Nr 203 - 5 October 2010

Partner associations

UIC Chairman Mr. Yoshio Ishida visits the U.S.A.

Mr. Ishida gave a speech at the APTA Board of Directors’ meeting
Mr. Ishida with Mr. Scanlon, new APTA Chairman

Yoshio Ishida, UIC Chairman, attended the Annual Meeting of APTA (American Public Transportation Association), which began on 3 October 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. On the morning of the first day he gave a speech as an honoured guest at the Board of Directors’ meeting. It was the second time that a UIC Chairman had been invited to the APTA Statutory Meeting.

In his speech, Mr. Ishida pointed out that a year had passed since the signing of the MoU, mainly concerning high speed rail, between UIC and APTA, the public transport association for North America. He emphasised his desire to strengthen the relationship between the two organisations to contribute extensively to the development of railways and public transport not only in the U.S. but throughout the world, and encouraged APTA members to become actively involved in UIC activities toward this objective. Moreover, Mr. Ishida stated that high speed railways can not function independently from urban and suburban public transport and they have a mutually complementary relationship, and that, for this reason, the further development of APTA was indispensable for the success of U.S. high speed rail projects. This statement was well received by the audience.

Mr. Ishida met with Mr. Michael J. Scanlon, newly appointed APTA Chairman and Mr. William W. Millar, APTA President, who will leave office next October, and they agreed together that the mutual understanding and cooperation between UIC and APTA would be enhanced. In their meeting, Mr. Ishida also strongly welcomed Mr. Millar’s proposal that he should participate in the UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail to be held in Beijing this December.

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International Corridors

Enhancing international cooperation on the Transsiberian corridor

01.
High-level representatives participating to the board meeting of the Council of Cooperation for Transsiberian Transportation
02.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, taking the floor at the board meeting of the Council of Cooperation for Transsiberian Transportation (CCTT) in Bratislava last week

International cooperation in developing the Transsiberian corridor as the main transport axis between Europe and Asia was the key topic addressed by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux in his speech at the board meeting of Council of Cooperation for Transsiberian Transportation in Bratislava last week.

In essence, UIC, CCTT and OSJD represent those organisations that are able to influence the process of increasing the volume of freight transport along the Transsiberian line. They can achieve this by cooperating to find solutions to bottlenecks, such as implementing electronic invoicing and containers backhauls and addressing border crossing procedures and legal issues.

As some members are common to CCTT and UIC, and as Transsiberian is one of the many corridors already considered by UIC, both organisations intend to reinforce their cooperation over the next years to improve efficiency, save time and reduce spending.

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Regional Cooperation / Asia

Productive meeting between UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and Korail Chairman, Huh Joon Young

The CCTT meeting in Bratislava provided Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and Huh Joon Young, Chairman of Korail and UIC Asia, with an opportunity to discuss their strategies for the Asian region.

They stressed the need to organise ambitious projects for 2011, involving the participation of as many Asian and European members as possible. In fact, they both wanted to extend the emphasis from purely Asian activity to global and multi-regional collaboration with Europe and the rest of the world, in order to help fully involve Asian members in the UIC dynamic and to develop international cooperation and benchmarking possibilities.

They also prepared important presentations to be delivered at the next Asian Regional Assembly in December in Beijing. Finally, they underlined the importance of the upcoming Asian seminars and events, including the High Speed and Security Seminar in Mumbai on 20 & 21 October, the next UIC training session and the 3rd Asian Network of Rail Training Centres Seminar on Sustainability, to be held in Korea from 7-13 November. These occasions will provide excellent opportunities to tackle the most important current issues confronting the international railway community in Asia.

For more information please contact Vincent Vu: vu@uic.org

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Regional Cooperation / Asia / Training

Be a Forerunner of Green Growth: UIC Railway Policy Course (7-13 November 2010) and 3rd ANTC Seminar (10-13 November 2010)

Nowadays, railways in many countries are facing challenges. To overcome these challenges wisely, it is necessary that railway become a new growth engine for green growth, new concept for sustainable development.

Therefore, IRaTCA’s UIC Railway Policy Course and 3rd ANTC Seminar are designed to make practical contributions to the railway development among Asian countries through a closer network of cooperation and information sharing, with the full support from UIC.

This training session along with the 3rd Asian Rail Network of Training Centers will take place in Seoul from 7th to 13th November and is open to all UIC Members.

For more information please contact the IRaTCA team: iratca@korail.com

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Security / High Speed / Asia

Latest updates on the Seminar on High Speed and Security in Mumbai on 20 & 21 October

Speakers from the United Nations, the European Community, the Spanish Railways Foundation, the American Transport Security Administration, the IWGLTS, the French Ministry of Energy, Ecology, Sustainability and Sea, the German Interior, the Indian Rail Protection Force and members from RENFE, KORAIL, EJR, France and China will deliver speeches to an expected 150 participants.

This seminar is free for all UIC members and there is still time to register, so do not hesitate sign up!

Please register online: http://www.uic.org/forms/spip.php?article1295&var_mode=calcul

For more information please contact Vincent Vu: vu@uic.org

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Safety

UIC participated to the 60th session of the Work Package 1 (WP1) Road Safety at UNECE (Geneva, 27-29 September)

The UNECE Headquarters in Geneva
Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP1) from the left to the right: Michalis Adamantiadis, UNECE, Vice Secretary of WP1, Eva Molnar, Director UNECE Transport Division, Luciana Iorio, staff Member of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and Chairperson of WP1, Virginia Tanase, Economic Affairs Officer (Road transport, Road traffic safety) at UNECE Transport Division and Secretary of WP1
Israeli scouts
UNECE Consolidated Resolution on road signs and signals
Jan Kubis, Executive Secretary of UNECE

The 60th session of the UNECE (United Nations, Economic Commission for Europe) Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP1) took place on 29th September 2010 at the UN-ECE in Geneva.

At the occasion of the ILCAD press conference on 22nd June in Brussels, Eva Molnar, Director UN-ECE Transport Division, that covers 56 Member States, with more than 300 000 level crossings announced that UN-ECE was ready to host a multi-disciplinary group of experts including experts from road traffic safety, railway transport, road and railway infrastructure, where UN-ECE governments, international organisations (UIC), the European Commission and the stakeholders at large would be represented. She invited the UIC to take part as an observer in the meeting of the WP1 on 29th.

For further information on UNECE WP1 activities in the field of road safety:http://www.unece.org/trans/roadsafe/wp1film.html

The first session was dedicated to an exchange of experiences and best practices (road safety awareness campaigns, national legislations, analysis of accidents, cross border cooperation between the member States…). The participants were informed by the secretariat about road-safety-related developments including major events that took place since its previous session

(see special editions of UNECE Weekly N° 387 http://www.unece.org/highlights/unece_weekly/weekly_2010/UNECE_weekly_2010-387.pdf and UNECE Weekly N°389 http://www.unece.org/highlights/unece_weekly/weekly_2010/UNECE_weekly_2010-389.pdf)

They informed on the global road safety campaign with the motto “We play and drive by the rules” that UNECE and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) launched on 26th August at the Palais des Nations in Geneva at the occasion of the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and presented to more than 160 basketball federations attending a congress organised on 6th September in Istanbul, with the support of the different Basketball Federations, the Turkish National Police and the cooperation of the basketball players who had signed the “Declaration for road safety”. A leaflet in English and Turkish has been issued to inform people around the world – especially the young people who are basketball fans or play basketball themselves – and to encourage respect for the rules, on the road as well as on the court. Then representatives of international organisations, the EC, national delegations, non governmental organisations, presented information on developments in their respective areas.

Among them Isabelle Kardacz, DG MOVE, presented the future European Road Safety Action Programme 2011-2020 with a new EU target to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2020. She addressed the non EU member states present in the session and insisted on the fact that a legal framework is really important to improve road safety in their countries. Road safety has been a priority for the European Commission during the last decade: 62 measures have been implemented so far: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/policy/index_en.htm.

The Belgian delegate then warmly invited the participants to take part in the third European Road Safety Days on 13 and 14 October 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, under the Belgian Presidency of the European Union. http://www.mobilit.fgov.be/eu/fr/indexReframed.htm?newURL=%2Feu%2Ffr%2Feu200.htm

Mr. Joël Valmain, Technical Advisor “Europe International” on road safety made a very interesting presentation on the road safety measures taken in France to decrease the number of fatalities on the road mainly through enforcement measures. The objective is to set up 4500 radars on the road by the end of 2012. One of them has been set up in June 2010 at a level crossing and this is only a start.

Isabelle Fonverne, from UIC, informed the participants on the ILCAD campaign. She took the opportunity to show the video clip “Just in time” financed by the European Commission. For further information please visit: www.ilcad.org. The next campaign is foreseen in June 2011 (date to be determined).

Eva Molnar, UNECE promised to support actively the campaign 2011. The Road Safety Institute “Panos Mylonas” from Greece, that is also an ILCAD partner informed the Working Party of opportunities provided by the World Scout Jamboree to be held in Rinkaby, Sweden, from 27 July to 7 August 2011, with the participation of more than 40,000 scouts from 180 countries. Bearing in mind that road traffic injuries are the first leading cause of death for ages 15-19 years old and the second for ages 5-14 years old, this event represents an excellent opportunity to promote road safety among young people. Isabelle Fonverne added that Israel Railways also worked with the scouts (Israel movement) in their ILCAD campaign on level crossings on 22nd June sending them 1000 t-shirts with safety messages on the back.

Joint session with the Working Party on Road Transport (SC1) This session was chaired by Jan Kubis, Executive Secretary of the UNECE, who made an opening speech followed by Eva Molnar, Director of UNECE Transport Division. In 2010, the 60th Anniversary of road traffic safety activities in the United Nations system coincides with the sixtieth session of the WP.1 and is celebrated through the joint meeting of the two historical working bodies (WP1 on road traffic safety and SC1 on road transport) which, through legal instruments and best practices, have made the difference in improving road safety and transport operations across Europe and far beyond. One of the expected outcomes of the joint session was to identify common areas of interest, on which further cooperation could be developed, such as, but not limited to road safety in tunnels, infrastructure safety, training for professional drivers…. Simon Fletcher made a presentation on road/rail interfaces and more precisely on safety at level crossings. Eva Molnar announced the wish of UNECE to create a multidisciplinary group (road/rail) and therefore requested from the Member States to write to her to express their written wish in this sense. The 61st session of this Working Party on road traffic safety is scheduled to take place in Geneva from 21 to 23 March 2011. UIC have been again warmly invited to take part.

For more information please contact Isabelle Fonverne: fonverne@uic.org

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ERTMS

Workshop on “Economic Evaluation of ERTMS” : The study “ERTMS Benchmark on Costs” presented at UIC headquarters in Paris on 28 September 2010

From left to right: Mr Christian Faure, from the European Commission and Paolo de Cicco, Project Manager
Panel of the “Economic Evaluation of ERTMS” Workshop

The results of the UIC study were presented by the Project Manager, Paolo de Cicco. The first task was to establish a uniform cost methodology. 15 European countries actively contributed to the project on a regular basis and had enabled the achievement of a critical mass of information with 20 ERTMS implementations in three different benchmark pools: ERTMS/ETCS L1 trackside subsystem; ERTMS/ETCS L2 trackside subsystem; and ERTMS/ETCS On-board subsystem.

Average LCC costs paid by implementers per on-board unit (OBU) was 430 K€, 135 K€ per km of double track for level 1 and 575 K€ per km of double track for level 2.

Shares varied from 15-19% for Research and Development (R&D), 62-66% for Investment, and 15-23% for Operations and Maintenance regarding Rolling stock, level 1and level 2 respectively.

This meant that 60% of the total cost was to be invested within the first year. This unbalanced situation explained the reluctance of investors.

The European ERTMS Coordinator represented by Christian Faure, from the European Commission, was asked a number of questions by participants. He saw the success of ERTMS as being dependent on good cooperation between suppliers and infrastructure managers. Mr Faure confirmed that the Commission believed that ERTMS financing should not rely on subsidies but instead on good business cases, which represented the best incentive for new implementers. The railway industry was of the same opinion but customers complained that the price should be decreased to allow for bigger tenders, whereas the industry was asking its customers to increase tenders first.

Jean-Marc Dupas, General Manager of Belgorail, representing NB RAIL – the group of Notified Bodies (NoBos) which deliver EC conformity assessments – confirmed that free competition among NoBos could help to reduce the cost of certification.

