Russia / France: Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin signs Joint Declaration on Cooperation with SNCF President Guillaume Pepy

The declaration was signed on September 21st at the InnoTrans 2010 international exhibition of transport technology in Berlin. Due to the growing interest in establishing direct rail services between Russian and French cities, the French National Railway Corporation (SNCF) declared its willingness to support a Russian Railways project to develop the direct Moscow – Paris service, and to improve service quality and passenger comfort.

In the declaration, Russian Railways, acting with the support of SNCF, announced the opening of a new Moscow – Nice passenger train service, with added-comfort carriages meeting all modern environmental standards. To improve the accessibility of rail transport, simplify the ticket sales system, and improve the passenger service quality, the parties agreed to introduce modern train ticket sales methods. This technology will unite the electronic ticket booking systems of Europe and countries of the CIS. On freight services, the parties also announced their readiness to cooperate in developing goods transport and terminals as part of the Europe – Asia transport corridor, and their intention of improving standards, to attract larger freight volumes.

The declaration also noted the parties’ readiness to attract investment and carry out joint programmes, through the creation of joint ventures or the signing of commercial deals aimed at implementing specific bilateral projects in rail transport. The French and Russian national rail companies also declared their willingness to attract political organizations and representatives of business circles of both countries to work on these projects.

News from UIC members

China: opening of first intercity high speed railway in the east of the country

Eastern China’s first intercity high speed railway began operation on 20 September. The new line, covering a total of 135 km, links Nanchang (capital of China’s Jiangxi province) to Jiujiang, also in Jiangxi, with six intermediary stops. At its maximum speed, the train links the two cities in a mere 45 minutes, half the time needed by motorway or express train on a conventional line.

(Source :

News from UIC members

Thailand: China to help build high speed rail line

China has announced it will cooperate with Thailand to build Southeast Asia’s first high speed rail line.

According to a Thai official, the Chinese experts will provide their technological know-how in a project worth 6 billion US dollars. The Thai government is currently deliberating and the approval for the project should come in October, after which the two countries will begin the first round of negotiations. The Sino-Thai joint venture will include three high speed lines and will be the first high speed project in Thailand.

(Source: CCTV)

News from UIC members

Belgium: Antwerp Central and Liège-Guillemins once again in the top 10 most beautiful train stations in Europe and the world

Last year the American magazine Newsweek ranked Antwerp Central the “world’s fourth most beautiful station”. This year, the Dutch website judged it the most beautiful station in Europe, with Liège in 7th position. The British journal Railway Terminal World on the other hand placed both Belgian stations in the world’s top 10. SNCB-Holding’s bold architectural choices have thus been recognised both by experts and the general public.

(Source: SNCB-Holding)

Just to remind you also that NextStation 2011 will be hosted by SNCB Holding in close collaboration with UIC.

Next Station has established itself as the reference forum for the discussion of all issues and experiences in connection with the development and management of stations across the world. The programme will include technical visits, one of which will be to the Belgian stations of Liège-Guillemins and Antwerp Central – internationally-renowned achievements.

So save the dates 17 and 18 March 2011 in your diaries now!

Registration and the dedicated website will open in November 2010.

News from UIC members

Croatia: A prototype of an EMU for regional transport manufactured in Croatia is presented in Zagreb. The train was presented at the Innotrans Fair in Berlin

In the context of the opening-up of the rail transport services market in Croatia and the arrival of foreign carriers (operators) on domestic lines, HŽ intends to position itself as the market’s main passenger carrier by modernising its rolling stock. There are plans to procure 92 new low-floor multiple units by 2018.

The project to develop and produce prototypes of urban-suburban multiple units is financed by the state budget and the resources of HŽ-Putnički prijevoz d.o.o. and the city of Zagreb.

The prototype of a low-floor EMU for regional transport was presented to the public at Zagreb Main Station only ten months after the contract was concluded in September 2010. During the development and production particular attention was paid to ensure that new trains complied with all the valid legal provisions, EU directives, TSIs, European and Croatian standards and other relevant regulations. The low-floor EMU for regional transport is intended for medium-long and long-distance passenger transport services on 25 kV 50 Hz lines. It will be used to connect Zagreb with other cities.

