The rail passenger transport has experienced a steady growth ever since 2004, accounting for 7.6% of all inland passenger transport in the EU in 2014 and continued to increased during 2015. Furthermore, UNIFE’s World Rail Market Study shows that of a total average annual market volume of 159.3 billion Euros, the rolling stock segment (i.e. rail vehicles) accounts for 34 % of the total rail market in the 2013-2015 period, growing faster than any other segment in the market. The total market is expected to grow to an annual market volume of 185 billion euros in the 2019-2021 period with the highest growth rate of 3.1% in Western Europe. In addition to growing passenger demands, the railway sector is facing major challenges such as rising traffic demands, congestion, security of energy supply and climate change for the next few decades.
The Mat4Rail proposal has been evaluated positively and will therefore receive funding from the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 777595. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and Spain, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey.