Staying on the right track: EU-funded project TER4RAIL highlights essential role of rail for sustainable mobility


When discussing public transport as the backbone of urban mobility, rail deserves an honorary mention. Considered by many to be the heart of public transit, rail has proven one of the most sustainable, comfortable and safe modes of transport available to us. Our railways enable economic development and create employment – they connect places and people.

Partners of the EU-funded TER4RAIL project fully recognise the essential role rail plays in ensuring sustainable, connected and liveable cities.

Funded under the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, TER4RAIL seeks to reinforce co-operation between rail-related stakeholders to improve the efficiency of research in the rail sector, in order to facilitate emerging innovative ideas and the cross-fertilisation of knowledge from other disciplines. TER4RAIL is coordinated by EURNEX and consists of seven partners from five EU countries.

To further support its aim, consortium partners of the TER4RAIL project also form the central stakeholders of ERRAC, the European Rail Research Advisory Council. ERRAC’s primary objective is to deliver the common railway sector vision of research and innovation to EU institutions and important stakeholders, to help shape a favourable funding landscape for railway research and innovation.
The TER4RAIL project partners recently published a new report entitled “European Rail success stories”.

The report includes ‘real world’ examples showing efficient and effective implementation of rail services in Europe, providing a great demonstration of the positive potential rail can have in shaping the future of the transport system, be it public transport, mainline or freight.

The report takes the cities of Vienna and Nantes as examples of successful urban rail development in Europe. Vienna exemplifies harmonic co-operation between metro and LRT transport, while Nantes is the first French area that has managed to reduce its market share of cars thanks to a consistent and co-ordinated policy of continuously developing and encouraging the use of the LRT network since the tram was re-introduced in 1985.

Other success stories include the Madrid – Barcelona HSR line, the ‘Marathon Train’ between Lyon and Nimes, and the TIGER (Transit via Innovative Gateway) Dry Port, which is the maritime industrial distribution system of choice for major European sea ports. You can read the full report here.

Recognising research as an essential pillar for improving the urban rail market, we are currently following the developments of the new Partnership for rail research, which advocates the needs of urban rail operators. We have actively contributed to the development of “Transforming Europe’s Rail System”, a document which has been provided as input to the European Commission for the preparation of the Partnership.

Under the coordination of Shift2Rail and together with UNIFE (European Rail Industry), CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies), EIM (European Rail Infrastructure Managers), EURNEX (EUropean rail Research Network of Excellence) and ERRAC, the Partnership aims to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative technologies and deliver on European Green Deal objectives by improving the competitiveness of rail and supporting European technological leadership in rail. You can read the proposal here.

This project has received funding from the Shift2Rail JU under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under Grant Agreement 826055.

For further information, please contact Giuseppe Rizzi at at'>giuseppe.rizzi at or Christine Hassoun at UIC at'>hassoun at

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