Drawing on centuries of expertise in the field and today's latest technologies, rail cooperation on a global scale could greatly enhance surface transport for individuals worldwide. The EU-funded project 'Strengthening rail research cooperation between Europe and emerging international markets for an integrated international research area' (Global View) fostered worldwide information exchange to achieve this goal. The main goals of Global View were to distribute results of EU rail projects to international partners and learn from them as well as to identify future research needs. It compiled a database of experts, networks and institutions that were ideal for global cooperation, with particular focus on emerging railway stakeholders such as China, India and Russia. The project disseminated results on cross-fertilisation between international rail researchers and industry regarding European technologies and research results in emerging markets. It defined future research priorities and their application in these regions while promoting European standards and technology solutions. Three workshops were held in India, Russia and South Africa to promote collaboration in the field, outlining research priorities and challenges. Among the project's achievements was the establishment of an international rail research database that covered research projects, researchers, railway infrastructure management, operators and manufacturers. Issues outlined for future discussion and implementation included measurement systems for early warning alarms to avoid accidents and advanced electromagnetic monitoring of rail conditions. Analysing the differences in rail operations and management approaches across the world has already supported not only emerging economies but EU nations as well. Continued joint research in the future is expected to tackle challenges such as cleaner diesel engines, noise reduction, human resources training issues and many others. Finally, rail transport on a global level is coming of age.