The SMART-RAIL project is aligned with the objectives of SHIFT²RAIL and will ensure that the results can be used in further research in this programme.

SHIFT²RAIL is a public private partnership set up under the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

The European Commission is working towards the creation of a Single European Railway Area and has promoted a modal shift from road to rail in order to achieve a more competitive and resource-efficient European transport system. However, the share of rail on the European freight and passenger transport markets is still not satisfactory. EU research and innovation must therefore help rail play a new, broader role in global transport markets, both by addressing pressing short-term problems that drain rail business operations, and by helping the sector to achieve a stronger market position.

Furthermore, SMART-RAIL will interact actively with users of rail services, infrastructure managers and terminal operators, freight forwarders, IWT and road transport operators, port companies and policy makers through workshops, exhibitions and conferences. These interactions will mostly be in context of the three Continuous Improvement Tracks.


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Automatic Gauge Changeover systems: A UIC study carried out in 2001 reviewed the possibility of developing a common infrastructure for different gauge changeover systems (TALGO, DB/RAFIL Typ V and PKP/SUV). Technical and economic aspects were also to be taken into account. The results showed that two systems (DB/RAFIL and PKP/SUW) are technically compatible but the three systems that existed at the time (and their associated equipment) were not completely compatible. A common infrastructure seemed feasible but would require modifications to the variable gauge wheel sets and the gauge change devices of the existing systems. This study was unable to put forward a simple, cost-effective solution for a common infrastructure for gauge changeover systems.