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 will arise that can contribute to shaping the way how future rail automation and maintenance will be organised and the subsequent strategic industrial developments on rolling stock and infrastructure.


In particular the Flex-Rail project (up to TRL - Technology Readiness Level - 2) will formulate technological concepts tackling the work-streams and their interconnection:
a) Concepts for the future autonomous railway vehicles “train-centric”
b) Promising disruptive technologies impacting automation systems and maintenance concepts
c) Railway 4.0


The new technological possibilities and concepts must be thoroughly assessed in a system approach where the different rail system components are integrated and combined can meet the future user needs of different market segments within a competitive environment.

‘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.