Save the Date for the 1st UIC / ITE International Oil, Rail & Ports Conference jointly organised with Iranian Railways RAI to be held from 15 – 16 May 2016 in Tehran

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“Oil, Rail & Ports” is the first international event organised by the rail sector and entirely dedicated to synergies and partnerships with the oil and gas sector as well as with ports and shipping lines. This is an exceptional opportunity for exchanging and networking in the Middle-East.

UIC, the worldwide organisation representing the rail sector with 240 members in nearly 100 countries from 5 continents, together with ITE-EUF – organiser of 22 international transport and logistics events and 21 oil & gas events in 19 countries – are jointly organising the 1st International Oil, Rail & Ports Conference that will be hosted by the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran RAI, from 15 – 16 May 2016 in Tehran.

This first international railway conference entirely dedicated to cooperation between railways and the oil and gas industry as well as with the major ports and terminals in the Middle-East, Central Asia and neighbouring regions, will be co-located in Tehran with the RAILEXPO 2016 international railway exhibition and held under the Patronage of the Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Ports and Maritime Organisation, and the Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The conference is also officially supported by OTIF, the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail based in Berne, Switzerland.

The 1st International Oil, Rail & Ports Conference will host decision-makers involved in transport and logistics issues in the Middle-Eastern and Central Asian Regions, in particular in relation to the oil and gas transportation market, as well as representatives of railway and intermodal operators, oil and gas terminals, ports, railway manufacturers and all authorities with the competence to support or regulate these markets.

Speakers will include ministers and officials from Iran as well as high-level representatives from international organisations – including UIC for the international railway community – directors of market development, transport and logistics at oil & gas and energy companies, rail rreight operators from the Middle-East, Central Asia, Asia, Europe, wagon fleet/pool managers and oil tank manufacturers, port authorities and terminal operators, security and safety managers, oil field service companies…

The following themes will be addressed during the two-day conference:

  • Container market: the challenges of keeping a position of solution provider in a fast changing environment
  • Vision and Strategic Action Plan 2013-2020 for Railways in the Middle-East
  • Investment opportunities created by the present environment of low global oil and gas prices
  • A Middle-East Project Case Study
  • The Legal and Regulatory Framework of International Oil Transport – Interoperability and Safety Standards
  • Navigating Iranian Sanctions Micro-seminar
  • The Multimodal Revolution in Oil and Gas Transportation

At the Opening Session on 15 May, the following high-level participants will take the floor: Mr. Eshaq Jahangiri, Vice President of the I.R. of Iran, Mr. Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Minister of Petroleum of the I.R. of Iran, Mr. Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, Minister of Transport, Dr. Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaie, Vice Minister for Roads and Urban Development, President of Iranian Railways RAI, Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of the International Union of Railways UIC, Mr. François Davenne, Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail OTIF.

A keynote speaker will be Mr. Armand Toubol, Honorary Director General of French Railways SNCF.
Mr. Abbas Nazari, Director General International Affairs at RAI, and Director of the UIC Middle-East Regional Office in Tehran will present the Middle-Eastern Vision for Railway development. Confirmed speakers will also include Mr. Hossein Ashoori, Vice President for Operations and International Transport, Iranian Railways RAI, Mr. Hervé de Tarade who held various leading positions in shipping lines, consultancy, International Intermodal Services I.I.S., Mr. Jean-Georges Heintz, French Railways SNCF/ UIC Industrial Risks/Dangerous Goods, Mr. Jochen Conrad, Head of RID Section/ Regulations for Dangerous Goods at OTIF, Mr. Grigore Haverneanu, UIC Security Division, Security of Critical Infrastructures, Mr. Vasco Paul Kolmorgen, Bahnkonzept, Germany, Improved links between oil exploration and shipping harbours, Mr. Ed Osterwald, Senior Partner, Competition Economists Group, CEG Europe, Mr. Siovash and Mr. Ali Sangian, owners of Seven Seas Shipping Agency and International Transportation Co. Ltd.

For registration or more detailed information on the 1st International Oil, Rail & Ports Conference, please visit the conference website:

The programme is also available here:

“Book your place” :

Contact at UIC: Paul Véron, Director, Coordinator for the Middle-East: or

Contact at ITE-EUF: Laurent Noël:; Vincent Brain, Regional Director Turkey, Middle-East & North Africa:

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News from UIC members

United States: Work is part of over $90 million investment to upgrade Amtrak’s third busiest station

Amtrak plans to continue work this spring to restore the facade of Philadelphia 30th Street Station to its former glory. This project is one of several upgrades at the transportation hub completed or now underway to improve the passenger experience, tend to the long-term infrastructure needs of the nearly 100 year-old building and improve pedestrian mobility in and around the facility. These upgrades represent more than $90 million in total capital investment.

