Better progress is being made with the appointment of key personnel to lead different parts of the project with about half the appointments having been made so far.

The EC will decide soon which organisations can become associate members of Shift2Rail, and will issue an open call in October or November to invite other organisations and universities to join.

"We really need train operators to join Shift2Rail to complement the infrastructure managers and suppliers which are already members," Alstom product portfolio director Mr Jacques Poré (pictured) told IRJ.

The objective is still to get all five innovation programmes and their associates technical demonstrations underway by the end of this year or early in 2016, Poré confirmed.