16 Dec 2013


This key initiative will make rail transport more attractive to millions of European passengers and freight users and boost the competitiveness of the most sustainable transport mode. In doing so, the R&D outputs of SHIFT²RAIL will help solve the societal transport challenges outlined in Horizon2020 and realise the key objectives of the Commission’s 2011 White Paper on Transport.

SHIFT²RAIL will encompass research, innovation and demonstration activities in all aspects of the rail system, amounting to nearly €1 Billion, co-financed by the EU and the private sector under the Horizon2020 budget across the 7 year lifespan of the initiative. The European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) will be involved in the initiative.

SHIFT²RAIL is an unprecedented joint effort by the European rail sector and the European Union to create a step change in rail technology in order to meet three major targets: enhancing the capacity of the European rail system to cope with increased user demand, increasing the reliability and quality of rail services, and significantly reducing the life cycle cost of the overall system.

Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, the association coordinating the SHIFT²RAIL initiative, remarked: “We would like to thank Vice-President Siim Kallas, EU Commissioner for Transport and Ms. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, for their support on this ground breaking initiative which will help the EU Rail industry to maintain leadership of the world rail market. SHIFT²RAIL will bring together on a large scale for the first time in our history, industry, railway undertakings, urban operators, infrastructure managers, SMEs and research centres/academia from all over the European Union to solve our collective transport challenges.

UNIFE and the promoters of SHIFT²RAIL call on the European Parliament, the Transport Council of Ministers, and the Commission to work together to approve the regulation during the Greek Presidency of the EU so that the Joint Undertaking can start its activities at the beginning of 2015.

Please click here to read the Commission’s Press Release on SHIFT²RAIL and here to view the Commission’s legislative proposal and all other relevant information.

Further information on the initiative can also be found on the initiative’s website

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