Shift2Rail – JTI Rail

Through activities in research and innovation, Shift2Rail is set out to improve the EU Railway Manufacturing Industry’s competitiveness and to contribute to the creation of a "Single European Railway Area".

Goals set for and measures taken in S2R are comprehensively in line with the European Union’s transport-, industry-, climate-, and eco-political aims, as well as with the European Rail Research Advisory Council’s (ERRAC) Strategic Research Agenda for rail traffic.

Research and innovation will focus on the following 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.


In order to implement this Joint Technology Initiative, the "Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU)" was officially established on July 7, 2014 with a 10 duration until December 31, 2024.  Members of the Brussels-based Joint Undertaking founded in accordance with Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) are the European Union, represented by the European Commission, as a public partner and the eight industrial founding members Alstom, Ansaldo STS, Bombardier, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), Siemens, Thales as well as the infrastructure managers Trafikverket and Network Rail. In addition to the foundings members the membership of associated members has always been foreseen. On October 6, 2014 a call for expressions of interest has been launched.  On December 8, 2015 nineteen associated members were approved by the Governing Board of the JU e.g. from Germany Deutsche Bahn AG, Knorr-Bremse GmbH or the HaConIngenieurs-gesellschaft mbH.

The activities are written down in a common "S2R Strategic Masterplan" containing five key "Innovation Programmes" in line with the above-mentioned targets:

  • IP1-Energy & Mass Efficient Technologies for High Capacity Trains
  • IP2-Advance Traffic Management & Control Systems
  • IP3-Cost Efficient - High Capacity Infrastructure
  • IP4-IT Solutions for Seamless Attractive Railway
  • IP5-Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Freight


On June 16, 2014, the Council of Mininsters has officially adopted Resolution establishing the "Shift2Rail" Private-Public Partnership. The regulation will become effective in the summer of 2014, so first calls for proposals could be launched by the end of the year/beginning next year and the initiative can be fully operational in 2015.

Based on above-mentioned "S2R Strategic Masterplan", the Joint Undertaking will implement a ten-year research and innovation funding programme which will be open to the participation of all Research & Development & Innovation Actors from EU Member States and Associated Countries in Horizon 2020. According to the European Commission’s proposal, an amount of € 450 million of funding taken from the Horizon 2020 budget will be provided by the European Union for the period 2014-2020. Rail industry is allocating a budget of € 470 million.

Calls for proposals

S2R calls are split into two categories: calls exclusively for the members of the Joints Undertaking (Calls for Members - CFM) and competitive calls (Open Calls - OC) which are open to companies, universities and research centres. Proposals can be submitted via the Participant Portal.