The Plenary comprises of the ERRAC stakeholders (including all member companies of ERRAC stakeholder associations) and other interested stakeholders including members of Academia, research institutions, Member States and the European Commission.

The ERRAC Plenary:

  • Ratifies the nomination of the ERRAC Chairpersonship.
  • Approves publications that will be issued by ERRAC.
  • Proposes research and innovation development activities at European and national levels.
  • Proposes cooperation with other ETPs.
  • May run, when appropriate, workshops and engagement sessions to establish the views of the stakeholders.

The ERRAC Steering Committee is in charge of overseeing the proper implementation of ERRAC strategy. It is the highest decision-making body initiating the general policy of ERRAC reflecting the overall aims and missions defined by the Plenary. However, for strategic decisions regarding the scope and direction of ERRAC, the Steering Committee needs the endorsement from the ERRAC Plenary.
The Steering Committee is the body responsible for the operational management of ERRAC activities.
In addition, the Steering Committee oversees the creation, composition and operation of the Working Groups and Permanent Advisory Groups established for the effective and collaborative working of ERRAC.
It also supervises the activities of the Secretariat and the production of the various ERRAC documents (resolutions, decisions, communications, reports, dissemination material…).

The Steering Committee comprises:

  • The Chairperson
  • The 2 Vice-Chairs (one Vice-Chair and another Vice-Chair selected within the academic community)
  • 2 representatives of end-user associations (freight and passenger)
  • 2 representatives of associations representing the railway operating community
  • 1 representative of the rail supply industry association
  • 1 representative of the vehicle keeper association
  • 1 representative for combined transport by rail
  • 1 representative of the urban rail operator association
  • 3 representatives of companies from the Railway Operating Community (ROC)
  • 3 representatives of the rail supply industry
  • 2 representatives of the urban operators
  • The Secretariat

The Steering Committee may also, when and where relevant, include a number of observers who are invited to attend by the Chairperson:

  • The Chairpersons of each ERRAC Working Group and the States Representatives PAG
  • Representatives of the European Commission
  • Representatives of Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (including Innovation Programme leaders when appropriate)
  • Representatives of the European Union Agency for Rail
  • Representatives of European technology platforms
  • Representatives of national technology platforms
  • Other relevant contributors can be invited as necessary

The Steering Committee:

  • Provides strategic orientation for the future work of ERRAC and rail research and innovation.
  • Takes decisions on issues that might arise.
  • Reviews the future work programme and recommends its endorsement by the ERRAC plenary.
  • Manages the establishment of Working Groups and PAGs including the leadership arrangements for each of these groups.
  • Coordinates the selection of delegates for the different Working Groups to ensure a balanced participation between rail sector specialists and the research and technical community.
  • Receives regular reports from and approves proposals put forward by the Working Groups and PAGs regarding ERRAC recommendations for future EU-funded research innovation programs.
  • Collates and analyses research results for potential implementation within the sector and endorses proposed operational deployment ideas emanating from the Working Groups.
  • Liaises with national and European funding and policy making bodies (sector, government, public, etc) and other relevant bodies and agencies.
  • Links with any other European and national institutions and the corresponding bodies of the technological platforms of other sectors.
  • Manages the leadership arrangements for ERRAC including nominations for the Chair and Vice-Chairs and recommend to the Plenary for endorsement.

ERRAC has 2 Permanent Advisory Groups (PAGs) – Led by Sebastian Stichel

  • 1 for academia and research institutions
  • 1 for representatives from the Member States

Both are largely autonomous but report all their activities and decisions to the Steering Committee. Both appoint their own chairperson, which benefit from the ERRAC Secretariat support for administrative issues.
They establish their own agenda that is communicated to the Steering Committee.
The PAGs ensure coordination and foster harmonisation between the objectives proposed and the work carried out by ERRAC, with strategies or programmes planned at the national level or within universities or research centres.

