The company will contribute its rail infrastructure technology and know-how to help develop high-capacity networks that are reliable, sustainable and efficient in economic terms.
ACCIONA has joined “Shift2Rail”, a programme in which institutions, universities, research institutes and leading rail transport companies are developing the railway of the future in Europe. It is a single space for the sector, using innovative technologies, and represents a qualitative leap forward in rail management and safety, based on an efficient and competitive business model.
The company is part of the Smart DeMain joint venture, made up of companies such as Strukton Rail – a Dutch company specialized in the construction and maintenance of railway infrastructures - or Cemosa – a Spanish SME dedicated to engineering – and study centres such as the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (IVI, Germany).
In order to join the public-private “Shift2Rail” initiative, the joint venture composed of ACCIONA and its partners competed with other entities and companies from the sector in a public tender in which the bids were evaluated by independent experts selected on the basis of an evaluation made by the Management Committee of “Shift2Rail” and ratified by the European Commission. The Management Committee consists of representatives of the founding members of Shift2Rail: the rail infrastructure management company of Sweden (Trafikverket) and that of the United Kingdom (Network Rail), the manufacturers of railway equipment Alstom, Ansaldo STS, Bombardier, Siemens, Thales and CAF and representatives of the European authorities. In selecting Smart DeMain as a partner, they took into account the potential of its members to contribute to the development of rail infrastructures due to their complementary nature and their capacity to generate synergies, as they cover the entire components and maintenance value chain.
The public-private Shift2Rail initiative has an overall budget of 920 million euros dedicated to R&D+i in railways. It will be co-funded by the participating companies and the EU, which is contributing 450 million euros. The R&D+i lines it promotes and finances through this instrument are the development of reliable and economically efficient trains, the implementation of advanced traffic management and control systems, the development of sustainable technological solutions and the creation of reliable high-capacity rail infrastructures that are sustainable and economically efficient. ACCIONA’s part of the project will focus on this last aspect.
Shift2Rail is part of Horizonte 2020, the European Union’s Research and Innovation Program for 2014-2020. Shift2Rail sets out to double the capacity of the European railway system and improve its reliability and service quality by 50% while reducing life cycle costs by half within a single railway area. This will be done by the European companies in an effort to improve their competitiveness in the global market.