EUROPE: The Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking that will co-ordinate EU railway research over the next decade was formally launched in Paris on February 21, during an event organised by SNCF in conjunction with the French Presidency of the European Union.

The launch was attended by representatives from the European Commission and the rail sector, including CER Chairman Andreas Matthä, UNIFE Chair Henri Poupart-Lafarge and the joint undertaking’s 25 founding members, as well as French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari and several of his colleagues from other EU member states.

European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean and Director-General for Mobility & Transport Henrik Hololei explained that the €1·2bn programme was expected to build on the work of the former Shift2Rail programme, which Vălean said had delivered ‘an impressive number of new products and methods’ in its Catalogue of Solutions.


European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education & Youth Mariya Gabriel described Europe’s Rail as ‘the most important rail R&I initiative ever’, thanks to a contribution of €600m from Horizon Europe ‘and an even larger contribution from the rail industry’.

During the launch Executive Director Carlo Borghini, unveiled the Europe’s Rail logo, which had been co-created by the founding members using a design developed by the AngelRail consortium led by MerMec Group.

‘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 such partnerships’, said Borghini, adding that the transition from Shift2Rail marked ‘a new chapter for improving and modernising rail in Europe’. He confirmed that the JU would be launching its first Open Call for Proposals during March.

Europe’s Rail formally came into existence with the publication of Council Regulation 2021/2085 on November 30. Since then, a governing board has been established and the founding members selected. A multi-annual work programme has also been drawn up, setting out the principal areas for research and innovation over the coming years.

  •  Read our exclusive article about Europe’s Rail in the February 2022 issue of Railway Gazette International magazine.