(Source: HZ)


GSM-R Functional Group and Operators Group are celebrating 10 years of activity

The GSM-R Functional Group (FG) and the Operators Group (OG) are expert groups having as main task to maintain the EIRENE Functional and System Specifications (FRS & SRS).

The latest EIRENE Versions are FRS 7.1 & SRS 15.1.
EIRENE 7/15 is today part of the TSI CCS Annex A for Mandatory Documents.

The two groups were created in 2001, alongside the new UIC GSM-R Project.
The Functional Group was tasked with preparing Functional Requirement Specifications (FRS), which mainly describe the mandatory features required for interoperability.
The Operators Group was tasked with developing System Requirement Specifications (SRS), based on functional requirements.

The first FG meeting took place on the 13 March 2001, in Zurich, while the first OG meeting took place on 15 March 2001, in Paris.

Today the two groups are meeting three times a year in order to perform their duties. There are ad hoc OG groups meetings to address specific issues in between.

To this extent, as well as to discuss some stringent points, an FG & OG common plenary meeting took place in Paris, on 15 and 16 September 2010.

The meeting was opened by Mr Emilio Maestrini, Director of the Rail System Department, who thanked the two groups of experts for the work performed within the last 10 years, on behalf of UIC.

The GSM-R change requests on the agenda were discussed and resolved successfully.

One important point of discussion was evolution in EIRENE Specifications. The next EIRENE Baseline, ‘8/16’, is intended to freeze the features that are mandatory for interoperability for a number of years.

Therefore, the FG & OG common plenary discussed the features which are to be considered for the next EIRENE baseline – also known as ‘8/16’. As such, their work was to address ranking of the features within the following categories: ‘very important’; ‘must be in ‘8/16’’; ‘important - work will concentrate on the feature, but outcome will not impact ‘8/16’ planning’, and ‘nice to have’.

A list of features was therefore compiled and the features placed in ranking order. The next step will be to analyse a possible time plan, discuss it with the GSM-R Industry Group, and when this common plan has been finalised, present it to CER and EIM and then to the ERA ERTMS Control Group. This will open the way for agreement on a common strategy for evolutions in EIRENE Specifications.

The notion of having a plenary meeting was welcomed by participants, so another plenary is planned to be held in 2011.

For more information please contact Dan Mandoc:


Announcement of next Market Place Seminar in Barcelona: French-Iberian Rail Link – Fostering European Connectivity

On 2-3 November UIC and FIATA’s third edition of the successful Market Place Seminar will be organized. It will bring together railway undertakings, freight forwarders and clients on the same platform, creating a unique opportunity for increased co-operation and business development within the railway sector.

Seminar highlights

  • Introduction of the new UIC line to Barcelona: How will this influence the railway market?
  • Development of hinterland transport around the port of Barcelona: What are the possible rail freight solutions and how can they be implemented?
  • Shipping companies and logistics solutions: What is the state-of–the-art in multimodal solutions?

Speakers include:

  • Francisco Bonache, CEO, RENFE Freight
  • Sylvie Charles, CEO, Fret SNCF
  • Santiago Martín, General Manager, TP Ferro
  • Philippe Le Petit, CEO, Naviland Cargo
  • Ignasi Ragás, Director General, CIMALSA
  • Pierre Enderle, Chairman Executive Board, STVA
  • Carmen Guillen, Regional manager, CMA
  • Miguel Angel Duro, Commercial Director, TCB Railway Terminal
  • Ricardo Arroyo, Managing Director, DHL Forwarding Iberia
  • David Kerr, Commercial Director, DB Schenker UK
  • Manuel Acero, Director General, Pecovasa
  • Pablo Antolín, General Manager, Cadefer
  • Oliver Sellnick, Freight Director, UIC

Registrations are available via

UIC and FIATA are looking forward to meeting you in Barcelona!

