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The completion of a digital single market is one of the 10 priorities of the Juncker Commission. It is time to make the EU’s single market fit for the digital age and let citizens, businesses and governments fully benefit from the power of the information and communication technologies. The digitalisation of rail is part of this broader goal as well as an essential contribution to the completion of the Single European Railway Area.

Rail stakeholders have been working for many years to introduce digital solutions to the sector. Yet, there is a need today to revisit this rather piecemeal approach of the past in light of the most recent ITC developments. At the 11th Florence Rail Forum we aim at taking stock of the state of where railway stands in matters of digital developments and define the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to the unleash the full potential of digital technologies in the railway sector. Furthermore, we aim at identifying the challenges that still remain and gather inputs and suggestions on how to address them in the short as well as well as in the medium-term.

The railway system as a whole will benefit from the completion of the Digital Single European Railway Area: it will simplify internal processes, intra-modal communication between railway undertakings and infrastructure managers, and communication between railway undertakings and customers and suppliers and others more. Journey planning, certification, service, cross border operation, and track maintenance will directly benefit from the digital innovation in terms of greater efficiency, more safety, and better quality of service. Moreover, digitalisation will bring added value to the railway sector, as railways are part of a wider mobility system; digitalisation will also contribute to decarbonisation, to efficiency and transparency, and to better connectivity enabling a seamless multimodal European transport network.

Every element of the railway system is concerned by digitalization: rolling stock, infrastructures, signalling systems, interfaces with customers have already started to introduce digital elements into their daily operations. However, as technology evolves, new challenges emerge. Discussion at the 11th Florence Rail Forum will be driven by the following initial questions:

  • Why digitalisation? What are the main benefits that digitalisation will bring to the sector and what are the customers’ expectations?
  • What has been already achieved in terms of digitalization of the railway sector? Examples of digital solutions
  • What are the regulatory challenges posed by digitalization?
  • What are the long-term challenges? Privacy, security, safety, data protection, etc.

Following the usual format of the Florence School of Regulation, the 11th Florence Rail Forum aims at offering a platform to senior stakeholders from regulators, politics, railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, rail suppliers, authorities, associations and academics to take stock of topics relevant to rail regulation and policies. Among others, Mr Olivier Onidi, Director of the DG MOVE Unit B “European Mobility Network”, Mr Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of the European Railway Agency, and Mr Andrea Camanzi, President of the Italian Transport Regulatory Authority, will be present and engage in the debate.

For more information or early registration, please contact FSR.Transport@eui.eu

To learn more about our activities in the field of rail regulation, please visit our dedicated webpage.


Final Programme

Summary of the presentations



Introduction to the 11th Florence Rail Forum – MATTHIAS FINGER, Part-time Professor & Director of the Transport Area, Florence School of Regulation/EUI; and Professor, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

A Digital Single European Railway Area – OLIVIER ONIDI, Director for the European Mobility Network, DG MOVE and KATHRIN OBST, Policy Officer, DG MOVE Unit Single European Rail Area

Toward more seamless and flexible passenger rail services – ICHIRO TAKAHASHI, Head of Brussels Office – East Japan Railway Company

Application of GIS and GPS to Railway Operations: Case in Japan and Further Possibilities – FUMIO KUROSAKI, Researcher, Institute of Transportation Economics

Why Digitalization? – Main benefits& customer expectations – VICTOR VAUGOIN, Head of Brussels Office at ÖBB

Why digitalization? The regulator’s point of view – ANDREA CAMANZI, President, Italian Transport Authority

UNIFE – Digital SERA How do we get there? – ALICE POLO, Senior Interoperability and Safety Manager, UNIFE

What has been already achieved in terms of digitalization of the railway sector? Examples of digital solutions – GERMANO GUGLIELMI, Head of EU Regulations, FS Italiane

Impact of the Digitalization on the Railway Sector – MARKUS BASLER, Deputy Head of Digital Transformation at Swiss Federal Railways, SBB

What are the regulatory challenges posed by digitalization? – JOSEF DOPPELBAUER, Executive Director, European Railway Agency

What are the regulatory challenges posed by digitalization? The challenge of online platforms – JUAN MONTERO, Adjunct Professor, UNED Madrid

Digitalization and regulatory challenges – NICOLAS FOURRIER, Director of the Railway Strategy and Regulation Department, SNCF

Digital Transformation and Long-term Challenges – MARKUS KSOLL, Head of Competition and Regulatory Policy, Deutsche Bahn

What are the long-term challenges that digitalization poses? – JARL ELIASSEN, Expert Information and TIcketing, UITP

Digital Rail Market: Long Term Challenges – LUIGI RUCHER, Technical Director, THALES Italia


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