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Space4Rail is an ESA initiative to support the railway community by raising awareness of the added value that space-based assets can bring to railway applications. 

The initiative identifies ESA funding programmes that can support potential opportunities for the exploitation of space-based assets such as communication, PNT (Position, Navigation and Time) and earth observation satellites to meet today’s challenges and needs in railway operations. 

The ESA programmes included in the Space4Rail initiative are:

  • Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES), including Business Applications and Space Solutions (BASS) and Competitiveness & Growth (C&G)
  • Technology Research Programme (TRP)
  • General Support Technology Programme (GSTP)
  • InCubed Programme (InCubed)
  • Navigation Innovation and Support Programme  (NAVISP)

Activities are systematically coordinated with other European initiatives. For matters relating to applicability to European GNSS and interoperability for rail signalling, a common roadmap has been established: EGNSS in Rail Signalling Roadmap


ESA offers expert advice from specialists, the use of the Agency's laboratories and its knowledge of space. ESA:

  • provides financial and technical support
  • acts as technical facilitation between space industry, the railway industry and service providers
  • provides access to the ESA brand