UIC-coordinated “EuropeTrain” test campaign: successful launch of seventh run for second French loop including route sections in the Netherlands and Belgium.

After two weeks of intensive activities at the DB Systemtechnik test centre, the EuropeTrain started running again at 12:35 on 30 July from Minden to Bad Bentheim. Its journey through the Netherlands included a stop for a press event with KNV (the Royal Dutch Transport Federation, a Dutch rail freight support association) and DB Schenker NL on 1 August in Amersfoort.

This “geluidsarme trein” (noiseless train) event was a resounding success. Paul van Lede, Chairman of KNV “Rail Freight”, underlined the importance of rail, which contributed towards reaching the mobility objectives set by the Dutch government to strengthen and boost the economy. “Good hinterland connections by rail are also an important component of success in expanding the port of Rotterdam through a project called Maasvlakte II (http://www.maasvlakte2.com/en). The challenge is now to tackle the problem of noise,” said Van Lede.

“Rail carriers and operators are feeling the pressure to successfully complete the project”, explained Johannes Gräber, Head of Business Segment Engineering Services (DB Schenker), UIC Project Manager EuropeTrain. All scenarios point towards continued growth of rail transport, which is safe and environmentally friendly, but the issue of noise must be addressed. The Netherlands are a fitting illustration of the need for a Europe-wide project in this field, given the international nature of Dutch rail freight – over 80% of its rail freight traffic crosses the borders. There should be a coordinated drive through certification and European incentives to ensure the use of low noise wagons can develop swiftly and on a large scale throughout Europe.

KNV Rail Freight Secretary, Johan ter Poorten called for a transfer of knowledge. “Many stakeholders are now active in the Netherlands, but a common approach is still missing”. KNV aims to organise an expert meeting soon in which representatives of rail operators, wagon keepers, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, ProRail (the Dutch infrastructure manager) and Keyrail will participate. A pragmatic and international rollout of low-noise trains on the European corridor Rotterdam-Genoa has to be swiftly implemented without additional administrative burdens.

After an explanatory tour around the train, participants could clearly see the difference between rough wheels with cast iron brake blocks and smooth wheels with LL blocks.

Johannes Gräber pointed out that the full effect of composite brake blocks on noise could not be properly heard as the train included both cast iron and composite brake blocks. “Tests have shown that on a train with LL blocks, perceived noise is decreased by half.” UIC was furthermore represented by Hans Paukert, Senior advisor Braking systems & Diesel Engines and Liesbeth de Jong, UIC Media Relations.

The press was well represented, with five radio and TV interviews being held on the EuropeTrain and various national newspapers publishing articles. They expressed a positive opinion of the contribution of the railway sector.

This event confirmed the rail freight sector’s professionalism in contributing towards a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and safe mode of transport.

After the event, the EuropeTrain departed from Amersfoort on schedule at exactly 14.00. After the travelling through Belgium, it was handed over to Fret SNCF in the on night.

The French loop passes through Paris (Le Bourget), Marseille, Lyon and Metz. The train will complete the loop several times, clocking up approximately 15,000 km, and is due to return via Belgium and the Netherlands in the second half of August.

Pictures and the latest information on the EuropeTrain project can be found at http://europetrain.uic.org.


Australia: New High Speed Rail Study – Phase 1

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, has released the report for phase one of a two phase strategic study into a high speed rail network on the east coast of Australia. The study is looking at potential routes from Brisbane southwards to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, as well as the economic viability of such a network.

The phase one report establishes indicative corridors, options for station locations, high level costs, and forecasts about patronage, and some comparative analysis of potential social and regional development impacts.

Trains travelling at up to 350 kilometres per hour (218 mph) could deliver passengers from Sydney to Canberra, the nation’s capital, in just one hour, compared to up to four hours now.

Australia’s east-coast corridor is currently serviced by air, motorway and regional rail and coach, with train and road trips between Sydney and other major centres taking 10 hours or more.

The Sydney-Melbourne flight corridor is the fifth-busiest in the world and Sydney-Brisbane is the 16th-busiest.

A more detailed analysis (including analysis of financial viability) will be carried out in phase two, which is expected to be completed around mid 2012.

The study can be found on following link: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx

(Source: Australian Government : Department of Infrastructure and Transport)

News from UIC members

USA: Transport Secretary Ray Lahood Awards $336.2 Million For Next Generation Trains In California And Midwest

US Transport Secretary Ray LaHood announced on 3 August that California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri will receive $336.2 million to purchase next-generation, American-made trains that will run on rail corridors in those states. Previously awarded rail dollars bring the amount received by these five states and Washington State to $782 million for the purchase of 33 quick-acceleration locomotives and 120 bi-level passenger cars.

California and Illinois reached cooperative agreements with the Federal Railroad Administration to begin a multi-state procurement of equipment for passenger rail corridors in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon and Washington State.

Trains will be designed to travel more than 110 mph along intercity passenger corridors, and meet standards developed by the state-led, Next Generation Equipment Committee. This will provide manufacturers with consistent specifications for all passenger trains in the United States, reducing costs for manufacturers and customers, while providing a boost to the railcar manufacturing industry.

