Today, global leaders in railway technology are confirming their commitment to the European Commission’s recently announced Shift2Rail initiative . Major European companies are attending a conference in Athens to discuss how they can contribute to the ambitious objectives of Shift2Rail.
This €920 million public–private partnership aims to accelerate the market take up of innovative solutions in the rail sector, making passenger and freight rail transport more attractive to users and slashing costs to the benefit of public purses. The conference is hosted by the Greek Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks and comes as the Commission has announced its intention to triple funding for rail research and innovation to €450 million (2014-2020), compared to €155 million in the previous period, as part of the Shift2Rail initiative.
Eight companies have individually pledged to contribute at least €30 million of own funds to Shift2Rail. Apart from Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens, these companies include rail equipment manufacturers Ansaldo STS, Thales and CAF, as well as infrastructure managers Trafikverket and Network Rail. Alongside these companies, many smaller and medium sized companies, but also research institutes and academics, as well as railway undertakings and infrastructure managers are present in Athens to voice their support for the initiative and discuss how they can contribute to Shift2Rail. The first projects under Shift2Rail are expected to be launched in 2015.