Future of research and innovation for rail

At the panel of the Shift2Rail event, the European Shippers’ Council and the European Passengers Federation stated that “Rail” must become more customer focused and more affordable, punctual, reliable, and available! “And rail should increase its internal and external connectivity,” added Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission.

This event – Shift2Rail Dialogue on the Future of Research & Innovation, held on 19 June 2018 in Brussels – was an ideal platform for railway stakeholders to address policy and industry expectations.

Shift2Rail is the first European rail initiative to seek focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. R&I carried out under this initiative develops the necessary technology to complete the Single European Railway Area (SERA). Shift2Rail aims to double the capacity of the European rail system and increase its reliability and service quality by 50%, while halving life-cycle costs.

With Shift2Rail freight service users and passengers will benefit from a step change in the reliability and quality of services. Improved competitiveness and attractiveness of rail services combined with increased capacity will help rail take on an increased share of transport demand, thereby contributing to the reduction of traffic congestion and CO2 emissions. Citizens’ health and well-being will also benefit, thanks to reduced noise pollution from rail.

Shift2Rail Dialogue on the Future of Research & Innovation gathered 150 representatives of stakeholders working in areas related to railways. Participants included mainline, freight and urban operators, infrastructure managers, manufacturers, passengers, workers, shippers, public bodies, research organisations, scientific institutes, policy makers, and last but not least shippers and passengers —demonstrating how working together is a key to achieving a transformation for the next generation of railway systems.