In case you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Gustav Manding, Senior Freight Advisor at UIC:


UIC Middle-East Seminar on Infrastructure Maintenance and Asset Management held in Amman, Jordan, at the invitation of Aqaba Railway Corporation

The UIC Seminar on ‘Infrastructure Maintenance and Asset Management’ organised for the Middle-East railways was successfully held on 19-20 September in Amman, Jordan, at the kind invitation of Aqaba Railway Corporation (ARC) and with the participation of 60 managers, experts, researchers, academics from Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Italy as well as UIC representatives. This seminar was part of the 2010 / 2011 Action Plan for the UIC Regional Assembly for Middle-East (RAME) approved by the Director Generals of UIC member railways from this region.

The seminar was opened by Eng. Hussein Krishan, President of Aqaba Railway Corporation ARC and host of the session. In his opening address HE the Minister of Transport of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Mr. Alaa A. Batayneh, underlined the importance of the railway system for the development of the Middle-East region and the confidence of his country in the future of railways, illustrated by the ambitious plan of creating 950 kilometres of new lines in Jordan. Actually this project will make Jordan to a major transit –corridor- country in the international transport system linking Europe, Middle-East, Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Asia. UIC was represented in the opening by Mr Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East Region.

The technical programme of this seminar had been prepared within the UIC Rail System Department in coordination with the UIC Regional (RAME) Office based in Tehran and managed by Iranian railways.

Technical content

After a presentation of UIC technical activities coordinated by the UIC Rail System Forum and Department in the field of Infrastructure, following themes were addressed by UIC representatives (Mr Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Technical Adviser, Mr. Björn Paulsson, Senior Technical Adviser and Dr. Anders Ekberg, Chalmers University Sweden / UIC (Innotrack Project) and discussed with participants:

  • Asset Management: Asset Management Strategy, the PA 55 Standard for Asset Management, Locating Assets,
  • Innotrack, a summary of results, Optimum track geometry durability, Under sleeper pads, under ballast mats,
  • Inspection, Measurement, Monitoring,
  • Bridges and Structures, Sustainable bridges, Masonry arch bridges (inspection, assessment, rehabilitation, strengthening),
  • Benchmarking, Line comparison, Regional lines and high capacity areas, Lasting Infrastructure Cost Benchmarking (LICB).

Mr Mohamad Satei, from NirooRail, Iran, presented activities and studies on behalf of Iranian railways RAI.
During the seminar, the representative of the Ministry of Transport of Jordan made a more detailed of the Jordanian Rail Project.

In the seminar closing session, the railways from the Middle-East Region were invited to participate to technical projects and activities coordinated by UIC in particular under the umbrella of the Rail System Forum as far as these activities are relevant to Middle-East. Participating (Middle-East) railways will have access to a sum of information on UIC works and results on all issues mentioned above (dissemination via UIC website, CDs, Guidelines, presentation brochures). They then will decide which specific aspects should be studied more in-depth because of specific conditions in the Middle-East (sand, extreme temperatures, etc.). A project will be submitted by Jordanian Railways at a next meeting of the UIC Regional Assembly for Middle-East.

All participants and UIC warmly thanked the Aqaba Railway Corporation for their hospitality and the excellent organisation of this regional UIC seminar in Amman.

For more information please contact Paul Véron, UIC Coordinator for Middle East:

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Announcement of the Asset Management Workshop (Paris, 27 October)

UIC is pleased to invite you to a workshop dedicated to Asset Management that will be held in Paris on 27 October 2010.

Main objectives

  • Improving your business
  • Learning how to use the potential benefit of asset management approach
  • Learning from best practice
  • Showing that you are engaged in a professional and transparent approach

Target audience

Decision makers from UIC member railways concerned with asset management
Other railway organisations interested in the concept

Provisional programme

  • 08.30: Registration
  • 09.00: Welcome and introduction by A. Bauer (ProRail)
  • 09.15: Framework of asset management by A. Kirwan (Network Rail)
  1. Experience of implementation & self assessment (ProRail)
  2. Differentiation (SBB)
  3. AI System (RFI)
  • 11.00: Line comparison “benchmark” (Infrabel and RFF)
  • Lunch
  • 13:30: Information
  1. LICB LICB Lasting Infrastructure Cost Benchmarking report - (Lasting Infrastructure Costs Benchmarking) presentation of the new methodology and IT system by T. Gradinariu (UIC)
  2. ORR presentation by GC Scarsi
  • 14.30: Reporting and summary by D. Mc Keown from IAM (The Institute of Asset Management, UK) as independent party
  • 16.00: Conclusions and next steps by A. Bauer (ProRail)

