1st UIC Global Rail Research and Innovation Awards ceremony to be held in December 2012:

A way of encouraging research and innovation bringing practical value, demonstrated by our members

All UIC members, railway transport focused research institutes and academia are invited to compete for these 1st UIC Global Rail Research and Innovation Awards.
Your nominations to be submitted between 1 April and 30 June 2012!

UIC, the worldwide platform of railway expertise, is encouraging railway research at global level

Rail transport faces huge current and future challenges for which innovation and step changes are necessary. As UIC’s overall mission is to promote an increased use of rail transport at world level and to help members make rail transport more attractive, effective, sustainable and economically viable, the last two UIC General Assemblies have strongly supported the ambitious programme of the International Railway Research Board (IRRB) and its initiative to organise the
1st UIC Global Rail Research & Innovation Awards.

The official award ceremony will be held in Paris on the occasion of the UIC General Assembly in December 2012, also celebrating 90 years of the founding of UIC and international cooperation between members within our association.

UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said: “In its aim to fully address all the technical subjects representing the railways, UIC is extremely pleased to launch this new global initiative through the introduction of these Global Rail Research Awards. This will enable our members and their associated research partners to explore progress themes and thus enrich the sector’s technical creativity."

Who is invited to compete for the Global Rail Research and Innovation Awards?

Applicants for the awards can be representatives of rail transport operators, infrastructure managers, rail research institutes and academia specialised in rail research, the rail supply industry, passenger transport (user) organisations, public transport authorities as well as individual researchers.

Criteria for evaluation

  • The innovations have a clear and demonstrated practical value for our members
  • The innovations are based on scientific research and conceptual development in the fields of engineering, technology and organisational processes
  • The innovations have been demonstrated and implemented into a technological or organisational process, having proven their efficiency and having made a significant contribution to the development of rail companies and having clearly increased the efficiency, effectiveness, quality of rail transport and preferable lead to a cost reduction

The Global Rail Research Awards will reward rail research and innovations with proven implementation in the following areas:

  • Safety/security
  • Sustainable development
  • Rail System/railway operations
  • Rail freight
  • Customer services
  • Cost reductions

The jury will consist of the IRRB members and could be advised by the experts from their organisation. Please take note of this global railway event in December and be prepared to send us your nominations between 1 April and 30 June 2012

Next steps

  • 01/04/2012 – 30/06/2012: Registration of applicants
  • 01/07/2012 – 15/09/2012: Voting by expert advisors
  • 16/09/2012 – 31/10/2012: Voting by members of the evaluation committee

More information will be available very soon to keep you up-to date with this event.

For more information please contact: Mr Dennis Schut
from the R&D unit – UIC Fundamental Values Department: schut@uic.org; Mrs Martine Cellier: cellier@uic.org


ERPC Sustainable Procurement Working Group – 1st Meeting

In many countries, railways are one of the largest buyers of goods and services in the European economy. The scale of procurement operations is extremely wide, encompassing everything from energy, infrastructure renewals and maintenance, through to rolling stock procurement and more “everyday” matters like ticket stock and customer magazines. For many years, procurement directors of European railways have met to discuss this topic under the auspices of the European Railway Procurement Conference (ERPC), supported by UIC.

Recently the ERPC has created a Sustainability Working Group which met for the first time on 14 February 2012, and brought together procurement experts and environmental experts. The meeting discussed the development of TecRec 100_001 for the evaluation of energy use in rolling stock, and presented the results of INFRAGUIDER, which set out some advisory guidelines for sustainable procurement. There were presentations on good practice from JBV and SNCF, and all participants gave short presentations on the way in which they are implementing sustainability criteria into procurement. This revealed a diversity of approaches and strategies. Some companies have already put in place procurement strategies and supplier assessment, while others are at an earlier stage of thinking about these topics. This group will now continue to meet on a regular basis.

For more information please contact Alex Veitch: veitch@uic.org

News from UIC members

Switzerland: new campaign against littering on trains and in stations

In 2011 SBB scooped up almost 32,000 tonnes of waste in rail carriages and stations. However, littering is on the increase. To educate its travellers, SBB (Swiss Railways) has launched a national poster campaign and has started a trial system for sorting waste at nine Swiss stations. The latter will henceforth be equipped with differentiated recycling bins, making it possible to separate aluminium, glass and waste paper. In future SBB intends to step up its recycling targets on its trains and in its stations.

For further information about the campaign please consult www.cff.ch/jeter

(Source: SBB-CFF)


Wagon Users Study Group (Paris, 14 February 2012)

The Wagon Users Study Group (SG) met for the first time this year under its new chairman Nicolas Czernecki (SNCF), who replaces the recently-retired Eric Peetermans (SNCB). Dr Miklos Kopp, who has been Director of the UIC Freight Department since January, also attended the meeting and introduced himself to participants from various European railway undertakings (RUs).

The experts in this study group handle issues pertaining to the exchange of wagons in international traffic, in particular the use of wagons. Most of these matters are dealt with contractually via the General Contract of Use for wagons (GCU), the provisions of which apply to wagon keepers and the signatory RUs which operate the wagons.

