Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport

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UNIFE (The European Rail Industry)



About UNIFE (The European Rail Industry)

UNIFE is an association that represents the European Rail Industry. UNIFE gathers 76 of Europe’s leading large and medium-sized rail supply companies active in the design, manufacture, maintenance and refurbishment of rail transport systems, subsystems and related equipment. A further one thousand suppliers of railway equipment partake in UNIFE activities through 15 national rail industry associations. UNIFE members have an 80% market share in Europe and supply more than 50% of the worldwide production of rail equipment and services.

UNIFE’s mission is to promote market growth for sustainable mobility, the latter being a key value of the European rail industry. The Sustainable Transport Committee is the key strategic driver of the main activities undertaken by UNIFE, and it works in close collaboration with the Public Affairs unit. The Sustainable Transport Committee drafts and assures coherent and effective common positions of the rail industry in the environmental field. It is supported by several Topical Groups: the Life Cycle Assessment Topical Group, focused on the optimization of the product life cycle and development of common comparison and calculation approaches within the rail industry; the Chemical Risk Topical Group, in charge of monitoring the status of EU legislation and proposing common initiatives in the field of substances and associated risks; and the Energy Efficiency Topical Group, focused on the contribution of innovative processes and materials to energy efficiency gains in rolling stock and infrastructure.



Avenue Louise 221

B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

+32 2 626 12 60


Location: Brussels, Belgium

SLoCaT Focal Person:

Jonathan Nguyen, Public Affairs Manager


Programs & Projects on Transport & Climate Change

UNIFE’s involvement in promoting sustainable, low-carbon transport builds upon a long-established cooperation among the rail sector in EU-funded collaborative research projects (6th and 7th Framework Programme).

Significant reductions in emissions due to transport are being demanded by governments and policy-makers, as well as by society. Reductions in the energy consumption of railway rolling stock are therefore an important objective and a core activity for UNIFE, which can be seen in ongoing projects:

REFRESCO (towards a REgulatory FRamework for the usE of Structural new materials in railway passenger and freight CarbOdyshells): new materials pave the way for the construction of lighter rolling stock, which will consume less energy and help reduce the emissions of rail transport. The overall objective of REFRESCO is to set the framework for the implementation of new materials in the railway sector through the evolution of certification processes for rolling stock.

Duration: September 2013 - February 2016

MERLIN (Management of Energy for smarter RaiLway systems in Europe: an INtegrated optimisation approach): MERLIN’s main aim and purpose is to investigate and demonstrate the viability of an integrated management system to achieve a more sustainable and optimised energy usage in European electric mainline railway systems.

Duration: October 2012 - September 2015

SUSTRAIL (the sustainable freight railway: designing the freight vehicle – track system for higher delivered tonnage with improved availability at reduced cost): this research project aims to contribute to a new era in increased competitiveness of the rail freight sector by adopting a holistic approach, implementing a clear methodology and viable procedures for a combined improvement in both freight vehicles and track components.

Duration: June 2011 - May 2015

Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport
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