For more information please contact Françoise El Alaoui:


New E-Train report: state of the art for broadband communication for moving trains

This UIC report demonstrates that satifying passenger info-mobility demands is affordable by using a range of technologies capable of providing standard WLAN connectivity inside a train and a broadband telecommunications link between the moving train and a track-side telecommunications service provider (e.g. internet provider).

A second development is data communication between moving trains and ground operation services to improve productivity, availability and maintainability of rolling stock and introduce other services (such as dynamic seat reservation, e-ticketing, on-line crew assistance, security monitoring etc.).

There are several options to satisfy broadband communication needs on moving trains:

  • create separate services for passenger and train needs (unbundled from a technical and operational point of view)
  • set up a common technical arrangement capable of satisfying both types of communication.

The decision keep GSM-R and its subsequent migrations outside outside the ambit of this subject was taken at the outset of its development, since GSM-R is not in fact a broadband communication system, and its functions and capacity have been designed and built more specifically to provide a radio carriage system for safety related railway operations, ERTMS/ETCS messaging and more demanding traffic control needs.

The E-Train report gives an overview of current needs and requirements for broadband communication on trains, available technology and migration trends in related technology.
The document also looks at Minimum Quality of Service in relation to existing achievements and best practices for passenger oriented internet services on trains.

The main conclusions are:

  • Services aimed at travellers should be based on market connectivity standards on trains (e.g. WiFi 802.11g) and exist in stations or other relevant access points as well.
  • Cooperation is needed with the broadband service providers to provide end-to-end connectivity.
  • IP technologies is the basic technology used for converging network capability underlying the current trend in mobile telecommunications.

The report is available online:

For more information, please contact George Barbu:


Report on the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD)

The debriefing meeting of the “International Level Crossing Awareness Day” (ILCAD) task force took place on 23 September in Brussels. The objectives of the meeting were to take stock of the 45 national awareness campaigns and measures taken on 22 June, to assess collective and individual results, to share information to improve future projects regarding safety and education at level crossings and to plan new projects for the 2011 International Level Crossing Awareness Day.

The meeting was chaired by Isabelle Fonverne, the ILCAD Project Coordinator from UIC who announced two new partners: “RSE Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn” (private German rail company) and “Urban Light Rail System” in Guadalajara (Mexico) and gave a general overview of campaign, presenting all the common projects and information.

Vicky Smith from Network Rail (UK), Getter Toome and Tamo Vahemets from Operation Lifesaver Estonia, Sandra Pansini from FS (Italy), Katarzyna Kucharek from PKP (Poland), Petra Sivackova and Martina Pavlikova from ZSR (Slovakia), Susana Abrantes from REFER (Portugal), and Tanja Cvorovic and Biljana Gordic from ZS (Serbia) each gave an overview of their national campaign and an evaluation of its effectiveness, focusing on targeted groups, partners involved and costs.

The 2010 campaign involved the road sector, governmental agencies, railway undertakings, railway infrastructure managers, police forces, and non-profit organisations dealing with railway safety education from over 45 countries, as well as European and International rail organisations (CER, EIM and UIC), the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, the European Railway Agency (ERA), the UN-ECE Transport Division, Operation Lifesaver, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF). The Latin American Railway Association (ALAF) and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) also joined the Campaign.

Jean-Paul Repussard, of the Road Safety Unit of Directorate General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, reported on the DG MOVE’s press conference that took place at the European Commission Headquarters (see e-News No. 193) and the impact of the video clip “Just in time” aimed at the public, particularly road users and pedestrians all over the world. The European Commission financed the making of the clip and it was made available free of charge to all ILCAD partners. All partners put the clip on their website and adapted it by integrating the official motto “Act safely at level crossings” in their own language to complement the national activities in participating countries. The video clip has also been shown on screens in railway stations and schools, and at press conferences and staff assemblies in companies etc. It can still be watched on the EC website: or on the ILCAD website:
Liesbeth de Jong, of the UIC Communications Department, gave an overview of the media impact and success of the event in Europe and beyond. A “press book” summarising the media impact and including more than 500 articles is nearly finalised.

