Tuesday 10 December 2019

Translate4Rail launched on 2 December 2019 in Paris

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The Shift2Rail funded project “Translate4Rail” held its kick off meeting at UIC on 2 December 2019.

This two-year project, coordinated by the UIC Freight Department, is a joint initiative between railway undertakings (RUs) and infrastructure managers (IMs) represented by Rail Net Europe (RNE).

The Rastatt incident in 2017 was a major reality check on the operational difficulties stemming from the current proficiency obligations. Rail drivers are still obliged to possess a sound knowledge of foreign languages when crossing borders. Solutions need to be found fast since this is yet another example of a lack of a level playing field between different modes of transport

The concept of the Translate4Rail project will offer drivers a fully comprehensive set of predefined standardised messages. It will encompass all they have to exchange with a traffic controller in normal or exceptional operational situations in a country, even if they do not understand nor speak the local language through the existing or future communication channels. These specific messages will be channelled via a prototype IT tool to be developed and pilot tested in the context of Translate4Rail. It will enable the driver and the traffic controller to understand each other even though they each speak in their native language.

The project will demonstrate the feasibility while maintaining the same level of safety. The overall objective being to increase traffic fluidity at borders and overall competitiveness of the rail sector by continuing to work collectively for a real “easy drive through philosophy”.

The project partners, UIC and RNE, are supported by RUs, IMs, CIT, VDV, EUAR who will be part of the project Advisory Board. Other interested stakeholders are welcome to contact UIC.


This project has received funding from the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 881779. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Shift2Rail JU members other than the Union.

For further information please contact Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director:

Philip Van Den Bosch, Senior Freight Advisor:

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