Current activities in Shift2Rail (S2R) are developing fundamental building blocks for the future rail system and new technological possibilities are adopted in the S2R work program. however, developments continuously happen, and new technologies arise that contribute to shaping the way how future of rail will be organised and delivered.


The Flex-Rail project (TRL2) formulated technological concepts tackling the work-streams and their interconnection:
a) Concepts for the future autonomous railway vehicles “train-centric”
b) Promising disruptive technologies
c) Railway 4.0
d) The future of rail freight


The new technological possibilities and concepts were thoroughly assessed in a system approach where the different rail system components were integrated and combined and assessed as how to meet the future user needs of different market segments within different competitive environments and business models.

The final Flex-Rail event was completed oneline on 30th June 2021 1400 CEST. The video of this webinar is now available on VIMEO here. The project is now completed and the final public deliverables will be uploaded here as they become approved by the Shift2Rail JU.

‘In order for rail to keep their central role in the EU transport system, paradigm shifts on fundamental rail sector characteristics are required; both rail industry and organisation have to target a lean, integrated and flexible railway system, which will stimulate further innovation within the rail sector and will ensure that rail services can address the future user needs. Development of the required technologies must be aligned with the pace of innovation of other relevant sectors (in particular the competing transport modes) and must be accompanied with suitable governance structures and business models to ensure that the targeted impacts can be achieved.’

The project details are on the Shift2Rail website here.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme Research and Innovation action under grant agreement No 826189. This website reflects the views of the author(s) and does not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the European Commission. Whilst efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this document, the FLEX-RAIL consortium shall not be liable for any errors or omissions, however caused.