The European Railway Agency represented by Martin Schroeder, Project Officer, declared that it was also interested in acquiring data and results from UIC for its own database, DREAM.

Mr Hase from Deutsche Bahn AG highlighted the importance of supporting an “open source software” approach, as this was one important way of reducing the costs and improving the safety of the ERTMS system, which was to be understood as a pure software system.

A number of participating infrastructure managers noted that the objectives shared by many stakeholders, such as reducing specific national developments and other local adaptations of ERTMS, were not easy to achieve due to the complex reality of ERTMS implementation.

A proposal was made by a German participant to work on a modular frame contract to allow suppliers’ offers to be compared. Such a frame contract was currently being designed by DB AG.

Some participants, mainly from the railway industry, were of the opinion that there was no real competition in ERTMSbusiness.

David Gillan, General Manager UNISIG and Emmanuel Brutin, Senior Public Affairs Manager from UNIFE (the railway industry association) stated they were doing a lot to reduce prices but that business cases outside Europe demonstrated – according to them – that only big orders involving many units would enable a real price reduction.

In spite of all these constraints and limits, Emilio Maestrini, Director of the new Railway System Department at UIC highlighted the importance of ERTMS deployment throughout Europe in order to reap the benefits of a single, standardised European Traffic Management System with 37,000 km of equipped lines worldwide (50% outside Europe) by the year 2015.

UIC would of course continue working on the “Benchmark on ERTMS Costs” study as the project matured. The next phase had already begun in October 2010, focusing in particular on Operations and Maintenance.

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UIC Members Railways who would like to participate in the activities of the UIC ERTMS Benchmark Working Group please contact: Snejana Markovic-Chenais: markovic@uic.org

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UIC Rail System Forum / Track and Structures Sector

UIC Panel of Structural Experts Meeting in Bratislava

The last meeting of the Panel of Structural Experts within the Track & Structures Sector of the Rail system Forum took place in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. During three days from Tuesday 26th to Thursday 28th September 2010 the actual problems for structures especially bridges and tunnels were discussed. 17 participants from most of the European Infrastructure Managers were present with the familiar support from Japan.

The meeting was well organised by the Slovak colleagues who presented their country and the Slovak railways in good condition and preparing the network for future needs.

On the first day Dipl.-Ing. Balucha as Director of Infrastructure department welcomed all participants in Bratislava. The day was dedicated to the general information from UIC and European organisations. Also technical reports from the different current projects were discussed and some other administrative work. On the second day the Panel visited a construction site near Nové Mesto nad Vahom where a new tunnel is under construction to increase the line speed from 120 to 160 kmph with a possibility of 200 kmph in the future. The experts saw a tunnel of 1775 m length, currently 400 m excavated from each portal. The excavation method is the NATM with different sections (upper part, bench and floor). This tunnel will shorten the line length by about 400 m and allow the increase of the speed. At the work site all current miners and the Panel congregate for the traditional group picture.

In the afternoon there was a short guided tour through the famous castle area of Bratislava and a wonderful renovated old town with very interesting buildings and stories about the people of Bratislava from 5000 b.C. to now. The day closed with an official dinner with the participation of the Deputy General Director of Slovak Railways, Dipl.-Ing. Jozef Antoš.

At the third and last day the Panel discussed some European projects and prepared new projects and proposals for the review of EN 1991-2 and the most important problems with new vehicles. Unfortunately rolling stock manufactures are still increasing the loads for each axle and therefore Infrastructure Managers have to check all lines for each new vehicle. It is a need for a permanent and co-operative teamwork between the designers of rolling stock and the structures engineers of the railway infrastructure. The infrastructure capability is limited and all vehicles have to accept this.

The Chairman of the Panel of Structural Experts, Dipl.-Ing. Martin Muncke, closed a very successful meeting and invited all members to the next meeting in Paris on the 2nd and 3rd February 2011, combined with a plenary session of the Track & Structures Sector.

