Living in a Sustainable World Focused on Electrified Rail (LivingRail)

Research project funded by the 7th RTD framework programme of the European Commission

For transport in Europe, ‘business as usual’ is not an option: Too much, too dirty, too many accidents, too expensive for society. For many people, scientists and politicians this is common sense - but how can transport become greener? What would a transport system look like that satisfies people’s mobility needs with reduced impact on the environment, requiring less resources and which is economically viable? In other words: How can transport contribute towards a high quality of life in Europe?

In response to these concerns, the EU Commission defined targets that assign an important role to the rail mode in its "2011 White Paper on the Future of Transport".

On behalf of the EU Commission, the research project "LivingRAIL" will develop a vision for how a modern European railway system could look like in the year 2050.

In the "LivingRAIL" vision, electrified rail’s share of the European transport market will be dominating. It will include both rail freight transport and passenger transport and cover long-distance transportation as well as metropolitan regions. The vision for rail in 2050 is embedded within existing megatrends - demographic developments, climate change, peak oil - and will set out as clearly as possible which potential the railways can realise in order to contribute towards a high quality of life in a sustainable Europe.

"LivingRail" will compile a large number of measures from different domains into a comprehensive roadmap showing feasible pathways for reaching the White Paper targets on rail market share and sustainability in 2050. The "LivingRAIL" roadmap will respond to the following questions: 

  • How should the railways develop technologically, operationally and in their organisation?

  • What can European, national, local and urban policy do to sup-port the railways’ activities?

  • In particular: how can spatial and urban planning shape an envi-ronment which is attractive to live in and that facilitates rail based travel?

The "LivingRAIL" roadmap for realising the vision for rail in 2050 is targeted mainly at policy makers and the railway sector because these stakeholders are key to future developments.


December 2012 – May 2015


  • European Commission, DG-RTD


  • Allianz pro Schiene e.V. (Berlin)

  • TRT (Mailand)

  • Birmingham University

  • MCRIT (Barcelona)

  • SIEMENS AG (Munich/Berlin)

  • RTCA (Vienna)

  • SZZ (Zagreb)