The first session of SIAFI 2012, which took place at UIC headquarters, Paris from 21 – 25 May, was attended by managers of 9 different nationalities from 12 railway companies, thus covering virtually all sectors of railway activity.
The varied backgrounds and competences of the audience, together with the experience of participants, favoured rich and fruitful exchanges, debates and discussion.
Throughout the week, the attendees took part in extensive networking activities and exchange of information and practices either during plenary sessions, workshops, technical visit (a maintenance workshop for high speed trains) or the social programme.
The week was partly dedicated to presentations and discussions around topical subjects for the railways (the future of rail passenger and the main course of action, the Sustainability Strategy 2030 & beyond, external costs of transport,...), partly dedicated to team work.
The first week was also the occasion to get acquainted with the international institutional and legal framework in which railway companies currently operate. The first day of SIAFI brought together some major international railway stakeholders and partners – UIC, UNECE, CER, UNIFE and ERA in a round table discussion about their respective missions and vision for the future of rail.
On the second day participants became acquainted with the latest developments in international rail transport law and recent developments in EU transport policy.
Other railway activities (high speed, international corridors, freight, safety...) will be covered during the second SIAFI session in autumn to be held 22 – 26 October 2012.
The networking activities and cross-cultural learning experience through the team work conducted throughout the week concluded with a formal half-day session on the intercultural dimension in the management of international projects.
Reflection on cross-cultural cooperation is part of the team project’s assignment and will result in a feedback session in October.
The projects eventually selected by participants were chosen from the list of selected UIC projects for SIAFI 2012:
(1) Energy costs – cutting energy consumption to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your business
(2) Talent wars: recruiting and retaining top young talent in Railway Business
(3) Suggestions for improving customer orientation and strengthening customer focus for high speed and conventional passenger service
The teams will continue working between the two sessions and the results will be delivered at the second SIAFI session, in autumn (22 – 26 October 2012).