ERRAC learns from other transport sectors through TRA 2018

The Transport Research Arena (TRA) is supported by the European Commission (EC) and several European Technology Platforms (ETPs) – ERRAC is one of them. We spoke with Andy Doherty, ERRAC Chairman and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Network Rail, about the Transport Research Arena 2018 in Vienna.


What does “A Digital Era for Transport” mean to you?

A Digital Era for Transport means opportunities to generate enhanced customer value through the use of new technology. It is about connecting all participants in the transport ecosystem, including its users, to achieve real-time optimisation of each journey. Digitalisation is a key challenge to define and implement the mobility of the future with rail transportation as its backbone. ERRAC and the rail sector, in cooperation with other modes of transport, are looking to play a full role in delivering this brighter future for citizens and logistics providers.


From your point of view, what makes TRA 2018 unique?

TRA is already the biggest and best forum for transport research. TRA 2018 adds a new dimension by presenting a truly integrative theme – the digital era. This is very forward looking, and harnesses the energy of our transformative times. This focus has the chance to encourage young people to see their future in the transport sector. ERRAC strongly supports the TRA 2018 Conference and is glad to contribute to this multi-modal debate that is essential to designing a mobility of the future that responds to the needs to end-users. Moreover TRA 2018 will be a great opportunity to discover the first results and outputs of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking. Shift2Rail is the first rail Joint Undertaking bringing together rail stakeholders and is aimed at reaching the 2050 ERRAC vision.


What do you expect from TRA 2018?

I expect a real sense of excitement, as participants share the results of their research and innovation, new ideas for further development, and opportunities to cooperate to deliver digitally enabled transport solutions. Through the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, the rail sector is contributing to this process, but we are also at TRA 2018 to learn from other transport sectors and to integrate their emerging developments into our programme.



ERRAC was set up in 2001 with the ambitious goal of creating a single European body with both the competence and capability to help revitalise the European rail sector and make it more competitive, by fostering increased innovation and guiding research efforts at European level. ERRAC comprises 45 representatives from each of the major European rail research stakeholders: manufacturers, operators, infrastructure managers, the European Commission, EU Member States, academics and users’ groups. ERRAC covers all forms of rail transport: from conventional, high speed and freight applications to urban and regional services.

For more information contact Andy Doherty, ERRAC Chairman / CTO Network Rail at


Photo Andy Doherty, ERRAC Chairman and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Network Rai
Andy Doherty, ERRAC Chairman and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Network Rail © ERRAC

Last updated : 18/08/2017