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Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, a new European partnership aimed at delivering a high-capacity integrated railway network, has been officially launched.

This was launched during the European Railway Summit.

With 25 founding members, the European rail research and innovation programme is expected to deliver activities worth €1.2bn.

European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel said: “With a contribution of €600m from Horizon Europe and an even larger contribution from the rail industry, Europe’s Rail is the most important rail R&I initiative ever.”

Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) chairman Andreas Matthä said that Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking is expected to provide an important boost to railways in making climate commitments a reality.

Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking also aims to provide solutions for full integration, which will enable quicker uptake and deployment of projects and innovations.

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By GlobalData

This would result in the exploitation of significant potential for digitalisation and automation to increase capacity, reduce railway costs while enhancing its flexibility.

The work, which is expected to support the development of a globally competitive European rail industry, will be achieved through its Calls for Proposals.

The first open call is planned to be launched next month.

Union of European Railway Industries (UNIFE) chairman Henri Poupart-Lafarge said: “The European Rail Supply Industry is thrilled to embark on Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking journey.

“Increasing the focus on rail research and innovation is crucial to achieving the ambitious objectives to decarbonise the transport sector.”

European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said: “Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking laid the foundations for the EU rail research and development.

“I count that the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking will further accelerate rail innovation but also its uptake and deployment on the ground.”