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. Shift2Rail promotes the competitiveness of the European rail industry and meets changing EU transport needs. R&I carried out under this Horizon 2020 initiative develops the necessary technology to complete the Single European Railway Area (SERA).
Moreover, Shift2Rail has ambitious targets and a robust framework in which to meet them. Specifically, the initiative aims to double the capacity of the European rail system and increase its reliability and service quality by 50 %, all while halving life-cycle costs.
The proposed initiative helps to boost the rail supply industry’s competitive edge, introducing new market perspectives and offering significant employment and export opportunities.
The world leadership of the European railway manufacturing industry is being challenged by new market entrants, especially those from Asia offering attractive products at low acquisition costs. The best response to this competitive challenge is through innovation to improve product quality and reliability from day one by reducing life-cycle costs, combined with a railway system approach. Public and private investment in Shift2Rail also have a multiplier effect on the industry investment required to bring such products to the marketplace, and on expanding market opportunities for European industry, both in Europe and overseas. It also helps to overcome some of the present EU rail market shortcomings, namely fragmentation of production, insufficient collaboration and partnership across the rail industry, differing operating procedures among rail users, limited standardisation and low efficiency levels.
Railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and public transport operators also benefit from innovations that drastically reduce infrastructure and operating costs. This also helps to cut down on subsidies paid out by national governments — estimated at between EUR 36 billion and EUR 38 billion in Europe in 2012.
Passengers and freight service users 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.
The vision of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking is:
to deliver, through railway research and innovation, the capabilities to bring about the most sustainable, cost-efficient, high-performing, time driven, digital and competitive customer-centred transport mode for Europe.
The mission statement of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking is:
“Moving European Railway Forward”
Rising traffic demand, congestion, security of energy supply, and climate change are some of the major issues that the European Union and the wider world are facing. Tackling these challenges call for the railway sector to take on a larger share of transport demand in the next few decades.
The European Commission is working towards the creation of a Single European Railway Area (SERA), and has promoted a modal shift from road to rail in order to achieve a more competitive and resource-efficient European transport system. However, rail’s share in the European freight and passenger transport markets is still not satisfactory. EU research and innovation (R&I) therefore helps rail to play a new, broader role in global transport markets, both by addressing pressing short-term problems that drain rail business operations, and by helping the sector to gain a stronger market position.
Shift2Rail fosters the introduction of better trains to the market (quieter, more comfortable, more dependable, etc.), which operate on an innovative rail network infrastructure reliably from the first day of service introduction, at a lower life-cycle cost, with more capacity to cope with growing passenger and freight mobility demand. All this are developed by European companies, thereby increasing their competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Shift2Rail also contributes to the paradigm for the modal shift to attract users to rail. For EU passengers, this represents more travel options, more comfort and improved punctuality. For freight forwarder/shippers, rail freight offers a more cost-effective, punctual and traceable shipment option.
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Liverpool City Region's Headbolt Lane station will open on 5 October to be served by the UK's first battery-powered passenger trains.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has made a final decision for Hitachi’s proposed purchase of Thales' Ground Transportation.
Singapore's LTA has awarded civil contracts for the construction of King Albert Park and Clementi stations as part of its CRL Phase 2 project.
The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway has commenced commercial operations between Indonesia and China on 2 October 2023.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will receive up to 5 million USD to establish a National University Rail Center of Excellence.
At EXPO Ferroviaria, Alstom and Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM) will unveil Italy's first hydrogen-powered Coradia Stream train.
SBB has announced that the Ligerz Tunnel is now scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2029, three years later than originally planned.
The Rail Interiors Show, an international exhibition for rail-cabin interior design and technology, will take place on 25–26 October.
The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn is merging its two infrastructure divisions, DB Station&Service and DB Netz, to create DB InfraGO.
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has opened a new maintenance hub in Peterborough following a 5.7 million GBP investment.
The High-Speed Rail Group has published a letter signed by 21 businesses urging the Prime Minister and Chancellor to commit to HS2 Phase 2.
City Rail Link Ltd has announced that tracklaying is now complete inside the first of Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) tunnels.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded 1.4 billion USD in funding to 70 rail projects across the US.
Network Rail has commenced construction work to upgrade the infrastructure and enhance the passenger experience at Luton station.
Avanti West Coast has unveiled the new livery for its fleet of Class 805 trains, which are currently undergoing main line testing.
Siemens Mobility has completed the first test runs of its Mireo Plus H hydrogen-powered train in Bavaria, Germany.
Caltrain has successfully completed three major milestones to advance its rail electrification project in California.
