Shift2Rail, the Centre’s 63rd client

On 24 October 2016, the Translation Centre signed an agreement with the joint undertaking Shift2Rail based in Brussels.

The joint undertaking Shift2Rail was set up in 2014 and carries out research and innovation activities geared towards improving European competitiveness in the railway sector.

Shift2Rail is a public-private partnership composed of the following nine founding members: the European Union, railway equipment manufacturers Alstom, Ansaldo STS, Bombardier, Siemens, Thales and CAF, and the infrastructure managers Trafikverket and Network Rail. The European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), which is one of the Centre’s clients, has an advisory role in the joint undertaking, not least because of its in-depth knowledge of matters relating to interoperability and security.

The European rail sector appears to be falling behind and the European Horizon 2020 programme has deemed it in need of public intervention. Disparities between national regulations and operational frameworks hamper the development of pan-European vehicles, with the various players in the railway chain not having sufficient contact with one another, and private investment falling short. Another factor is that some Asian countries, such as China and Korea, are gradually positioning themselves as the market leaders in railway equipment.

Against this background, the joint undertaking Shift2Rail is currently devising a European strategic plan aimed at reinvigorating the sector. Its activities centre around five key areas:

  • designing a new generation of rolling stock,
  • implementing intelligent management and traffic control systems,
  • creating a new railway infrastructure system,
  • developing innovative IT solutions,
  • setting up attractive freight solutions.

The joint undertaking Shift2Rail is now the driver of innovation in the field of European railways. We should not lose sight of the fact that railways are key to the proper functioning of Europe’s economy; 8 billion passenger trips are made annually, and the rail sector accounts for 10% of the total traffic of goods and employs around 800 000 people.

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