Final Conference in Brussels

Rail towards 2050 - Vision and Roadmap for Sustainable Mobility

Joint final conference of the FP7 projects SPIDER PLUS and LivingRAIL

On Thursday, 23th April 2015, in the Solvay Library, Brussels

1Doll Castagnetti PodiumDoll impact assessment Two projects, one goal: How can the railways support economic prosperity and liveability in Europe’s long term future? On behalf of the European Commission, the two research projects LivingRAIL and SPIDER PLUS developed mobility visions and roadmaps for 2050 where electrified rail takes a central role in passenger and freight mobility to achieve the European Commission´s Transport White Paper mode share targets.

Two approaches, one conclusion: In our joint conference, both projects presented and discussed their findings. Recommendations embrace railway investments, technologies and operations, European, national and local policies, spatial planning and the future of our cities. Brief presentations from LivingRAIL and SPIDER PLUS introduced concepts to strengthen the European economy and society with high capacity and customer oriented railways.

Critical review: The meeting finally gave floor to a panel of high-ranking experts from the railways, policy, environment and social affairs. Discussions delved into critical questions of feasibility, fundability and potential risks to the solutions proposed by the two sister projects.

The half day event was promoted by Michael Cramer MEP, Chairman of the Committee for Transport and Tourism, and chaired by Prof. Werner Rothengatter, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.



Come together and coffee


Opening by Michael Cramer MEP, Chairman of the Committee for Transport and Tourism


The mobility challenges of an evolving European society Dr. Gerhard Troche,
European Commission DG MOVE
(download Präsentation DG-MOVE_TROCHE - Rail towards 2050 - 2015-04-23)


The two projects in a nutshell SPIDER PLUS: Lars Deiterding, HaCon and Franco Castagnetti,
New Opera LivingRAIL: Dr. Claus Doll, ISI
(download Präsentation two projects in a nutshell)


SPIDER PLUS: Rail for co-modal systems in 2050 mobility
(download Präsentation Spider plus rail sector)


LivingRAIL: Policy and spatial concepts for a rail friendly Europe
(download Präsentation Livingrail Policy and spatial concepts)


3Podium2 smallStep change for achieving a resilient, cleaner, safer, sustainable mobility system Panel discussion moderated by Prof. Dr. Werner Rothengatter, KIT, with: Michael Cramer MEP, Chairman of the Committee for Transport and Tourism Dr. Christopher Irwin, European Passengers’ Federation Dr. Libor Lochman, Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies Anna Gigantino, European Railway Agency Akos Ersek, International Union for Road-Rail combined Transport Prof. Dr. Marc Ivaldi, Financing & Regulations Expert, Université de Toulouse


Motivation for innovation and implementation Ludger Rogge, European Commission DG RTD


Light lunch and further conversations


4Saal seitlich smallMore than 100 participants registered for the conference in the prestigious Solvay Library near the European Parliament in Brussels. For information about our sister project SPIDER PLUS:

Download: Rail towards 2050 – Vision and Roadmap for Sustainable Mobility. Joint presentation of the conclusions of the two FP7 projects Spider Plus and LivingRAIL

Three regional conferences

The regional LivingRAIL conferences have been held in Germany, Spain, and Croatia, to discuss the project results in the national context.

Berlin, 4th May 2015
organized by Allianz pro Schiene (Pro-Rail Alliance Germany)

Berlin regional conferenceIn Germany, the event entitled “In what kind of transportation system do we want to live and why are we so far away from it” was focussed on the quality of life that can be obtained by more rail and less cars, especially in the cities, according to the LivingRAIL approach. Six experts discussed the car subjection of the Germans and the stagnating German transport policy: Peter Vollmer, Swiss Transport Foundation; Frank Klingenhöfer, Deutsche Bahn AG; Dirk Flege, general manager Allianz pro Schiene; Prof. Hermann Knoflacher, University Vienna; Stefan Heimlich, President Auto Club Europa; and Martin Burkert, chairman of the transport committee in the German parliament
(photo: from left to right).

Download Agenda


Barcelona, 19th May 2015
organized by MCRIT

barcelonaThe LivingRAIL conference in Spain was hosted by the Civil Engineers Professional Association ( The association represents civil engineers in front of public administrations and the society in general. It also regulates the professional activities of civil engineers and provides for services such as conferences and professional training. In Barcelona, the panelists were Jordi Julià, consultant and former director of IFERCAT, the Catalan railway planning agency, and Josep Manau, former director of Renfe Rodalies, the Barcelona commuter rail services.

Download Agenda


Zagreb, 21st May 2015
organized by Savez za željeznicu (Pro-Rail Alliance Croatia)

ZagrebIn Croatia, Slavko Štefičar from the Croatian Pro-Rail Alliance linked and compared the project results presented by LivingRAIL Coordinator Claus Doll, to the Croatian transport strategy (2014) and Operational Programme-Transport. Three Croatian experts - Prof. Tomislav Mlinarić, PhD, Prof. Stjepan Lakušić, PhD, Prof. Mladen Nikšić, PhD – presented the approach for making the National programme of railway infrastructure launched in 2015 and discussed it in the context of the LivingRAIL findings.

Download Agenda


The LivingRAIL railmap workshops

iStock tin can phonesIn two workshops held in May 2014, we worked on roadmaps for achieving the 50% rail market shares. International experts supported us in the detailed strategy planning process.

- Regional Railmap for Central and High Density Areas,
21 May 2014, Brussels
More information

- Regional Railmap for Peripheral and Low Density Regions,
27 May, Zagreb
More information


“The stone age didn’t end because people ran out of stones.”

EinstiegDSC 22276In three stakeholder workshops held in January 2014, the LivingRAIL project invited international experts from science and rail companies to discuss promising measures and policies to boost railways market share to the EU White Paper targets within the three and a half decades ahead.

The lesson we learned: No matter which path we chose, there will be no one-fits-all solution. The railways can only turn around the stagnating trend of market shares by a broad mix of productivity, customer orientation, capacity generation and environmental friendliness, seconded by strong policy measures prioritising green mobility.

Concerning the feasibility of the EU White Paper targets, i.e. 50% of all trips and consignments in urban and medium distance inter-urban travel on rail by 2050, the experts deemed the targets as a high level goal. But there was agreement that even if we achieve only parts of it, the sustainability of the European transport sector and the livability of our cities and landscapes will benefit.

Please read the detailed documentation of the discussions and key messages of the three LivingRAIL workshops conducted in Brussels and Madrid. 

Here you find quotations and photos:
 “The stone age didn’t end because people ran out of stones.”
Workshop on Rail System Evolution, 21st January, Brussels

 “Pain is in the change.”
Workshop on Policy, Spatial Concepts and Urban Design, 22nd January, Brussels

 “Establish a level playing field, internalise externalities, and then leave the modes compete.”
Workshop on European Experiences on Rail Transport Market Regulation, 28th January, Madrid 

Going hyper-rail?

Stakeholder Workshop conducted by MCRIT in Barcelona, 10th September 2013

workshop Barcelona sept13 kleinIn this first stakeholder workshop, the Spanish LivingRAIL project partner MCRIT explored together with LATTS (Laboratoire Techniques Territoriales et Sociales) and the École Doctorale Université Paris-Est (LVMT) the impact of rail projects in Spain and the consequences of rail policies on the Spanish territorial dimensions.

MCRIT and LVMT-LATTS explored also the potential of new hybrid concepts merging the essential values of road and rail: Can the electrification of road transport combine the environmental benefits of the rail mode with the operational flexibility typical of the road mode? Are we going towards a new hyper-rail age? 

Read more