Isabelle Fonverne sincerely thanked the individuals from all the organisations and countries involved who have spent so much energy and made such an effort to make ILCAD 2010 a great success. The new day date for the International Level Crossing Awareness Day 2011 be set and communicated soon.

You can find more information on all the projects undertaken, press articles and other published documents, country by country on
Important dates to come for level crossing activities

- UIC participates in the 60th session of the UN-ECE WP1 on road traffic safety (27-29 September 2010) in Geneva
- 11th Level crossing symposium in Tokyo from 26-29 October 2010
- 2nd EU workshop on level crossing safety in Tallinn, Estonia on 15 March 2011 & Operation Lifesaver Estonia’s educational railway safety conference “Let’s Save Lives” in Tallinn, Estonia on 16 March 2011
- ELCF annual plenary meeting (ELCF members only) on 17 March 2011
- The date of the 2nd International Level Crossing Awareness Day will be communicated soon!

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne, ILCAD Project Coordinator:


11th Global Level Crossing Symposium (Tokyo, 26-29 October 2010)

The 11th GLX Symposium hosted by East Japan Railway Company will be held from 26th to 29th October 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. The theme is “Toward further improvement of level crossing safety - Coordinated Approach and Individual Efforts”.

The 3-day symposium is divided into 5 parts, each of which has its own topic and a total of 34 speakers make their presentations.

The morning session of October 26th begins with opening speeches by Mr. Ishida, UIC Chairman, Mr. Ogata, Vice President of JR East, Mr. Loubinoux, UIC Director General, and Mr. Gerhardt, UIC Head of Safety Unit, followed by two keynote speeches by Mr. Porter, Chief Executive of RSSB, and Mr. Yonezawa, Deputy Director-General of Ministry of Transport in Japan.

On the final day, October 29th, technical visits to the level crossing facilities in Omiya training center of JR East and to the level crossing site on an operating line are arranged.

For registration, please visit

And please register yourself before October 11th.

For further information, please contact Mr. Koichiro Suzuki:, Mrs. Isabelle Fonverne: or Mr. Takashi Yamane (JR East):

Next meetings scheduled

  • 18-20 October 2017 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC
  • 19-22 October 2017 Next Station Conference Madrid
  • 19 October 2017 Freight Steering Committee
  • 23-28 October 2017 International Railway Safety Council (IRSC) HONG KONG
  • 24-28 October 2017 Intercity & High Speed Committee Plenary meeting Shanghai
  • 24 October 2017 RSF Plenary
  • 25 October 2017 OptiYard TMC Meeting UIC Headquarters
  • 25 October 2017 Optiyard SMC meeting UIC Headquarters
  • 26-27 October 2017 OptiYard Kick-off meeting UIC Headquarters
  • 26-27 October 2017 Expertise Development Platform Rome, Italy
  • 30-31 October 2017 16th UIC Asia-Pacific Management Committee Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • 30-31 October 2017 Commercial and Distribution Steering Committee Conference Call
  • 30 October 2017 CDF Steering Committee Conference Call
  • 30 October 2017 Commercial and Distribution Forum Steering Committee conference call
  • 31 October 2017 - 1 November 2017 24th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • 6 November 2017 Commercial and Distribution Forum plenary meeting Paris
  • 7 November 2017 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 7 November 2017 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 8-10 November 2017 10th APNRTC (Asia-Pacific Network of Railway Training Centres) Chengdu, China
  • 8-9 November 2017 APNRTC (Asia Pacific Network of Rail Training Centres) SWJTU, Chengdu, China
  • 8 November 2017 91st General Assembly Preparatory Group Paris
  • 13-18 November 2017 5th Training on High Speed Systems Level II Madrid
  • 14 November 2017 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 15 November 2017 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 21-24 November 2017 Commuter and regional Training Rome

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 28 September 2010

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