For more information please contact Bjorn Paulsson: paulsson@uic.org and Dipl.-Ing. Martin Muncke: martin.muncke@oebb.at

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Medical

UIMC 2010 Scientific Congress and General Assembly held in Rabat (Morocco) from 22 to 24 September 2010

The 28th UIMC Congress commenced its work on 22 September 2010 in Rabat, and was attended by fifteen countries. The annual congress was held at the invitation of the Moroccan railways (ONCF) and their medical service. The congress was opened by Mr Moha Kaddour, ONCF Director of Safety and Control, and Mr Karim Eddine Chennouf, ONCF Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs.

In an address read out on his behalf, ONCF Chief Executive Mr Rabie Khlie presented his company’s achievements in terms of its medical services, particularly concerning its railway safety management system and its programme of staff medical coverage and check-ups. He also expressed his pride at being the first Arab and African country to host this important international event.

The UIMC Chairman, Dr Pierre-Albert Voumard, for his part highlighted the congress’s importance in improving railway medical services. For him, the international gathering represented an appropriate platform for the sharing of information and expertise.

The UIMC General Assembly was held alongside the congress, on 24 September 2010. 18 members sent 24 representatives to Rabat.

The UIMC Management Committee met during the morning of 22 September 2010. It was composed as follows:

  • Chairman: Dr P.-A. Voumard, CFF / SBB
  • Secretary-General: Dr C. Cothereau, SNCF
  • Vice-Chairman: Dr G. Palma, FS
  • Treasurer: Dr O. Foss, NSB
  • Committee members: Dr M. Tucek, CD, Dr V. K. Ramteke, IR, Dr D Whelan, CIE

Two committee members had stepped down following their retirement: Dr M. Banadiam, TeamPrevent (Austria) and Dr M. van den Heuvel, SNCB.

During its meeting, the committee handled points concerning the UIMC accounts, new members, the status of working groups, the medical database etc. These points were subsequently presented in greater detail to the General Assembly.

During the General Assembly, Vice-Chairman Dr G. Palma, who headed the working group operating for CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies), informed members that the group had examined closely the medical criteria relating to European Union Directive 2007/59/EC on the introduction of a European locomotive driver’s licence. The group had noted all the unclear or incorrect aspects of the aforementioned criteria in a catalogue. A UIMC / CER working group had been mandated to continue trying to clarify matters and to begin work on updating the handbook of medical aptitude criteria established by UIMC in 2000.

The day of technical visits comprised a trip to the new line serving the new port of Tangier Med and to the recently-completed Tangier station.

The gala dinner was held in a traditional Moroccan setting in Rabat, and was attended by Mr Kaddour, Mr Karim Eddine Chennouf and other high-level ONCF figures.

The scientific congress was devoted to the subject of “Human factors and medical requirements in safety management”. Various subjects were tackled by members:

  • Socio-professional lifestyle and health of workers in the railways
  • Health and safety management at work
  • Respiratory problems encountered by welders and metalworkers
  • Future action on medical unfitness in safety-critical roles following periodic check-ups
  • Health and safety at work: perception, training and information for railwaymen
  • New standard for detecting illicit drugs in saliva
  • Management of sleep apnoea syndrome
  • Medical fitness standards of locomotive drivers in relation to diabetes
  • New colour vision test
  • Initial experience with regular testing of workers for illegal drug consumption
  • Health promotion for an ageing workforce
  • New aptitude criteria for signallers (train movement staff)

The next meeting of the UIMC management committee will be held in Paris on 15 April 2011.

The 2011 UIMC Scientific Congress and General Assembly will be held in Barcelona in autumn 2011, at the invitation of FGC (Cataluña Railways).

For further information please contact: Dr P.-A. Voumard- UIMC Chairman: pierre-albert.voumard@sbb.ch; Dr Catherine Cothereau–Secretary-General: catherine.cothereau@sncf.fr; Ms Meryem Belhaj: belhaj@uic.org

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Audiovisual

Announcement of the 19th International Railway Film Festival CineRail 2011: Call for entries

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Publications / Freight

Trends in European Rail Freight and selected railway strategies

The Rail Freight Portal aims to create a positive perception of rail freight, building on the remarkable progress made by the railway companies in response to the logistics needs of their customers.

The portal is open to the public and was launched in autumn 2009. The portal provides attractive and up-to-date information on rail freight and statistics, and is accessible to the general public, journalists and potential customers.

The portal has been developed in cooperation with the members of UIC, with a view to creating Europe’s leading rail freight portal, and can be described as a potential communications platform for railway undertakings to disseminate essential information to the public.