A consortium comprised of Stadler and Siemens Mobility has completed the delivery of 106 new trains manufactured for the Berlin S-Bahn.
The Department for Transport has awarded a new National Rail Contract to Avanti West Coast and the West Coast Partnership Development.
Hitachi Rail has refiled its merger notification with the European Commission to seek final clearance for the acquisition of Thales' GTS.
The first of 29 new Siemens Mobility trains for Copenhagen's light rail project has been delivered to Glostrup, Denmark.
Germany's federal government and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have presented a comprehensive modernisation programme for the nation's rail network.
Network Rail is investing 3.8 million GBP in carrying out repairs on the world's oldest viaduct in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.
Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) has partnered with DIGAS to trial Europe’s first retrofitted hydrogen freight locomotive.
HS2 has begun work on assembling the project's longest ‘green tunnel’ in Greatworth, West Northamptonshire.
TfWM has announced that passenger tram services on the West Midlands Metro extension in Wolverhampton will start on 17 September.
Brightline has announced that its service to Orlando International Airport (MCO) will officially launch on 22 September 2023.
Derby City Council has announced that it is seeking talks with Alstom in response to expected job losses at its Derby factory.
Network Rail has announced that it is investing more than 1 million GBP in improving rail infrastructure around Glasgow, Scotland.
Amtrak has awarded a contract to the Clark Construction/Stacy and Witbeck JV for the delivery of the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program.
CRRC ZELC Europe has produced the first new articulated light rail train for the Tren Ligero tram line in Mexico City.
The European Commission has published its 2023 Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) package for cross-border rail services.
HS2 has completed its first above-ground structure at Euston, establishing a new Traction Substation for the London Underground.
Australia’s first autonomous tunnel boring machine (TBM) has been launched as part of the Sydney Metro West project.
Throughout September and October, the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme will replace tracks in Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.
Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway have demonstrated that digital signalling on the Northern City Line is ready for passenger service.
Hitachi Rail has announced that 30 new trams will start service in Turin on 11 September under a contract with Gruppo Torinese Trasporti.
There were two main topics of conversation at Rolling Stock Networking (RSN): Passenger Experience and Decarbonisation.
HS2's high-speed electric trains have become the first in the world to achieve BSI's PAS 2080 carbon reduction standard.
Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Peggy has broken through at the site of Western Sydney International Airport's metro station.
Knorr-Bremse will equip Alstom's high-speed trains for Sweden with a range of technologies, including the latest CubeControl braking system.
A look at Railway Interchange, how improving passenger experience decarbonises transport, financing high-speed rail in Türkiye and more.
Alstom has delivered the first trainset to Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Limited for the Bhopal-Indore metro rail project in India.
Caltrain's Traction Power Substation built by Balfour Beatty in South San Francisco has now been energised with power from PG&E.
Thales and River Engineering have implemented the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1 across 48 train stations in Thailand.
ÖBB has awarded a framework agreement to Siemens Mobility to supply up to 540 single-deck electric multiple-unit trains.
Alstom has inaugurated its first bogie centre in Astana, Kazakhstan following a 15 million EUR investment.
CRRC has been awarded a contract to supply new EMU railcars to Chile National Railroad (EFE) for use in Melipilla and Batuko.
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has announced that it will commence renovation work on the Hauenstein Base Tunnel on 3 September.
Fideicomiso para el Desarrollo del Sistema de Transporte Masivo (FITRAM) has selected a consortium comprised of Alstom and Sofratesa to deliver the Dominican Re...
Siemens Mobility and ÖBB have commissioned ETCS Level 2 on a 57-kilometre route between Linz and Vöcklabruck in Austria.
Northern has revealed before and after images of its 350,000 GBP transformation project at the Neville Hill depot in Leeds.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has approved the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to procure its first trainsets.
Škoda Group has signed a MoU with TATA AutoComp Systems to focus on supplying manufacturing components for India's railway market.
Siemens Mobility has broken ground on its new 220 million USD manufacturing and rail services facility in Lexington, North Carolina.
TransLink has released initial images of its new Mark V cars, which have been manufactured by Alstom to operate on the Vancouver SkyTrain.
Alstom will provide its Smartlock computer-based interlocking system and ETCS for Irish Rail's Cork Area Commuter Rail (CACR) network.
Network Rail will commence a major upgrade project on the River Devon Viaduct, which carries the railway over the River Trent in Newark.
Amtrak has exercised a contract option to order an additional 10 Airo trainsets to help meet increased demand for passenger rail travel.
