About Translate4Rail

Translation for breaking language barriers in the railway field


  • Rail freight and its future rely heavily on cross border exchanges
  • Corridors support a seamless approach for the rail freight offering
  • Nonetheless, interoperability barriers still exist, such as the B1 level language proficiency requirement
  • Allowing greater flexibility in terms of language without jeopardizing safety is a priority

Facts and Figures



Provide drivers and traffic controllers with a set of predefined messages in normal and exceptional circumstances in all countries.


Enable communication on the basis of these messages using a digital tool, via a prototype developed in the context of the project.


Pilot testing will take place on different corridors.


Project impact

Digital technology can support driver/signaler communication.

The approach/concept will improve:

  • Reliability
  • Capacity
  • Efficiency
  • RU competitiveness
  • Driver motivation
  • Sustainability of the system.

Project deliverables

Translate4Rail will deliver the following:
  • A Benchmark analysis of the state of the art in the field of speech to speech technology (within and outside the industry)
  • A list of pre-defined messages tailored for rail operation
  • Functional requirements for a translating tool
  • Guidelines for implementation based on pilot testing
  • Recommendations for uptake perspectives at European Level
  • Report on safety aspects
  • Communication plan
  • Data management plan
  • Project management and quality assurance plan

Translate4Rail prototype tool demonstration

Project structure



thumbnail of 20200709T4R – D4.1 Disseminsation and Exploitation

D4.1 Disseminsation and Exploitation


January 14, 2021

Video: Translate4Rail Language Tool

The Translate4Rail project, funded by Shift2Rail and managed by UIC and RNE, has reached a significant milestone with the development and testing of the language tool prototype. The language tool will enable drivers and signallers from different countries to communicate safely and effectively with each other across language barriers.
Within the framework of the Read more…

October 14, 2020

Driving modal shift and proposing quick wins to implement a “drive-through” philosophy: a priority for the Rail Freight Forward (RFF) coalition

One of the priorities of the Rail Freight Forward (RFF) coalition is to proactively drive modal shift and propose quick wins to implement a ”drive-through” philosophy. This is achieved through UIC projects such as X Border, executed in collaboration with key partners such as RNE with the support of individual freight operators and infrastructure managers and thanks to programmes Read more…

March 10, 2020

UIC and infrastructure manager organisation RailNetEurope work together to remove language barriers in Europe

During their first advisory board on 25 February, UIC and RNE reported on their Shift2Rail funded project Translate4Rail. Translate4Rail aims at developing a language tool that removes the cumbersome language barriers in international train operations. Despite many attempts to overcome interoperability issues, the need of a level B1 language certificate for train drivers is still one Read more…

December 10, 2019

Translate4Rail launched on 2 December 2019 in Paris

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 Read more…


Project coordinator: UIC Freight Department

This project has received funding from the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 881779.

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