THE Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-Rail) and the association of European Rail Infrastructure Managers, RailNetEurope (RNE), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at formalising collaboration between the two organisations.

The agreement was signed at the Rail Transport Day in Stockholm, Sweden on May 30 2023, which was held under the Swedish presidency of the European Union (EU).

Both organisations say they are committed to fostering an integrated, high-capacity European rail network by eliminating barriers to interoperability and building upon a harmonised functional system architecture shared by the sector.

The collaboration facilitated by the MoU will cover traffic management and capacity allocation, exchange and communication of rail-related data, infrastructure, and services, with the aim of achieving higher railway sector efficiency, faster uptake and deployment of projects and innovations, and leveraging the huge potential of digitalisation and automation to reduce rail’s costs, increasing capacity and enhancing flexibility and reliability.

The MoU will provide opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration in the following areas:

  • EU-Rail System Pillar, following the mandate to develop a unified operational concept and a functional, safe and secure system architecture, as well as cooperation with the EU-Rail Flagship Areas, more specifically FA1 Network management planning and control and Mobility and FA5 Sustainable Competitive Digital Green Rail Freight Services
  • research and development of innovative solutions, including providing the necessary experience and sector engagement and ensuring that the concepts and designed solutions are interoperable and that legacy solutions can be migrated according to a clear migration strategy, and
  • ongoing sector initiatives in which EU-Rail members and RNE are involved, specifically digital infrastructure information, timetable redesign, digital capacity management, digital train information, including tracking and tracing, traffic management and IT architecture, among other topics.

“This is very welcome cooperation, which will help Europe’s Rail deliver on key milestones on our way to a digital, interoperable EU rail sector,” says acting director-general at the European Commission, Ms Maja Bakran. “The contribution of infrastructure managers is crucial here, and I look forward to experiencing the innovative solutions that will result from this collaboration.”

“The cooperation between RNE and Europe's Rail is a further step in bringing key players in the European rail sector closer together,” says RNE secretary general, Mr Joachim Kroll. “The MoU will allow infrastructure managers to better share their expertise and ongoing activities with Europe's Rail through RNE. We believe that this will be of great benefit to both sides, especially in the areas of infrastructure capacity management, traffic management and digitalisation, and ultimately result in a more efficient, attractive and accessible European railway system.”