alternative fuel vehicles (e.g. hybrid electric, battery-electric)

Basic research:

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


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