Press conference by Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC, on the adoption of 'Shift2Rail'
Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport, gave a press conference on the adoption of "Shift2Rail", a public-private partnership. The EC aimed to invest just under €1 billion in research and innovation to get more passengers and freight onto Europe's railways. Rail was amongst the most efficient and climate-friendly forms of transport, but in 2013 it only carried about only 10% of European cargo and 6% of passengers each year. "Shift2Rail" would manage a 7-year work programme of targeted research and innovation to support the development of better rail services in Europe. It would develop and accelerate the bringing to market of technological breakthroughs. With this programme the Commission was more than tripling its financing for rail research and innovation to €450 million (2014-2020) compared to €155 million for the previous period. This would be matched by €470 million from the rail industry. The net gains of this long term collaborative approach would give a very substantial boost to innovation in the rail industry, compared to previous co-funding of individual projects.