The Obama Administration has invested $10.1 billion to lay the groundwork for a high-speed and intercity passenger rail network in the United States, providing rail access to new communities and improving the reliability, speed and frequency of existing lines.

(Source: Federal Railroad Administration US DOT)

Carole Coune succeeds Jack Short as the new Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum (ITF)

Carole Coune, a Belgian national, was appointed Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum (ITF) during the ministers’ meeting in late May in Leipzig. She assumed office on 1 August and succeeds Jack Short, who had held the position of Secretary-General of the ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) – and latterly the International Transport Forum (ITF) – for the last 10 years.

Carole Coune, who holds a law degree from the University of Liège, performed various functions within the Belgian National Railways (SNCB) from 1992 to 2003, where she was Secretary to the Management Board, and led a division in the Department of International Affairs. After several years’ experience in the policy cell of the Belgian Minister for Transport and the Minister for Public Participations, Coune became Director-General for Land Transport at the Belgian Ministry of Transport (known as FPS Mobility and Transport) in 2005. In 2008, she became the President of the Management Board of FPS. In this capacity, she guided the Ministry through a very successful Presidency of the European Council of the European Union.

In her capacity as Secretary-General of the ITF Carole Coune will greatly contribute to the important work of the International Transport Forum in promoting transport policies as a crucial pillar of a strategy for a stronger, cleaner and fairer world economy.

The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 52 member countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organises an annual summit of ministers.

UIC has maintained and developed close cooperation links with the ECMT (since its founding) and latterly with the International Transport Forum, in particular on important issues such as sustainable transport, security and facilitation of cross-border operations, etc.

UIC would like to address its sincere thanks to Jack Short for the excellent relations he has cultivated between ECMT (latterly ITF) and UIC, and to wish him all the best for the future. UIC and the Director-General also address their warmest congratulations to Carole Coune upon her appointment and her taking office at the head of ITF. Her appointment will enable working relations between both our organisations to be developed and further improved.

(Source: International Transport Forum)

News from UIC members

Three Reader’s Travel Awards for Attica Group at the Condé Nast Traveller Awards 2010.

On July 13th 2011, Attica Group received three Reader’s Travel Awards at the Condé Nast Traveller Awards 2010. Blue Star Ferries was named the “Most Popular Carrier on Domestic Routes” whereas Superfast Ferries gained the distinction of the “Most Popular Carrier on Domestic and International Routes” as well as the prize “Top Rating” in the same category. High quality services, innovative ship design, a wide variety of itineraries and the companies’ continuous investment in pioneering technologies were some of the main elements that influenced the voters’ choice.

The awards are organized by the Greek edition of Condé Nast Traveller, a magazine that serves as a reference point for all seasoned travellers. The Condé Nast Traveller Awards, which are organized for decades on an international level, aim to be established also in Greece.

(Source : Attica Group)


15th Annual UIC eBusiness Conference on 20-21 October 2011 at UIC in Paris

Conference theme : Driving Rail Sector Productivity through advances in Information Technology

After several years flat growth in the transport sector, rail transport companies need to look at ways to revitalise productivity as a way to become more competitive and profitable. And many are looking at advanced IT solutions to be a key component in their revitalisation strategy. In addition to boosting productivity, the application of Information Technology can help companies reduce their costs, enhance reliability and accuracy and provide better customer service to their customers.

This is why the air cargo industry is investing heavily in their e-Freight project, that will cut supply chain costs of up to US$5.9 billion annually, while cutting transit times and adding valued visibility for the customer. The European Union is also looking for big productivity gains through the Telematics Interoperabilty Regulations for Passengers and Cargo. And of course, the Maritime industry is investing in Freight portals that optimise supply chain performance.

This years conference will focus on productivity and IT tools that will give the sector access to better, more timely information – allowing for more effective decision-making for our freight and passenger companies.

The conference will take place during two half-day sessions at UIC Headquarters (Paris). The plenary session will take place on Thursday, October 20, 14.00-18.00 followed by a welcome cocktail. It will be of interest to the general audience and focus on technology applications and standards. This will be complimented by a half day of workshops in specialised subject areas on Friday, October 21, 9.00-12.00.

Technology Showcase

During the two day session, you will have an opportunity to network with other railway IT professionals. Additionally, over the two days there will be:

An Exhibit Hall to showcase innovative product offerings, solutions and demonstrations of new railway applications.

Benefits of Attending:

  • Understand technology solutions for Railways
  • Learn about future solutions for Railway IT development
  • Discover New Regulatory Requirements impacting IT System Development
  • Benefit from networking opportunities with peers and vendors

Who You Will Meet

The conference will be of interest to all railway Business and IT professionals, railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and industry executives whose primary functions involve business development, project management and information technology are expected to attend.


If you are interested in making a presentation on the subject please contact John LUTZ (lutz@uic.org).

For further information about participating as conferee or sponsor please contact: Maria Lafont, lafont@uic.org

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 12 August 2011

  Contact the UIC e-News team