Bennion: EU triples rail innovation funding to £380mn – beneficiaries to include Bombardier and Network Rail

The European Commission today announced £380mn of EU funding for rail innovation under the EU’s new research programme for 2014-2020, three times more than the amount for 2007-2013.

The new public-private partnership, called “Shift2Rail,” consists of eight founding members including the UK’s Network Rail and Canadian firm Bombardier, which employs over 3000 across the country including at a major factory in Derby.

Phil Bennion MEP, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesman in the European Parliament, commented:

 “This funding will give a significant boost to the UK rail industry and the thousands of people it employs.

 “It will also help us to develop a rail network that is cheaper, more reliable and has a higher capacity. More trains on the tracks will mean less congestion on our roads, less air pollution in our cities and fewer C02 emissions, helping the UK to meet its climate change targets.

 “Firms in the British rail sector must now be made aware of the funding opportunities available so that they can get a slice of the pie.”


Notes to Editors

 40% of the funding will be allocated to the 8 Founding Members including Network Rail and Bombardier. Other organisations will be able to apply for the remaining budget including firms in the rail supply industry and rail operators. Key aims of the research include doubling overall rail capacity across Europe, cutting operational and infrastructure costs and reducing track noise.

Bombardier employs 3,200 people at eight sites and 31 customer locations across the UK

 For more information on today’s announcement see the European Commission press release and FAQs


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