The Council adopted a regulation setting up a public-private partnership called Shift2Rail joint undertaking on 16th June 2014. The new entity will manage a research and innovation work programme to support the development of better rail services in Europe. Located in Brussels, it will be officially established in early July, and operations are expected to kick off in early 2015.

Shift2Rail’s goal is to double the capacity of the railway transport system, to reduce its life-cycle cost by 50% and to decrease unreliability and late arrivals by 50%.

The innovative technologies and solutions to be developed, demonstrated and validated by Shift2Rail are expected to boost the EU rail sector’s competitiveness vis-à-vis other modes of transport and foreign competition, as well as to create jobs and increase exports.

The new undertaking will manage all rail-focused research and innovation actions co-funded by the EU. It will actively promote the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including, for instance, manufacturers of railway equipment, passengers’ and freight associations, and the relevant scientific community.

Shift2Rail will be set up by the EU and by eight partners from the industry, which are: Alstom, Ansaldo, Bombardier, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocariles, Network Rail, Siemens, Thales and Trafikverket. Associated members will be selected through an open call for membership.

OLTIS Group became officially the associate founding member of SHIFT2RAIL in 2013. OLTIS Group is involved in IP4 (IT solutions for a seamless railway) and IP5 (Technologies for sustainable and attractive European freight) and is ready in this way to participate in building the railway of the future).

Through its participation in this project OLTIS Group is able not only to be part of the process of shaping the future form of railway technologies but also have first-hand information on trends and on prepared regulations or legislation changes, which in turn can be translated into its products and services.