Working Group 1- Strategic Programme Group – Led by Jürgen Schlaht

The Working Group 1- Strategic Programme Group is tasked to:

  • Develop the ERRAC R+I agenda and define strategic research areas for action at EU and national level, setting priorities and merging stakeholder strategies to a common rail sector roadmap – currently based on the ‘Rail 2050 Vision’ and ‘Rail 2030 Research & Innovation Priorities’.
  • Develop technology route maps and implementation plans, initiating ERRAC sub-working groups for the key topic (e.g., automation, e-mobility, urban mobility, digitalisation) if, when and where necessary
  • Provide technical advice for the various rail R+I Initiatives around Europe (e.g., STRIA)
  • Provide inputs for strategic funding development (e.g., FP9)
  • Represent the rail sector in strategic working groups of the European Commission and Shift2Rail
  • Initiate political actions to promote future rail innovations (e.g., autonomous train operation)
  • Initiate political actions for market uptake and implementation of innovations

Working Group 2 – ERRAC Projects Group – Led by Johan Jonsson

The Working Group 2 – Projects Group is tasked to:

  • Follow-up of the various projects/events ERRAC is asked to provide a contribution in – such as the upcoming Transport Research Arena 2020
  • Initiate and support R+I co-operations/joint activities of ERRAC stakeholders, fostering communication and collaboration between all ERRAC stakeholders, coordinating initiatives and helping to leverage investment
  • Provide a platform for knowledge exchange and co-operation for ERRAC stakeholders at national and European levels
  • Initiate and foster new collaboration relationships with the other ETPs (e.g., ERTRAC, ALICE, WATERBORNE, ACARE…), national research clusters and economic sectors for non-rail specific R+I activities (e.g. Industry 4.0, 5G, Cyber Security, IoT, Automation (Robotics)).
  • Provide networking opportunities with other economic sectors.

Working Group 3 – ERRAC Communication Group – Led by Charlotte van Hek

The ERRAC Communication Group is tasked to:

  • Formulate core messages and supportive arguments to focus and highlight ERRAC’s value creating contributions.
  • Conceptualise event and communications packages, in association with the ERRAC Secretariat, to enable proactivity and value-creating activity.
  • Operate, manage and support ERRAC’s communications, in collaboration with participating representatives, to achieve transparency for our stakeholders and ensure that what is communicated is both accurate and relevant.


The appointment of the Chair and the 2 Vice-Chairs is endorsed by the Plenary based upon a proposal of the Steering Committee.

The Chair, playing a neutral and supervisory role, is held by a senior person from amongst the ERRAC stakeholders and alternate on a rotational basis between the rail operating community (ROC) and the manufacturing industry.

He/she interacts at senior level with other sector and research players, representing ERRAC and promoting its activities towards external parties and high-level representatives, supported by the Vice-Chairs and the Secretariat as necessary. The Chair presides the Plenary meetings and meetings of the Steering Committee.

There are 2 Vice-Chairs: one is appointed from either the rail operating community or the manufacturing industry such that there is a balance of sector representation between the chair and this vice chair. A second vice chair is appointed from the academic community. The Vice-Chairs deputise for the Chair for all aspects of the role as required.

The Chair and Vice-Chairs serve for a 3-year period at the end of which the rotational process means a change.

The secretariat is composed of:

    • the Secretary, nominated following the same rotating process as the ERRAC Chair (i.e., alternating between the ROC and the rail manufacturing industry) such that the Chair and the Secretary do not come from the same stakeholder organisations.
    • a two-person team, drawn from rail operating community and the rail manufacturing industry.

The Secretariat provides the working structure for ERRAC.

The role of the Secretariat includes also:

  • preparation (logistics, papers etc) for meetings of the Plenary, Steering Committee, Working Groups and PAGs and support to the Chairs/Coordinators of those groups during the meeting
  • preparation and support for any other meetings as requested by the Chair
  • the preparation, publication and dissemination of ERRAC documentation

The Secretariat assists and works in close relation with the ERRAC Chair and Vice-Chairs. The Secretariat can represent ERRAC when appropriate and agreed by the Chair and Vice-Chairs.