SHIFT²RAIL is a broad-scale research initiative that aims to create a step change in rail technology that will help promote the competitiveness of the European Rail Industry and meet the changing EU transportation needs. Through the R&I carried out with the support of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon2020, the necessary technology will be created to complete the Single European Railway Area (SERA) and also reach the SHIFT²RAIL targets of doubling rail system capacity, increasing its reliability by 50% and halving its life cycle cost. The projected SHIFT²RAIL research programme budget is €1.1 billion, over a 6-7 year period, depending on the final scope of the initiative and subject to the support provided by the EU. It is estimated that half of the initiative will be funded by the private sector (the promoters; made up of manufacturers, operators, and infrastructure managers) and the other 50% by the EU and that a quarter of the research funds will be designated for SMEs, research organisations, and universities through open calls.The SHIFT²RAIL initiative, first conceived in 2009 after more than 10 years of EU-level cooperation in rail R&D by the promoters, has continued to gain support in both the private sector and the EU institutions. This summer, the European Commission’s DG Move launched a public consultation in early July. The Commission will hold a public hearing this month and the impact assessment on the initiative is ongoing, and, pending its results, the promoters call for quick action to create the SHIFT²RAIL Joint Undertaking with named beneficiaries, and begin research operations as soon as possible.
Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, commented, “UNIFE and the promoting companies of SHIFT²RAIL are working hard to demonstrate our commitment to this important initiative and is happy to have the endorsement of the Commission on this major proposal of the European Rail Industry.”
To learn more about the initiative please visit the new SHIFT²RAIL website at WWW.SHIFT2RAIL.ORG. In addition to the information on the website you can also view the new promotional video (watch here) and download factsheets on the initiative (currently available in English, German, and Italian).
For other questions you can contact Giorgio Travaini (giorgio.travaini(at)unife.org), the SHIFT²RAIL initiative coordinator from UNIFE, or (john.harcus(at)unife.org), Head of Communications at UNIFE.