For more information please contact Gustav Manding: manding@uic.org

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Relations with Partner organisations

Brazil: US$112.9 Million from the World Bank for São Paulo’s Urban Trains

The World Bank approved end of September an US$112.91 million additional financing for Brazil’s State of São Paulo, in support of the Trains and Signaling Project for the urban rails and subway network of the capital city’s Metropolitan Region. The new funding will be used to purchase at least nine new trains, as well as the needed complementary equipment, to increase passenger capacity and comfort in the city’s Line 11. The project also includes financing for studies aimed at developing a strategy to reduce the system’s climate footprint.

The project will benefit the entire population of the Metropolitan Region, especially the low income citizens – the main users of public transportation – and increase the efficiency and competitiveness of Brazil’s biggest city. It is also expected to have positive impacts in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and traffic jams, due to the transfer of passengers from other transportation systems to rail. Studies financed by the project will measure these impacts.

(Source: World Bank)

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News from UIC Members

UK: David Higgins has been appointed as new Chief Executive, succeeding Iain Coucher

David Higgins, appointed as new Chief Executive of Network Rail

Mr Higgins, who is currently chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), will take up his new position on 1 February 2011. Mr Higgins is currently a non-executive director of Network Rail, a role he will continue until he starts as chief executive.

Before joining the ODA, Mr Higgins was the chief executive of Lend Lease, an international property and construction company from 1995 to 2002 before joining English Partnerships as chief executive (2003-05). In the interim period prior to Mr Higgins start date and following the departure of Iain Coucher, Peter Henderson will take on the role of acting chief executive. Peter Henderson is currently Director, Asset Management.

(Source: Network Rail)

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News from UIC Members

China: Work begins on railway extension to Tibet’s second largest city

In late September China began construction work to extend the highest railway line in the world, which currently links Qinghai to Tibet and will soon reach Xigaze, the second largest city in the Tibet Autonomous Region (south-west China). This 253 km extension, linking Lhasa to Xigaze, will pass through five districts and over the 90 km long Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, and take about four years to complete.

This initial extension to the line, which opened in July 2006, has a budget of 13.3 billion yuans (1.95 billion dollars) and will have a transport capacity of up to 8.3 million tonnes per year. Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun said that it would be a key project in China’s long and medium-term railway network expansion and would speed up Tibet’s social and economic development.

(Source: Xinhua)

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News from UIC Members

Switzerland: Success of the celebrations marking 150 years of the Arc jurassien rail links

The many events organised this weekend by SBB on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Arc jurassien rail links proved extremely successful among the public. Almost 30,000 people took part in the various activities offered, which included concerts, workshop tours, special historic and modern trains, rolling stock exhibitions, information stands and catering services.

(Source: SBB)

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News from UIC Members

Russia/France: Start of the Moscow – Nice link, a 50-hour journey across Europe

The RZD train arriving in Nice Station
The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, welcoming passengers of the Moscow-Nice train

On 23 September a train from the Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways (RZD), carried out the first weekly journey of the Moscow – Nice – Moscow service. This first train arrived in Nice on 25 September, with the Vice-President of RZD on board, along with dozens of tourism professionals and a number of leisure travellers. It was greeted at the station in Nice by Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice and Barbara Dalibard, Managing Director of the SNCF Passenger Department. This service covers 3,300 km between Russia and France and passes through five countries: Belarus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy, stopping at 29 stations. The Moscow – Nice train consists of modern carriages, which are extremely comfortable and specially designed for long journeys.

The new Moscow – Nice service forms part of the cooperation agreement signed by RZD and SNCF in May 2009.

Along with the launch of this new offer, the tangible results of this agreement include the international distribution of passenger tickets and the development of container services carrying spare parts for the car industry between France and Russia.

Also worthy of mention is the station twinning project which promotes a new form of international cooperation by creating five partnerships between French and Russian stations. This programme is aimed at developing the exchange of information regarding the design, management, operation, and commercialisation of stations, and also takes passenger information, intermodality and urban planning into consideration. In addition it encourages the exchange of delegations between partner stations. A number of twinning agreements have already been signed or will be signed this year. These include agreements between Paris’s Gare de l’Est and Moscow’s Belorussky Station, Paris’s Saint-Lazare and Saint Petersburg’s Baltic Station, the stations of Nice and Sochi, and Toulouse and Samara. These twinning schemes are a result of the partnership agreement signed between Sophie Boissard, Director of Stations and Connections (SNCF) and Sergueï Abramov, Director of Russian Railways Station Management on 18 February 2010 in Moscow.

