Innovation

The System Pillar of the new “Europe’s Rail” Joint Undertaking Multimodality Standardisation
Innovation

The System Pillar of the new “Europe’s Rail” Joint Undertaking

Objectives

As from 2021, “Horizon 2020” is replaced by “Horizon Europe”, a new EC multiannual research and innovation (R&I) programme (2021-2027). Consequently, the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (JU) of the EU Commission and the rail industry, which was financed under Horizon 2020, ended its activities. 

By the end of 2021, a new JU called “Europe’s Rail” with an approx total budget of around EUR 1,3 billion was set up.

EIM in action

  • EIM continued advocating a more inclusive organisational structure for the new JU, an increased participation of IMs and a more systematic approach to the interoperability aspects of CSS/ERTMS technologies within a new “System Pillar”; 
  • EIM has been actively engaged in levering the interests of its members which decided to become founding members of the JU but also its other members through the definition of the organisational set up of the new JU. This has been notably the case with the structure of the System Pillar, which makes up the JU (together with the Innovation Pillar). 

EIM actions in 2021 

  • EIM set up a “System Pillar Task Force” of dedicated group of EIM experts and organised the related internal coordination/reporting mechanism.
  • EIM established a structured coordination mechanism with CER, UIC, ERTMS Users Group and UNIFE and actively contributed to all meetings organised by the EC and the relevant input. 
  • Since August 2021, EIM has also supported the new System Pillar’s “Ramping-up” project (EC financing of €1.2 M for 10 months’ activities) 
  • EIM has held regular meetings with the Shift2Rail staff to share information on the progress of European research initiatives which are of interest for its members.

Outlook 2022

  • EIM will continue contributing to the definition of the new JU “Europe’s Rail”, notably on the governance and technical management of the “System Pillar”;
  • EIM will also continue supporting the relevant IMs during their negotiations regarding R&I activities of the new JU (“Innovation Pillar” and R&I Masterplan); 
  • EIM will continue to promote the link between the new JU “Europe’s Rail” deliverables and standardisation activities in the relevant stakeholder groups, alongside enhanced coordination with ERA.  

EC Regulation Horizon Europe - Research and Innovation

EU LEGISLATION INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGERS
Innovation

Multimodality

Objectives

Individual transport modes such as aviation, waterways, rail and road are becoming increasingly interconnected to form a seamless, multimodal transport network. The added value for society and industry consists of a greater service offering amongst different modes of transport depending on the environmental footprint, convenience, offer, speed, distance, cost, etc. 

The EU has developed various legislative and policy initiatives to foster a multimodal transport network. More and more attention is being given to the connections between aviation and railways. By the same token, the EU co-finances multimodal infrastructure and innovation via its funding programmes, such as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and in particular the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The proposed revision of the TEN-T Guidelines also includes many proposals in the field of multimodality. 

Given their strategic location at urban nodes or multimodal hubs, a low environmental footprint and interconnectivity at (for example) stations, terminals, ports and airports, rail infrastructure managers play a crucial role in multimodal transport systems.  

Rail infrastructure managers are aware of their increasing role as multimodal managers. Railway stations also offer more and more often bicycle parking sheds, in order to boost and facilitate the green individual transport mode of cycling. The same goes for electric car charging facilities at stations. Therefore, IMs have engaged individually, amongst peers or via EIM in the upcoming multimodal opportunities and challenges:  

  • EIM signed a cooperation agreement with its road equivalent from the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR) to exchange best practice on multimodality and infrastructure-related topics (such as for example tunnels);
  • EIM has joined the Electro-Mobility Platform, bringing together a large variety of energy-related stakeholders;
  • The members of EIM have also engaged in an internal dialogue related to stations and their role as multimodal hubs. 

EIM in action

(involvement and goals)

Sub-topic 

  • EIM fosters a regular and constructive dialogue with other transport modes, also in the light of the ongoing revision of the TEN-T;
  • EIM closely monitors EU activities and initiatives related to multimodality;
  • EIM cooperates with all EU institutions and market stakeholders to address interoperability issues hampering seamless transport flows;
  • EIM also exchanges regularly with its experts about future infrastructure investment needs in view of automation of rail services, digitalisation of assets and services, harmonisation of infrastructure assets, etc.; 
  • EIM also closely follows the growing interest in improving the connections and links between aviation, road and railways. 

EIM actions in 2021

(Annual Report only)

  • EIM attended the ‘transport round tables’ of UIRR throughout 2021 to discuss the link between rail freight and the other transport modes. 
  • EIM replied, together with other railway associations to the ‘Combined Transport Initiative’ from the European Commission 

Outlook 2022

(Annual Report only)

  • EIM will continue to join forces with other infrastructure managers and stakeholders to leverage the role of the rail infrastructure manager in the multimodal discussions on EU level. 
  • EIM will assess the impact of the parameters and conditions regarding multimodality that were published in the proposal for the new TEN-T Guidelines. 
Innovation

Standardisation

©FTIA

Objectives

A Single European Railway Area (SERA) requires national rail systems to be interoperable, as defined in the 4th Rail Package and in the specific implementing regulations (see Technical Specifications for Interoperability-TSI). The TSIs are complemented by European standards (ENs) of the European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs). ENs are sometimes also used as part of the conformity process with the TSI specifications. 

EIM in action

  • EIM is actively involved in standardisation through the participation and contribution to different dedicated groups, such as:
    • i) the European Sector Forum Rail (SFR, formerly JPCR), composed of rail sector players (manufacturers, infrastructure managers, other rail stakeholders), CEN, CENELEC and ETSI
    • ii) the Standardisation Coordination Platform for Europe (RASCOP), composed of the same stakeholders as well as the European Commission and the EU Agency for Railways (ERA).

EIM actions in 2021 

  • EIM contributed in all relevant SFR and RASCOP meetings to the identification of the sector priorities in terms of standardisation;
  • EIM contributed to the ad-hoc RASCOP Working Group on “EC Standards Request”, whose objective was the identification and preparation of the list of Commission’s new “Standardisation Requests” to the ESOs;
  • EIM attended and contributed to the new ERA Topical WG on Standardisation.
  • EIM, together with other sector organisations, drafted a Position Paper on international standardisation and followed it up with the EC in the light of the new EC Standardisation Strategy. 

Outlook 2022

  • EIM will continue to promote the standardisation interests of its members in all relevant EC and ERA fora, as well as during the exchange of information between the experts of EIM’s Working Groups and in the ESO’s Technical Committees. 
  • EIM, in coordination with the other rail stakeholders, will continue engaging in a dialogue with the EC and ESOs following the publication of the Position Paper on international standardisation 

Regulation (EU) 1025/2012on European standardisation

EU LEGISLATION INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGERS
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Strategic Vision