The EU Transport Ministers together with the representatives from the European Commission have officially launched the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, the new EU rail research and innovation partnership charged with innovating to make European rail more efficient, affordable and user-friendly. The Europe’s Rail 25 Founding Members, expressed their expectations for Europe’s largest rail research and innovation programme worth EUR 1.2 billion.
The event took place during the European Railway Summit organised by SNCF in the context of the French Presidency of the European Union.
“I am really glad to see that the launch of Europe’s Rail has attracted such strong interest and attention, clearly indicating the benefit of partnerships such as Europe’s Rail. I am honoured to have here together with me the Commissioner, Ministers and all Europe’s Rail Founding Members, marking a new chapter for improving and modernising rail in Europe,” Europe’s Rail Executive Director, Carlo Borghini said when unveiled the Europe’s Rail logo, co-created by the 25 Founding Members.
The objective of Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking is to deliver a high-capacity integrated European railway network by eliminating barriers to interoperability and providing solutions for full integration, covering traffic management, vehicles, infrastructure and services, aiming at faster uptake and deployment of projects and innovations. This should exploit the huge potential for digitalisation and automation to reduce rail’s costs, increase capacity, and enhance its flexibility and reliability, and should be based upon a solid Reference Functional System Architecture shared by the sector, in coordination with the European Union Agency for Railways, while supporting the development of a strong and globally competitive European rail industry.
To achieve all the established objectives, Call for Proposals will begin with the first one expected to be launched in March 2022.
“The EU citizens need a modern, efficient, reliable, flexible and affordable rail system. Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking laid the foundations for the EU rail research and development. The Shift2Rail Catalogue of Solutions is a great summary of its achievements that includes an impressive number of new products and methods. I count that the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking will further accelerate rail innovation but also its uptake and deployment on the ground,” the Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean said during the event that also marked the end of the European Year of Rail.