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EU triples funding for rail innovation

Dec 17, 2013 | News

(17 December 2013) – The European Commission yesterday adopted “Shift2Rail”, a new public-private partnership to invest just under €1 billion in research and innovation to get more passengers and freight onto Europe’s railways.

Rail is amongst the most efficient and climate-friendly forms of transport, but currently it only carries about only 10% of European cargo and 6% of passengers each year.

“Shift2Rail” is a public-private partnership which will manage a 7-year work programme of targeted research and innovation to support the development of better rail services in Europe. It will develop and accelerate the bringing to market of technological breakthroughs.

With “Shift2Rail”, the Commission is more than tripling its financing for rail research and innovation to €450 million (2014-2020) compared to €155 for the previous period. This will be matched by €470 from the rail industry.

The research and innovation will focus on five key areas:

  • To improve the quality of services , it will focus on developing a new generation of high capacity trains which are cost-efficient and reliable;
  • To increase capacity and get more trains running on the same lines – it will develop better intelligent traffic management and control systems;
  • To provide reliable, high quality, infrastructure, including reducing track noise, cutting costs and developing intelligent maintenance;
  • To provide integrated ticketing and journey planners – it will develop innovative IT solutions and services;
  • To allow rail to compete effectively in more markets, it will develop better logistics and inter-modal freight solutions, so rail can connect better with other forms of transport.

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