TER4RAIL (Transversal Exploratory Research Activities for Railway) is an EU-H2020 Shift2Rail funded project led by EURNEX in collaboration with UIC, UITP, UNIFE, Newcastle University, New Opera, and the Spanish Railway Foundation.
The main goal of this two-year project is to serve as a source of data, roadmaps and arguments supporting the rail sector. TER4RAIL’s ambition is to play a major role in the evolution of the railways.
On 28 June the project partners organised a one-day World Café in London, with 30 high-level transport related experts in order to create an understanding of system thinking.
Armando Carrillo Zanuy (coordinator of the project at Eurnex), Tom Zunder (from Newcastle University), and Jacqueline Kommers (from Eurnex) opened the day by introducing the themes of the day and the results of Delphi study focused on the statements published in the Rail 2050 Vision (ERRAC, 2017) and led by Newcastle University. Four different railway themes were to be the basis of the discussion tables:
1. Backbone and systems strategy
3. European citizens mobility needs, and
4. Smart vehicles
These discussion tables enabled the participants to explore how contextual factors (e.g., key social, economic, political, and cultural factors) influence the society related topics. With this workshop, TER4RAIL wanted to stimulate brainstorming for innovative ideas in order to open-up new visions and possibilities of solutions applicable for the railways.
It was interesting to see what kind of holistic questions were raised among the experts. Focus was placed on what should be integrated into the transport roadmaps to achieve a (European) transport network with railways as the backbone for future mobility: having a sustainable, inclusive, affordable, approachable alternative for the near future.
The day ended with a presentation by Richard Harris (Real ITS Global), an eye-opener on the new mobility ecosystem. This was also a trigger for future discussion among the participants on a better competitive mobility system. As Richard said, future mobility will be automated, connected/integrated, electrified and shared.
TER4RAIL partners are currently processing the data and are looking forward to sharing the results of the research questions that have been analysed by cross-sector experts. The diversity in cultural background and transport sectors of the participants at the TER4RAIL London Summit made this event a very fruitful day for all project partners to frame the questions in a bigger picture.
Should you be interested by the outcome of this research, please consult the Ter4Rail website: https://ter4rail.eu/