NEAR2050 - Future challengers of the railway sector (Shift2Rail)

Research project - Future of the European rail sector


The main objective of the project NEAR2050 is to study the future demand on the railway sector, determining which variables affect railway services the most. To define users’ behaviour and the most important variables, it is necessary to establish what are the customer’s opinions and variables that condition their choices when choosing a transport mode. Thanks to this, future user behaviour can be predicted, and future railways demand can be enhanced.

NEAR2050 combined both qualitative and quantitative analysis to answer the objectives regarding the future challenges of the rail sector until the year 2050. Current user requirements and the technical and societal needs were identified by focus groups and expert interviews all over Europe as well as by online surveys with a lot of participation from all kind of stakeholder of the rail sector.




October 2016 – May 2018


Market study, research, technology, passenger- and freight services

Through the use of interviews, workshops and focus groups the future needs of stakeholders based on the four use cases set out in the S2R MAAP were identified. Going into more detail, the keyholders were asked about their opinion regarding the following fields:

  • Passenger services in general
  • Local-, regional passenger rail services
  • Metropolitan Areas
  • Rural Areas
  • Long-distance Passenger/ High-Speed Rail
  • Technology
  • Freight Services
  • Infrastructure
  • Rolling Stock
  • Supply Industry
  • Legal and Regulatory Framework

These opinions were combined and assessed to see where they overlapped and diverged.

This provided the first insights in the current developments in the European rail sector along with indications as to what direction these developments will take.

The second deliverable for which Railistics was responsible draws attention to the issues that relate to regulations regarding the rail sector in Europe and how these regulations can have an adverse effect on the implementation of new technologies.

Following this, an assessment was made as to the on-going projects within Shift2Rail and how these correlate to the current topics under discussion within the rail sector, how relevant they are to the current topics under discussion and how these topics can be further developed in the future.

Visit us at InnoTrans!

September 24. – 27. 2024

You will find us in hall A „CityCube“ at stand 525.
We look forward to seeing you!

Go to fair site