Alstom and Verkehrsverbund Mittelsachsen (VMS) have presented a battery-powered train for the Chemnitz-Leipzig line in Saxony, Germany.
Caltrain has announced plans to pilot a bi-level dual electric and battery-powered train to help further reduce emissions from its services.
HS2 has completed construction of Streethay Overbridge to enable high-speed trains to travel underneath the South Staffordshire railway.
SBB states that the repair of the Gotthard Base Tunnel will take several months following the derailment of a freight train on 10 August.
China Railway has announced that track laying has commenced on the Fangchenggang-Dongxing Railway, which will offer a direct high-speed railway service to the V...
Rail+Metro Asia confirms a few of the speakers due to take part in the ASEAN rail industry summit from 19–21 October 2023.
Work on the first phase of Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Forest Park Branch Rebuild project is set to conclude this weekend.
Network Rail is set to switch on 116 newly installed digital signals in south west London and Berkshire from 19 August.
NWL has signed an agreement with the federal government, North Rhine-Westphalia and Deutsche Bahn to upgrade the Münster – Lünen rail line.
Hitachi Rail and Eversholt Rail have completed refurbishment work on the first of 29 Southeastern high-speed Javelin trains.
Cando Rail & Terminals has announced that it is developing a lithium-ion battery-powered switching locomotive for in-yard operations.
The Government of Victoria has confirmed that testing is now underway within Melbourne's new Metro Tunnel.
Alstom has been contracted to supply a charging facility for Irish Rail’s new Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) trains.
Siemens Mobility has been selected to deliver 28 electric Mireo regional trains to Baden-Württemberg for the Digital Node Stuttgart project.
Texas Central and Amtrak are exploring opportunities to advance planning and analysis for the Dallas-Houston high-speed rail project.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has ordered 60 single-level rail coach cars from Alstom.
Trenitalia has contracted Škoda and Titagarh Firema to supply new railway sleeper coaches for use between Milan, Palermo and Syracuse.
Brightline has announced delys to its timeline, meaning it will not commence passenger services to Orlando from 1 September as planned.
HS2's tunnel boring machines (TBMs), Florence and Cecilia have reached the Little Missenden shaft as they dig HS2’s longest tunnels.
CRRC has contracted Knorr-Bremse to supply the complete braking systems for 36 new metro trains that will operate in Chengdu, China.
The Governor of Illinois has presented the Chicago Hub Improvement Program, proposing a 1.1 bn USD investment in regional rail infrastructure.
Northern has released new dashcam footage to provide a first look at the upcoming Northumberland line connecting Newcastle to Ashington.
Rail & HS2 Minister, Huw Merriman MP, will address the RIA Annual Conference & Dinner, taking place on 1-2 November 2023 in London.
SBB has awarded a contract for the construction of the Ligerz Tunnel to ARGE IBD, a joint venture led by Implenia.
Siemens Mobility has won an EU-wide tender valued at 2 billion EUR to supply 90 new S-Bahn trains in Munich, Germany.
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the first of its new Piccadilly Line trains have arrived in Germany for testing.
IRICAV DUE has won a contract to deliver the track and digital signalling for a section of high-speed rail between Verona and Padua.
Network Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have signed a collaboration agreement to deliver upgrades and regeneration opportunities across Manches...
Chiltern Railways has become the first passenger rail operator to launch vegetable oil powered trains on its network.
Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) has ordered 18 fuel cell engines from Ballard Power Systems to expand its Hydrogen Locomotive Program.
CDPQ Infra has inaugurated the first segment of the REM automated urban rail system, connecting Montreal’s South Shore with Central Station
Canadian National Railway (CN) has contracted Wabtec Corporation to modernise an additional 60 locomotives in its fleet.
CRRC has announced that its CR200J EMU has commenced official operation on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway in China.
Transport for London (TfL) and Tram Operations Limited (TOL) have been fined following the Sandilands Tram derailment in November 2016.
CAF MiiRA has entered into a collaboration with Euskotren to trial wheel soundproofing solutions for trains in Basque Country, Spain.
Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Eileen has arrived at the Airport Terminal metro station for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project.
MSC subsidiary, MEDWAY Belgium NV has ordered 15 Vectron MS locomotives from Siemens Mobility for cross-border freight transport in Europe.
Network Rail has signed a MoU with SBB to collaborate on deploying technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) on the railway.
Alstom will supply 40 Coradia Stream high-capacity EMUs to Nahverkehrsverbund Schleswig-Holstein (NAH.SH) in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (KVG) has ordered 22 30-metre two-way trams from Škoda for operation in Kassel, Germany.