ERRAC, the European Rail Research Advisory Council, held its plenary meeting in Brussels on Friday 23 November. Under the new Chairmanship of Josef Doppelbauer (Chief Technical Officer, Bombardier) as Chairman together with Andy Doherty and Manuel Pereira as Vice-Chairmen, many important issues currently high on the EU agenda were discussed. The plenary meeting was also the occasion for ERRAC to officially handover the ’RailRoute 2050’ Railway Research and Innovation vision document to the European Commission.
András Siegler, Director of the Transport Directorate at the European Commission’s Directorate General Research and Innovation, outlined his views on the future of rail research, especially in the context of the preparation for Horizon 2020. He also thanked ERRAC for the work and the support and expertise provided for FP7 to the European Commission.
Chairman Josef Doppelbauer officially handed over “RailRoute 2050” – a vision to step up rail research, development and innovation – to the European Commission. “RailRoute 2050” offers a range of research opportunities for a competitive, resource-efficient, and intelligent rail transport system that meets the future demands of European citizens, stipulates economic growth, creates European jobs, and strengthens the position of the European rail sector in global competition. “RailRoute 2050” will serve as a basis for the future work to be done by the platform.
Chairman Doppelbauer also presented a first proposal for new ERRAC Terms of Reference which will establish a new working structure for ERRAC and its members. The Terms of Reference are expected to be officially approved during the next ERRAC Plenary, in spring 2013.
The Plenary also discussed the progress on the rail JTI initiative known as SHIFT²RAIL and the ERRAC ROADMAP results. Presentations on the outcome of the TRA2012 conference and exhibition, the reFINE project, EU-Russia cooperation, as well as possible collaborative actions with ECTP – the European Construction Technology Platform were also made during the meeting.
Concluding the meeting, Chairman Josef Doppelbauer thanked the Vice Chairs and the Secretariat for their help and support, highlighted the good work done by the platform over the past years and encouraged the members and partners to continue in this direction in 2013.
For more information about “RailRoute 2050” and to receive a copy of the document, please contact the ERRAC Secretariat or go to http://www.errac.org/
ERRAC was set up in 2001 with the ambitious goal of creating a single European body with both the competence and capability to help revitalise the European rail sector and make it more competitive, by fostering increased innovation and guiding research efforts at European level. All major rail stakeholders are brought together within ERRAC. ERRAC comprises 45 representatives from each of the major European rail research stakeholders: manufacturers, operators, infrastructure managers, the European Commission, EU Member States, academics and users’ groups. ERRAC covers all forms of rail transport: from conventional, high speed and freight applications to urban and regional services.
ERRAC is chaired by Mr. Josef Doppelpbauer (BOMBARDIER). The Vice-Chairmen are Mr. Andy Doherty (NETWORK RAIL) and Prof. Manuel Pereira (IST Lisbon).
Since its start in 2001, ERRAC has issued a number of important and influential documents, such as the Joint Strategy for European rail Research – Vision 2020, the SRRA – Strategic Rail Research Agenda and its 2007 updated version, Suburban and Regional Railways Landscape in Europe, Light Rail and Metro Systems in Europe, Rail Research in Europe, a comparison of the Member States public research programmes with the ERRAC SRRA.
“RailRoute 2050, the sustainable backbone of the Single European Transport Area” is the latest vision document published by the platform. Other documents, namely the different ROADMAP deliverables, can be found on this website as well.