Press releases

Joint Rail Sector Declaration on Digitalisation of Railways

UIP and 5 other Railways organisations call on the European Commission to uphold digitalisation as one of its key priorities and to ensure that the political importance of the topic is reflected in the funding commitments in the next MFF.

Digitalisation is ever more present in all aspects of life, and offers enormous opportunities and challenges. The rail sector, as the backbone of transport in Europe, is not new to the digital age, and is today intensifying its use of digital technologies in order to match the pace and scope of digitalisation in the wider transport chain and to adapt to customer expectations on safety, security, punctuality, capacity, transparency, and information availability. Intense and constructive cooperation of the rail sector with the European Commission is key to accelerate this process.

The shared objective of all rail stakeholders is to offer highly efficient and attractive transport options to their customers, and digitalisation is a key tool to achieve this in a fast-moving technology environment. To foster the rail sector’s attractiveness and competitiveness, we are continuously adapting to the changing needs of end-users, for whom commuting mobile apps and real-time information has become part of everyday life.

The sector therefore welcomes numerous initiatives on open data and expects that any new legislative initiative on data policy will take into consideration the already existing sectorial legislation. This will allow to better promote transport data opening while taking into account specificities of railways for the benefit of customers.

Digital traffic management systems, digital energy management solutions, ever-increasing infotainment offer, e-ticketing, digital tracking and tracing applications, Big Data applications, and the use of Internet of Things, and common interfaces are just a few examples of how the rail sector is deploying the latest technologies for telematic applications for passenger and freight services in the interest of the customers and contributing to the Digital Single Market.

These efforts by the rail sector should be underpinned by a strong political and financial support from the European Commission. In the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), dedicated CEF funding should be made available to foster automation and digitalisation of the rail sector. The combination of Automated Train Protection (ATP), Automated Train Operations (ATO) and Maintenance, and Automated Train Supervision (ATS) will increase capacity, performance (punctuality and speed), interoperability, safety and last, but not least, productivity. ERTMS is recognized by the Sector as a success condition for these improvements and efficiency gain, its deployment will require additional resources in order to accelerate its rapid roll-out (especially in the framework of the revised European ERTMS Deployment Plan adopted in January 2017) and unlock the economies of scale and efficiency gains that it will bring to the rail system. Making digital railways a priority will also spread positive effects with regard to facilitating maintenance (including predictive maintenance, instrumentation of assets, processes and personnel with powerful Information and Communication Technology) and reducing cost over life cycle. In this regard, a ring-fenced budget for railway subsystems, in particular existing infrastructure and vehicles (rolling stock) should be considered.

Shift2Rail, the joint undertaking seeking focused research and innovation (R&I) and marketdriven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions, is delivering new digital technologies contributing to the evolution of rail transport among others. This is made possible due to a joint effort of a large number stakeholders of the European rail sector. To tackle the ongoing mega-trends (e.g. urbanisation, growing interest for environmental issues, ageing population) and place railways as the backbone of future digital sustainable mobility in cities and outside, it is of great importance to increase the European funding instruments for rail research, development, innovation, and deployment, following Shift2Rail, by including a “Shift2Rail 2.0”, with digitalisation at its heart, in the 9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and promoting cross-industries collaboration to handle common key issues (e.g. cyber security) and improve transfer of knowledge between sectors.

We, the Signatories of this Joint Declaration, are calling on the European Commission to uphold digitalisation as one of its key priorities and to ensure that the political importance of the topic is reflected in the funding commitments in the next MFF. We reaffirm our commitment to provide products and services that use the digital technologies for the benefit of people.


Multimodal Alliance Statement on Digitalisation

UIP together with 21 organisations agree on priority topics for 2018 and adopt a first position paper on digitalization

Brussels, June 29th, 2017 - On June 27th, 2017, the members of the “I AM”, the industry alliance of transport chain stakeholders gathered in Amsterdam at RAI Conference Center. The meeting, which was kindly hosted by TOC 2017 organizers, allowed participants to share a number of updates about current files such as the review of the combined Transport Directive as well as to take stock of institutional initiatives regarding a number of industries of the logistics chain.
Members of the Alliance also agreed upon the main priority topics for the Alliance in 2018:
-          Single transport document
-          Connectivity and intermodality
-          Attracting and retaining talents, Training and Re-training staff to better adapt to change
Besides discussing about the upcoming priorities, members of the Alliance adopted a position paper about digitalization which sets a number of key principles, which are from their point of view, essential to enable industries in the logistics chain to gain efficiency and reliability both individually and collectively, while remaining competitive.

I AM members believe that it is important for upcoming initiatives from the Commission, particularly those consisting in financial support to new solutions, not to distort the necessary competition in the area of innovation that exists and should continue to prevail between individual commercial undertakings (be it big corporations or SMEs) belonging to different sectors of the logistics chain.

Collaboration in the supply chain seeks to deliver more efficient logistics based on data sharing, thus improving existing logistics processes. This requires an appropriate framework regarding data sharing and logistics practices to achieve the maximum benefits for the economy.

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