Europe’s Rail Sustainable and Green Rail System (Rail4EARTH)

The Rail4EARTH project’s main objective is to make European railways more sustainable and attractive to customers, and to strengthen its climate change resilience.

Timeframe is 2022-2025

Budget is 64 MEUR

Financing through EU (38 MEUR) and Members (26 MEUR)

Øystein Ulleberg
Chief Scientist
Picture: Mostphotos


The main objective with the Rail4EARTH project is to improve on technical, environmental, and economical issues related green rail systems and to find ways to standardize sustainable solutions. The Rail4EARTH-project will use existing scientific knowledge and results from the latest research and development to develop and demonstrate new technical solutions (up to TRL7) to increase the overall environmental performances of the railway system in a holistic manner.


The project aims to develop, simulate and test battery-electric and hydrogen-powered trains, as well as associated infrastructure. The project makes use of advanced simulation methods and digital twins to construct prototypes of more sustainable trains with high technical maturity, which use the latest in energy technology, for example lithium-ion batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.

Project timeline and completion

The Rail4EARTH consortium consists of 23 project partners and 51 affiliated partners. The Norwegian Railway Directorate (NRD) is a member of the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking and the main project Partner from Norway, while Norske tog participates as a Beneficiary Entity. Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) is an Affiliated Partner and the main research partner from Norway. Decarbonization of diesel trains and energy savings are two of several key topics addressed in the Rail4EARTH-project. The Norwegian partners will participate in and contribute to 7 of the 28 work packages in the project, with focus on the development of new zero-emission solutions using battery and hydrogen technology. The research activities at IFE will be closely linked to ongoing research projects on zero-emission transport solutions. 


Over time, this project will facilitate the transformation of numerous existing diesel train routes into climate-friendly and sustainable solutions

Partners and external resources:

Coordinator: Alstom Transport Sa (France)

22 Partners: France (2), Germany (4), Spain (7), Italy (2), The Netherlands (3), Austria (1), Norway (1), Sweden (1), and Poland (1)