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.
At the Future Mobility Showcase Day hosted by WMGC, Coventry City Council presented its ongoing Coventry Very Light Rail Project.
Network Rail has signed a contract with EDF Renewables UK for the supply of 49.9MW of solar power for non-traction power requirements.
Rolling stock manufacturer Talgo has received an order for seven night trains and 15 years of maintenance from Egyptian National Railways.
Patriot Rail Company LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire Pioneer Lines, which operates 15 short line railroads across 12 states.
The world's first fully automated heavy-rail system AutoHaul has been increased by 166km to connect Rio Tinto's new Gudai-Darri iron ore mine.
WOF Expo Prague - the leading platform for transport, logistics and supply chain solutions in the CEE region - will take place this October.
Hyundai Rotem and Knorr-Bremse have signed a five-year framework agreement for the supply of braking, entrance and HVAC systems.
The Samuel de Champlain Bridge in Quebec has opened to light rail traffic, forming part of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) line.
South Western Railway (SWR) has begun a three-month trial of a new app designed to improve station accessibility.
The Arctic Gateway Group, which owns and operates the Hudson Bay Railway, will receive funding of 147.6 million USD over the next two years.
The EIA report for Rail Baltica’s main route in Estonia has found that the planned route meets the necessary compliance requirements.
Network Rail is about to start vital maintenance and renewal work on the Glasgow city centre rail bridge which spans the A8 at Saltmarket.
Siemens Mobility has awarded Knorr-Bremse a contract to equip 15 high-speed Velaro Egypt EMUs with braking and entrance systems.
ÖBB Train Tech is investing 600 million EUR (608.99m USD) into the expansion and modernisation of 22 sites across Austria.
Construction has started on the new Portal North Bridge, which will improve service, reliability and capacity along the Northeast Corridor.
The IRFC conference will take place from 5–7 October 2022, to assess the Czech Republic's priorities for transport, especially rail.
Alstom has completed production of the first two of 152 cars for the next generation Marseille metro in France.
DB Engineering and Consulting will oversee the electrification of Uzbekistan’s 452-kilometre-long Bukhara-Urgench-Khiva railway line.
Alstom has transferred its Coradia Polyvalent platform, its French Reichshoffen production site and its TALENT 3 platform to CAF.
Egypt's first electric multiple unit (EMU), developed by CRRC Sifang has started trial operations in 10th of Ramadan City, Egypt.
Siemens Mobility has announced it will be unveiling its new open digital business platform – the Siemens Xcelerator – at InnoTrans 2022.
A new phase of testing has begun on the Murcia high speed line which is scheduled to be commissioned later this year.
Deutsche Bahn Deutsche Bahn has announced a return to profitable business for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Network Rail has formally begun the legal consultation process with the necessary trade unions regarding its planned maintenance reforms.
BNSF has collaborated with Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) to open a new intermodal rail hub at the Port of Tacoma, Washington.
CAF has begun dynamic track testing the hydrogen-powered demonstrator train developed for the FCH2Rail project.
Union Pacific has announced the rail industry’s largest ever investment (1 billion USD) in locomotive modernisation.
ATM has contracted Alstom to electrify the first phase of Barcelona's tram connection using APS technology.
Thales has been awarded a long-term services support contract to ensure the continued reliability of its CBTC signalling system in Singapore.
Alstom has started production of Metropolis trains for operation on Lines 8 – Diamond and 9 – Emerald in São Paulo, Brazil.
FTA has announced 1.75 billion USD in funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve accessibility at rail and subway stations.
Stadler has started production of the Class 93 locomotive fleet for Rail Operations UK at its plant in Valencia, Spain.
Ile-de-France Mobilités has announced that the electrification of the entire Ile-de-France rail network will be completed by 2030.
Dorothy, HS2’s 2000-tonne tunnel boring machine, has made its first breakthrough on the UK's high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham.
Transport for London (TfL) is trialling a cooling panel solution to reduce platform and tunnel temperatures at deep Tube stations.
PKP PLK has granted approval to Alstom to use the ELS-96 wheel detector system on railway lines in Poland.
CAF has been awarded two new contracts – in Athens and Seville – valued at more than 100 million EUR (102.39m USD).
Hitachi Rail has been chosen to install ATO over ETCS Level 2 technology across Queensland’s New Generation Rollingstock fleet.
Brightline has welcomed the delivery of two Siemens Mobility trains to operate on the upcoming Orlando extension line.
Construction has begun on the Rail Baltica bridge over the Neris river in Jonava. This will be the longest railway bridge in the Baltics.
This week saw the inauguration of the Madrid–Burgos high-speed line – an extension of the high-speed North line (LAV).
Metrolink has put its first refurbished train car into service in California to enhance passenger comfort and safety.
Caltrain’s first electric trainset has completed clearance testing along the corridor between Santa Clara and Tamien Stations in San Jose.
Network Rail is investing 30 million GBP into reducing platform congestion and improving accessibility at London Victoria station.
DB and the Federal Police have opened a security laboratory at Berlin Südkreuz station where they will test new safety tech and services.
The 6th Annual Ticketing Innovations Summit will take place in Berlin on 19-20 September. Ticketing, pricing and passenger experience.
Off the back of Europe’s latest record-breaking heatwave, Network Rail has commissioned a new resilience taskforce.
São Paulo’s Metro Line 4 has begun full operation using Siemens Mobility’s digital communications-based train control (CBTC) signalling.
ÖBB Rail Cargo Group has launched a new direct connection between Melnik in the Czech Republic and Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has released a Summer 2022 Construction Update to highlight progress on the high-speed rail project.