(Sources: SNCF/RZD)

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News from UIC Members

Congo: CFCO purchases three new locomotives

The Congo-Ocean Railways (CFCO) has bought three locomotives from the South African company RRL Grindod, for an overall cost of 1.6 billion CFA francs. The fleet of traction equipment in service at CFCO has increased from a dozen locomotives in 2008 to almost 20 today, allowing CFCO to respond to the high demand for transport services, particularly with regard to food, hydrocarbons, and material and equipment destined for the large-scale constructions sites opening up as part of the implementation of land development projects.

The Managing Director of CFCO, Joseph Sauveur Elbez, welcomed the enhanced performance of CFCO, stressing the fact that since the beginning of July 2010, CFCO had transported more than 70,000 tonnes of goods per month. However the target set remained at around 100,000 tonnes per month by late 2010 or early 2011.

CFCO, which began operation in July 1934, employs over 2,000 workers. It consists of a 510 km rail link between the Pointe-Noire seaport and the capital, Brazzaville, and is considered the “backbone of the Congolese economy”.

(Source: Congolese Information Agency – ACI)

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News from UIC Members / High Speed

U.K. Outlines High-Speed Rail Vision

U.K. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond

U.K. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond on Monday outlined plans for the next £11 billion ($17.42 billion) phase of a planned high-speed rail line linking London to the north of England, saying it will transform the way Britain works. Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mr. Hammond said the preferred option for the rail line was for two separate corridors—the so called “Y-shaped” option.

“We have committed to a high-speed rail network that will change the social and economic geography of Britain,” Mr. Hammond said. “Connecting our great population centers and our international gateways; transforming the way Britain works as profoundly as the coming of the original railways did in the mid-19th century.” The two new rail lines, construction of which will begin in 2015, will provide services between Birmingham and Manchester and between Birmingham and Leeds. The government had been looking at the so-called single line “S-shaped” option, but after consulting with engineers decided the Y-shaped option was more cost effective.

(Source: UK Dpt. for Transport)

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News from UIC Members / High Speed

U.S.A: U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $50 Million Recovery Act Grant for Vermont High-Speed Rail

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced last week $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars for the State of Vermont to begin construction to improve 190 miles of track between St. Albans and Vernon on Amtrak’s Vermonter line. The improvements will result in increased speeds, reduced travel time and greater reliability.

“President Obama’s bold vision for high-speed rail will transform transportation in Vermont and the United States,” said Secretary LaHood. “This undertaking will not only create good jobs and help reinvigorate our manufacturing base, it’s also going to relieve congestion on our roadways and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” The $50 million ARRA grant awarded under the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program, will be used to install continuously welded rail and other track improvements, new crossties, highway-rail grade crossing safety improvements on track owned by the New England Central Railroad, a RailAmerica Inc. (NYSE: RA) property. The improvements will also set the stage for more frequent service along this corridor and for extending the Vermonter service to Montreal, Quebec in the future.

“This cooperation between Vermont and the New England Central Railroad will immediately put people to work and means long-term infrastructure improvements,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “Achieving faster travel times, greater speed and increased reliability are the primary goals of our program, which this project will accomplish.” Amtrak’s Vermonter service is an integral transportation link between Washington, D.C., New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. Within the limits of this project approximately 80,000 people traveled on the Vermonter in 2009, and more than 80,000 thus far in 2010 with the service showing an average 16.2% increase in ridership.

“The number of passengers riding the Vermonter has been growing steadily,” said Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. “This project will put people to work constructing the improvements necessary to shorten the length of time it takes the train to travel through the state, which in turn will make our Amtrak service an even more attractive option for busy travelers.” FRA has released more than $648 million of the $8 billion down payment provided in the Recovery Act for the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program.

(Source: FRA, US / DoT)

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UIC Communications Department, Paris, 5 October 2010

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