Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking

Europe’s Rail: the joint undertaking to build the railway system of tomorrow


Europe’s Rail (EU-Rail) is the sector’s second large-scale European research joint undertaking to seek to focus innovation efforts and accelerate the creation of market-driven solutions by integrating new and advanced technologies into novel rail tools. The Joint Undertaking will support the development of a strong and globally competitive European rail industry by contributing to the achievement of the Single European Railway Area (SERA).

EU-Rail’s objective is to deliver a high capacity, integrated European railway network by eliminating barriers to interoperability and providing solutions for full integration by covering traffic management, vehicles, infrastructure and services. The aim is to achieve quicker market uptake and deployment of projects and innovations that were initiated by the programme. Exploiting these deliverables will advance digitalisation and automation – which in turn will reduce costs, increase capacity and enhance both flexibility and reliability across the rail sector.

Research and innovation (R&I) initiatives conducted by Europe’s Rail seek to achieve the project’s overall objectives by working on new technologies that will be tested and applied across the entire rail system. To achieve such system-wide developments, the Joint Undertaking’s work is structured into two distinct pillars: The Innovation Pillar and the System Pillar.

Europe’s Rail offers all interested stakeholders – both members and those not officially affiliated with the body – the opportunity to participate in regular and competitive Open Calls. Their purpose is to contribute to the work planned in the Europe’s Rail Multi Annual Work Programme and deliver new technologies, solutions and services.

The Innovation Pillar

The Innovation Pillar steers the Joint Undertaking’s R&I activities and is organised into 7 Flagship Areas:

The System Pillar

The System Pillar seeks to deliver a unified operational concept and a functional, safe and secure system architecture. Its architects have designed it with due consideration paid to cybersecurity considerations. They also focused on the European railway network compliance with Directive 2016/797, which applies for integrated European rail traffic management, command, control and signalling systems. The Pillar also, in line with the Directive, considers automated train operation to ensure that research targets both commonly agreed upon and shared customer requirements and operational needs. The programme has also positioned itself to be open to evolution needed as use cases shift.

It is organised into four “Tasks”: EU Rail System, Control Command and Signalling (CCS), Traffic Management System (TMS) and Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC)/ Full Digital).

UNIFE is involved in the System Pillar via the System Pillar Consortium, which provides the experts needed to implement its activities included in the System Pillar Tasks.

More information on Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking can be found here.


UNIFE is proactively involved in the Horizon Europe Calls and supports its members by playing three crucial roles in this process:


  • UNIFE ensures the active involvement of its members in the Calls, strengthening the supply industry’s role in the development of rail transport.
  • We encourage our members’ participation by offering a platform for discussion and information exchange that informs the preparation of their proposals.
  • Our association provides its members with general information (ex. financial, administrative, etc.) to support them during the Horizon Europe Calls’ preparatory phase.


  • The Association draws from its significant experience with European research and its robust stakeholder network – which includes Operators, Infrastructure Managers, Industry, Academia, Research Institutes, ERRAC and more.
  • UNIFE facilitates communication and the creation of work channels between its members and external stakeholders interested in the Horizon Europe Calls.
  • On its members’ behalf, UNIFE collaborates with other key European rail sector actors on joint proposals.


  • UNIFE directly participates in relevant Horizon Europe Calls – either as a coordinator or a partner – to promote the involvement of its members and advance their interests.
  • As a coordinator, UNIFE is responsible for the preparation and submission of proposals, with the support of the consortia’s partners.
  • As a partner, UNIFE contributes to the preparation of proposals by providing its extensive expertise.

UNIFE’s support for its Members with Horizon Europe calls (including Europe’s Rail)

For more information, please contact:
Technical Affairs
Nicolas Furio Technical Affairs

Nicolas Furio

Head of Unit - Technical Affairs +32 2 626 12 62 Read more
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