Adif Alta Velocidad (Adif) has put into service the first of the three sections that will make up the Madrid-Extremadura High-Speed Line.
The UK Government is more than trebling its investment into the Transpennine route upgrade (TRU) to nine billion GBP.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has christened its 100th ICE 4 as part of the company's 10bn EUR investment in expanding its long-distance fleet.
Stadler has revealed some of the solutions it will have on show at InnoTrans 2022 this coming September in Berlin.
Passenger tram services have now begun on the Birmingham Westside Metro extension from Library to Edgbaston.
Alstom's recruiting 150 new software developers and testers for its Digital Products Engineering Centre of Competence in Katowice, Poland.
ÖBB Rail Cargo Group – the freight transport division of Austrian Federal Railways – has put its 11,000th smart freight cae on the rails.
SBB Cargo has chosen to lease 35 Vectron AC locomotives from Siemens Mobility. The vehicles will be delivered in 2024.
The UK rail industry lags behind that of aviation, roads and energy when it comes to maintenance of infrastructure and key assets.
Knorr-Bremse is looking to increase freight rail efficiency and flexibility by trialling an automated break testing system.
In a recent poll more than 2,000 respondents were asked their views on the recent rail strikes, pay and modernisation reforms.
Deutsche Bahn has announced a change of course, saying it will stop selling station buildings and focus on developing them instead.
The ORR, the safety regulator of Britain's railways, has published its annual health and safety report covering April 2021 to March 2022.
Rail freight industry leaders will convene in London on Wednesday 5th October 2022 for the 30th Rail Freight Group Conference.
Three new Trenitalia Frecciarossa services have begun this week providing direct connections between Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and Naples.
Alstom has won the contract to expand Rio de Janeiro’s VLT system. This will offer an integrated terminal connection to a new BRT system.
ÖBB and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have presented a modernised couchette car for ÖBB's Nightjet service in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
SNCF Réseau has selected Hitachi Rail to develop and deploy wayside ERTMS Radio Block Centers (RBC) for the French railway network.
New electric overhead wires have been installed on a Yorkshire mainline for the first time in 25 years thanks to upgrade project.
Alstom’s Chinese joint venture has been awarded a contract to provide the train traction and auxiliary system for 258 Nanjing Metro cars.
Jonn Elledge considers some of the railway lines that were cut due to the Beeching Report that might reopen under Restoring Your Railway.
The Government of the Community of Madrid has authorised an investment of 500 million EUR to extend Line 11 of the Madrid Metro.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority and California Rail Builders have placed the final girders for the high-speed line in Kern County.
HS2 Ltd has contracted Laing O’Rourke to build the HS2 Interchange Station in Solihull at the heart of the high-speed rail network.
The Barking Riverside station is due to open to the public on 18 July, ahead of schedule, as it was originally expected to open this autumn.
Northern is using the same light detection and radar (LIDAR) scanning technology as NASA on its fleet to improve safety and efficiency.
Alstom and CRRC’s JV has been contracted to provide operation and maintenance services for Hong Kong International Airport's (HKIA) APM.
Swedish operator SJ AB has ordered 25 CAF Civity Nordic units in a contract valued at 300 million EUR (305.56m USD).
Thales has been chosen to deliver a new operations control centre and a fully automated depot for the Metro Vancouver SkyTrain.
The T13 tram has began operations on a 18.8 kilometre line between Saint-Cyr-l'École and Saint-Germain-en-Laye in France.
Alstom's industrial centre in Trápaga, Spain will manufacture the propulsion system for the new Zefiro Express high-speed trains in Sweden.
Tågåkeriet I Bergslagen AB (Tågab) has contracted Hitachi Rail to install ERTMS signalling technology on-board trains in Sweden and Norway.
Ireland's Minister for Transport has secured an agreement with the Cabinet to move forward with the MetroLink rail project in Dublin.
Adif is investing 4.3 million EUR into slope and trench reinforcement to improve the reliability of the metric gauge network in Biscay.
Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation has ordered 156 Movia metro cars from Alstom, which will be built at its facility in Savli, India.
SYSTRA has signed a contract to undertaken the preliminary and detailed design of the AlUla tramway in northwest Saudi Arabia.
Alstom has announced that it will establish an innovation centre for green rail mobility solutions at its Americas headquarters in Quebec.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) will become the first intermodal partner of the Star Alliance, the world's largest global airline alliance.
SüdLeasing GmbH has ordered 20 Vectron multisystem locomotives from Siemens Mobility on behalf of SBB Cargo International.
Deutsche Bahn International Operations has won the 12-year contract to operate and maintain the Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system.
NS’s new Intercity Next Generation Alstom train has been showcased to the public at Rotterdam Central Station in the Netherlands.
Network Rail is investing more than 120 million GBP of Scottish Government funding to increase the power supply of Scotland’s railway network.
Alstom has concluded the transfer of Bombardier Transportation’s contribution to the ETR 1000 high-speed train to Hitachi Rail.
Adif has commissioned a new tunnel and southern entrance to support the development of high-speed rail services in Madrid.
A special ceremony has been held for the signing of the transport contract for the Elbe-Spree network in Brandenburg an der Havel.
Transport for Wales (TfW) has unveiled a new fleet of trains that are set to improve rail transport in Wales.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has announced it will build a new ICE maintenance workshop in Dortmund and plans to begin operations as soon as 2027.
A new milestone has been reached on the Grand Paris Express project, thanks to the completion of the first half of the Line 16 tunnel.
The Secretary of State for Transport has approved Network Rail's plans to carry out multi-billion-pound rail upgrades in West Yorkshire