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About the ASTONRail Project

The ASTONRail project (Advanced approaches and practices for rail training and education TO inNovate Rail study programs & Improve rail higher education provision) develops innovative methods, approaches and practices for rail skills development. As a result the current rail higher education provision in Europe will be improved and modernized in order to support the recruitment of qualified employees for the rail industry. The project started in September 2020 and will end in August 2023.

Background and Objective

The rail industry is transnational and one of the fastest growing industries in the world at the moment, requiring a skilled workforce able to master new technologies, the effective implementation of innovation and to handle system complexity with ease. But there is actually a lack of rail-related workforce, making it very challenging to build and maintain professional teams in the railway sector with the right education or experience. Little has been done to innovate the University-based rail educational approaches and practices.

The main objective of the ASTONRail project is therefor to develop a portfolio (toolkit) of innovative methods, approaches and professional practices for the development of rail skills in study courses and in university training programs.

Specific objectives of the ASTONRail project are:

Figure 1: Specific project objectives

Current and future railway employees are to be provided with the skills and competences required for a successful career in the railway industry.

The project is building a strategic partnership to work towards innovations in rail-related higher education and to design a common EU-wide standard for the development of rail skills and competences.

Target groups of the project are:

  • the whole rail sector, current employees and potential employees as well as young rail talents
  • all rail-focused bodies, including all rail companies, UIC (the Worldwide Railway Organisation), UNIFE (the European Rail Industry), National and International Rail organisations, like UEEIV (Union European Railway Engineering Associations), NGOs and independent rail transport campaigners like RailFuture
  • all universities and training providers specialising in rail skills development (as educators and trainers or students and trainees)

Project Partners

Eight international partners from seven European countries are involved in ASTONRail.


(2020 Erasmus+ KA203 Grant Agreement Number: 2020-1-UK01-KA203-079064)

The ASTONRail project is funded by Erasmus+: Strategic Partnerships for higher education (KA203) of the European Union (2020 Erasmus+ KA203 Grant Agreement Number: 2020-1-UK01-KA203-079064).

Project Structure

Figure 2: Project structure

More information about Working Groups and Intellectual Outputs

Scientific Papers

Ricci et al (2023): Alta formazione in campo ferroviario in Europa: analisi della situazione attuale in vista dei futuri sviluppi - Rail higher education in Europe: current situation analysis for future developments; Ingegneria Ferroviaria 4/2023; p. 331-346; DOI 10.57597/IF.04.2023.ART.2; available at:

astonrail_handbook/astonrail_project/project-description.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/22 09:31 by martin_l