Social and economic growth, security and sustainability in Europe are at risk of being compromised due to aging and failing railway infrastructure systems. This partly reflects a recognised skill shortage in railway infrastructure engineering. This project, RISEN, aims to enhance knowledge creation and transfer using both international and intersectoral secondment mechanisms among European Advanced Rail Research Universities/SMEs and Non-EU, world-class rail universities including the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (USA), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), Southwest Jiaotong University (China), Tsinghua University (China), University of California Berkeley (USA), Railway Technical Research Institute (Japan), University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), Iranian University of Science and Technology (Iran), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), and University of Wollongong (Australia). This project adds research skill mobility and innovation dimension to existing bilateral collaborations between universities through research exchange, joint research supervision, summer courses, international training and workshops, and joint development of innovative inventions. It spans over 4 years from April 2016 to March 2020. RISEN aims to produce the next generation of engineers and scientists needed to meet the challenge of providing sustainable, smart and resilient railway infrastructure systems critical for maintaining European competitiveness. The emphasis will be placed on the resilience and adaptation of railway and urban transport infrastructures using integrated smart systems. Such critical areas of the research theme will thus be synergised to improve response and resilience of rail infrastructure systems to climate change, extreme events from natural and human-made hazards, and future operational demands. In addition, researchers will benefit from the co-location of engineering education, training and research alongside world-class scientists and industry users through this initiative. Lessons learnt from rail infrastructure management will be shared and utilised to assure integrated and sustainable rail transport planning for future cities and communities.