The GCU is administered by the GCU Bureau headquartered in Brussels, which is managed by a Trustee appointed by the GCU Joint Committee. The latter comprises members delegated by the three founder associations (UIC, UIP, ERFA), which strive collectively to enhance the GCU. Since January 2012, the role of Trustee has been held by Floris Foqué, who will assume this position for the next three years. Mr Foqué was also present at the meeting, and introduced himself to members of the study group. Participants took note of his presentation, in which he described the Bureau’s priority tasks for the year ahead.

During the meeting, the wagon specialists handled points including the implementation of amendments to the GCU which recently entered into force, and other modifications being negotiated with the other associations. They also took note of the latest proposed amendments, which still require more in-depth technical discussion before being finalised and validated for approval by the GCU Joint Committee. The experts shared their experience of implementing the new rules governing Entities in Charge of Maintenance for freight wagons (ECMs). They also addressed the issue of their group’s internal regulations, in particular opening the group up to new members. Decisions will be taken on these issues at the next meeting, which is scheduled for April 2012.

For more information please contact Bernard Schmidt: schmitt@uic.org or Jozef Fazik: fazik@uic.org


4th Transport Research Arena, TRA 2012 “Sustainable Mobility through Innovation” 23-26 April 2012 in Athens

The European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC)* is a partner together with the European Commission, the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR), the European Road Transport Advisory Council (ERTRAC) and the European Technology Platform “WATERBORNE” of TRA 2012, the 4th Transport Research Arena (TRA) Conference, to be held in Athens, Greece, from 23 – 26 April 2012.

TRA 2012 aims to bring together European stakeholders from all areas of transport and transport-related activities. The scope has been extended for this 4th edition to all modes of surface transport: road, rail and waterborne. A renewed TRA, covering all transport modes including urban transport planning and mobility as well as co-modality, is precisely what the European Commission was calling for. This will happen in Athens in 2012.

The main theme of TRA 2012 is Sustainable Mobility through Innovation. TRA 2012 seeks to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the transport sector and, for this reason, addresses all stakeholders in both the public and private sectors and all professionals, regardless of their roles (researchers, practitioners, designers, constructors, operators, administrators etc.).

The Special Sessions programme consists of 34 sessions covering 12 cross-cutting topics of relevance to all modes, as well as topics of relevance to each specific transport mode.

Rail-related topics include:

  • Re-use of abandoned railway lines as a sustainable transportation option and regional development engine: planning, policies and technical proposals
  • Cost-effective improvement of rail transport infrastructure
  • Innovation and research for a more competitive European rail sector, challenges and solutions for Horizon 2020
  • New perspectives in transport research in Turkey – the rail sector
  • ERRAC Roadmaps: the greening of surface transport, encouraging modal shift (long distance) and decongesting transport corridors, ensuring sustainable urban transport (including modal shift, light rail vehicles and metros), improving safety and security, strengthening competitiveness, past projects evaluation and evaluation database

Sessions and meetings are organised by national, European and international bodies, federations, associations, EU projects and initiatives, professional institutes and unions.

The Young European Arena of Research 2012 a competition for early-stage researchers who are doing research in the area of all surface transport modes: road, rail and waterborne previously held in Slovenia and Belgium will be held this year within TRA 2012
The competition will give PhD students all over Europe an opportunity to showcase their work to experts within the field, both on the web, and for the best applicants, at the conference in Athens.

An international trade exhibition will be in place during the TRA 2012 Conference at the newly opened Megaron Athens International Conference Centre (Megaron AICC).
In order to enhance networking and give exhibitors the chance to invite visitors to their own stand, coffee breaks and lunches will be offered within the exhibition area at special stands. There are still some booths left.

*The European Rail Research Advisory Council is acting as an advisor on future rail research needs to the European Commission for the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013) and beyond. The members of ERRAC are railway and public transport companies, infrastructure managers, supply industry, member states, academic institutions & rail research institutes.

For more information on TRA 2012 please visit the dedicated website: http://www.traconference.eu

On the move to TRA! 3rd newsletter on the Transport Research Arena: http://www.traconference.eu/Newsletters/newsletter3.html


Rio Tinto invests 518 million USD in autonomous trains for iron ore rail network in Western Australia

Rio Tinto will run the world’s first automated long-distance heavy-haul rail network, with a 518 million USD investment (Rio Tinto share US$478 million) in driverless trains. The first driverless train will be launched in 2014, with the AutoHaulTM automated train programme scheduled for completion a year later.
AutoHaulTM is being pioneered as part of the automation component of Rio Tinto’s Mine of the FutureTM initiative that also includes driverless trucks and autonomous drills. On its 1,500-kilometre rail network, Rio Tinto currently runs 41 trains from mines to ports, comprising 148 locomotives and 9,400 iron ore cars.
Automating train operations allows Rio Tinto to expand Pilbara production capacity without needing to make a substantial investment in additional trains. It will also drive productivity improvements, with greater flexibility in train scheduling and the removal of driver changeover times creating extra capacity in the rail network. Other benefits include more efficient fuel use, resulting in lower energy costs and a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions for each tonne of iron ore produced.

(Source: Rio Tinto)

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 February 2012

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