Information published on 8 April 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 393.


The FOSTER RAIL project – coordinated by UIC – supports the work of ERRAC – the European Rail Research Advisory Council in defining research needs for their strategies and programmes in order to strengthen the role of the railways as the backbone of a competitive and resource-efficient future transport system. The FOSTER RAIL work plan has been structured into 8 Work Packages which correspond to a series of logical steps with a high degree of inter-relations that will ensure the successful outcome of the project. In particular, FOSTER RAIL will integrate the work done so far by ERRAC and its Working Groups and will further develop this. FOSTER RAIL shall build on the former ERRAC-ROADMAP project and continues to support and enhance cooperation between stakeholders, including those on the Member State level and focuses on the enhanced definition of strategic research and innovation needs. With regard to research and innovation targeting co-modality and other multi-modal issues, FOSTER RAIL closely cooperates with the European Technology Platforms of the other transport modes and their supporting “foster” projects.

The project is an essential support tool to provide a relevant Strategic Rail Research and Innovation Agenda on the bases of stakeholders’ Vision Documents as well as on the Rail Business Scenario for 2050. This Railway Business Scenario shall be the reference for future research agendas and technology roadmaps to be developed in the timeframe from now until 2050. Following the work done during the ERRAC Roadmap project, FOSTER RAIL will continue to evaluate and analyse past and ongoing rail research projects and will cater for relations between ERRAC and the Shift2Rail initiative, developing user pre-requirements for S2R.
Finally, the project will develop rail research & innovation roadmaps, building on the previous roadmaps, updating them and bridging possible gaps.

FOSTER RAIL WP4 “Technology Roadmaps, Exploitation & Implementation” – state-of-play & follow-up:

WP4 Members/Partners have taken decisions & recommendations during the last meeting held on 21 March 2014 in Brussels.

Considering that WP3 has recently issued the stable version of Strategic Rail Research and Innovation Agenda (SRRIA), WP4 Members have decided to follow strategic areas/sub-areas (Roadmaps) determined by SRRIA and to allocate WP4 Members’ expertise accordingly to each roadmap to be developed. The work is going to be organised in the form of workshops and writing sessions. WP4 Members will re-group its expertise among different subgroups according to SRRIA structure. Every subgroup will be led by one of the WP4 Members and will be consequently hosted by its Key Contact Person (KCP).

Key Contact Persons (as listed in the table below) will host at least one workshop with the following agenda:

  • Part 1: Review of the existing ERRAC roadmaps, gap analysis, analysis of the issues to be revised and added and analysis of outdated issues.
  • Part 2: Planning the development of the new roadmaps for the duration of the project which runs until the end of April 2016
  • Part 3: Review of standardisation needs and potentials

The workshops will be open and additional experts on the topics covered by these workshops are encouraged to take part in this important work.
The principle idea is not to copy and paste the existing roadmaps but to perform in-depth analysis and to determine the context for the new generation of ERRAC Roadmaps.

The writing sessions are expected to be hosted by KCPs in April/ May during which the editorial teams will prepare first draft of the roadmaps. As already decided, FOSTER RAIL WP4 1st Review meeting will be held on 25 June 2014 while the first drafts of the roadmaps have to be assessed. It will allow Key Contact Persons supported by the editorial team to take change requests into account and to issue the second drafts until mid-early/mid-September which will be assessed by FOSTER RAIL WP4 during 2nd Review meeting on 29 September 2014.

The Key Contact Persons will then prepare the documents for formal approval. The formal approval by the ERRAC/FOSTER RAIL decision making bodies is going to be held in October/November 2015. It will enable KCPs to undertake fine-tuning and polishing of the document in November/December 2015 and following this develop the final Research & Innovation Roadmap, combining all of the 10 part-roadmaps produced. The final Rail Research & Innovation Roadmap shall then be submitted to the European Commission in March/April 2016.

The table containing the list of roadmaps in connection with FOSTER RAIL WP4 proposed Members/Key Contact Persons (KCP):

Customer experience (present and future customer) Dennis Schut (UIC) & Mihai Barcanescu (UITP)
Strategy and economics Mihai Barcanescu (UITP)
Safety (including certification) and security Ralph Mueller (DB)
Capacity, performance and competitiveness Dennis Schut (UIC)
Energy and environment Dennis Schut (UIC)
Control, command, communication and signalling Lea Paries (UNIFE)
Infrastructure Bo Olsson (TRV) & Andy Doherty (NETWORK RAIL)
Rolling stock Lea Paries (UNIFE)
IT and other enabling technologies Lea Paries (UNIFE)
Training and education Manuel Pereira (IST ID)

ERRAC Vice-president Mr Manuel Pereira has called on the WP4 members and FOSTERRAIL partners for a strong contribution to FOSTER RAIL WP4 activities being the most extensive and important work package of the project.

For more information about ERRAC and the FOSTERRAIL project, see or contact the FOSTERRAIL project Manager Dennis Schut at

This project has received funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under grant agreement no 605734