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The successor to the European rail programme was presented during a breakfast seminar

During the spring, CLOSER organised online breakfast seminars focusing on how the technologies from the EU's Shift2Rail innovation programme can enable more efficient deliveries. The seminars highlighted technologies such as the digital automatic coupling, Intelligent Video Gate and preventive maintenance which were developed as part of Shift2Rail.

The programme has brought together different players and countries from across Europe with the aim of improving the European rail network and will conclude at the end of 2022. For this reason, there is a need to set up a new programme to continue this work.

One proposal for a subsequent innovation programme is Europe's Rail Joint Undertaking, which will start next year. Our guest at the last seminar in the series was Monique van Wortel, Seconded National Expert at Shift2Rail, who reported on how the work would progress in Europe's Rail.

Europe's Rail takes over when Shift2Rail ends

Europe's Rail will build on what has already been achieved in Shift2Rail and will launch large-scale demonstrations in order to reach the required technical standard. This will promote the spread of the innovations. The programme also aims to standardise the technologies developed in Shift2Rail. The results of both programmes are linked to the objectives of the EU's Green Deal and Mobility Strategy

- A major part of the programme is the move to green transport and smart mobility, including automated solutions. One of the EU Commission's objectives is to double the amount of rail transport by 2050. This will be a major step in the changeover to green transport, explained Monique van Wortel.

Shift2Rail paved the way for effective cooperation

The cooperation within Shift2Rail has been important because it has brought together different sectors in Europe to work towards a common goal. One of the main impacts of Shift2Rail is the move to joint coordination in order to drive development together.

-The cooperation succeeded in establishing a strong network of stakeholders which allowed us to make rapid progress. This would never have been possible with just a few players because the market is too small and the risks are too great, said Monique van Wortel during the final event of the series.

The programme affects all areas of the rail system. Shift2Rail has carried out research and partially implemented technologies such as Intelligent Video Gate, preventive maintenance and the digital automatic coupling. This has laid the foundations for Europe's Rail, which will continue the work during the next phase of the implementation involving large-scale demonstrations. Hopefully, the work will continue to run as if it were on rails!