SNCF twin coalSNCF twin coal wagon. Source: Wikimedia Commons.wagon

Freight innovators could share in new Shift2Rail funding

SNCF twin coal wagon. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The European Union-backed Shift2Rail project is inviting the most innovative rail freight proposals to share in a new finance package worth more than 155 million Euros. 

Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) has announced its latest Call for Proposals as part of its updated Annual Work Plan 2018. With 18 topics, seven of which are open to S2R members and 11 to non-JU members, Shift2Rail expects strong interest from stakeholders keen to introduce new ideas for improved freight and passenger services across the continent.


Supported by European Horizon 2020 funding, the public-private Shift2Rail initiative was launched in 2009. The aim was to work with infrastructure managers, railway operators and the wider supply chain to develop innovations that will boost the rail industry and support the EU’s vision of a single European rail area.

Henrik Hololei, Director General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, said: “Innovation and market-driven solutions are what Europe’s rail sector needs. With this call for proposals the S2R JU has committed more than 50 per cent of its programme funds. This demonstrates that the sector is capable of fast-paced work on innovation. The solutions developed under today’s call will pave the way for more attractive services for freight and passengers. I am looking forward to seeing them.”


Initial funding H2020 co-funding available from the S2R JU in this call is 78.7 million Euros, out of an estimated total value of around 153.3 million Euros. The JU has also launched a call for tender for 1.5 milliion Euros and will add other procurement activities worth some 670,000 Euros.

Carlo M Borghini, Executive Director of the S2R JU, said: “We are delighted to get into the next generation of our projects. On the one hand, the programme activities will start reaching in some cases up to TRL7 (system prototype demonstration in operational environment) and, on the other hand, a set of Open Call ‘breakthrough’ topics will lay the grounds for future research and rail applications.”

The call for proposals was published on January 16 and is open until April 24.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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