“30th Street Station is an iconic fixture in Philadelphia,” said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak vice president of Northeast Corridor infrastructure and investment development. “As stewards of this national historic landmark we are committed to ensuring that the Station maintains its status as a first-class facility for passengers and becomes further integrated into the vital University City neighborhood.”

In late-March, passengers should expect to see additional scaffolding erected around the southwest corner of the building stretching to the northeast corner. This scaffolding will be the support work for Phase I of the facade restoration project that is scheduled to begin in April and completed in October. Already in place is a temporary sidewalk canopy system to keep pedestrians safe and provide a weather-proof area under which to access the station. Some entrances to the building will be temporarily closed and services relocated throughout the construction period, with appropriate signage indicating alternate points of access.

Additionally, Amtrak is planning to repair and restore the station’s portico doors, many of which are original to the 1930s construction of the station. The combined projects are estimated to cost $60 million upon completion.

There will be no disruption or alteration to train service as a result of the construction.

(Source: Amtrak)

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News from UIC members

Germany: DB Engineering & Consulting begins operations as of April

Deutsche Bahn has reorganised its infrastructure engineering business. As of 1 April, DB ProjektBau and DB International have merged to form DB Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C). DB’s expertise in national infrastructure projects and its international engineering and consulting expertise are now consolidated in a single company.

“The German government and DB will invest some EUR 35 billion in Germany’s rail network – more than ever before – by 2019”, said Dr Volker Kefer, Vice-Chairman and Member of the Management Board for the Infrastructure, Services and Technology Division at Deutsche Bahn. “By merging these two units, we are creating synergy, improving our efficiency and bundling our expertise in the relevant disciplines. We are tackling challenges head on”, he continued.

DB Engineering & Consulting has some 4,000 employees from 66 countries, who will contribute their expertise in all disciplines relevant to rail. The company works in design and construction supervision, in fields such as structural engineering, transport facilities and electromechanical engineering; design and acceptance testing; environment, geotechnical engineering and surveying; and project management and consulting. Within Germany, DB E&C is represented by a number of locations in DB’s seven regions. Worldwide, it has offices in 28 countries on six continents.

“Our employees have excellent technical skills, which are valued in Germany and the rest of the word”, said Niko Warbanoff, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors at DB Engineering & Consulting. “We have set out to be the world’s leading engineering and consulting firm in the rail sector and to help shape the railway for the world of tomorrow”, he added.

DB E&C has completed a diverse range of reference projects, including the relocation of Hamburg-Altona long-distance train station (design and approval planning); quality and safety plans for the new metro in Kochi, southern India; overall design management for the Cologne-Nippes ICE depot; supervision of operations for the Mecca Metro in Saudi Arabia; design and construction supervision for the German Unity construction project VDE 8; and consulting for maintenance and high-speed transport in China.

(Source: Deutsche Bahn)

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First freight train to link Lyon (France) with Wuhan (China)

A direct freight train linking Wuhan in central China and Lyons in France began operation on 7 April 2016.

The train, loaded with mechanical, electronic and chemical products, will exit China through Alataw Pass in Xinjiang, the westmost Chinese region, and pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany before reaching its destination.

It will take 16 days to complete the 11,300-kilometre journey, slashing the usual 50 to 60 days to transport from Wuhan to France by sea.

Automobile products, wine and agricultural products made in France are expected to be imported to China via the train.

Catering to the Belt and Road Initiative, the train is expected to further promote China’s cooperation with Eurasian countries.

Several Chinese cities including Chongqing, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Changsha and Shenyang have rail freight services to Europe.

(Source: Xinhua news agency)

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News from UIC members

Belgium/Thalys: Inauguration of first IZY

Budget passenger rail service launches between Brussels and Paris

Thalys CEO Agnès Ogier inaugurated the first IZY service from Brussels-Midi to Paris on 3 April. The new budget passenger service offers journey times of 2 hrs 15 at prices starting from 19 euros.

Thalys CEO Agnès Ogier said: “Today, more than ever, we are all citizens of Brussels and Paris. Our two capitals’ close historic relationship is founded on a common commitment to culture and the arts and on solidarity. Our aim with IZY is to tempt even more passengers onto the train and discover the two cities. Thalys is dedicated to bringing our countries closer - and IZY is the latest step on that road.”

Belgian Minister of Mobility Jacqueline Galant also stated her support for the new train: “The IZY budget service meets a need for customers seeking an alternative way to travel, and represents a new way of travelling by train which combines sustainable mobility with a value-for-money fares system.”

IZY is a new Thalys product specifically designed for the leisure traveller which meets a demand for fast, sustainable, low-cost travel solutions. With two to three return trips per day, the new purple-and-green IZY trains will link Brussels and Paris in an average of 2 hours 15 minutes, all at very competitive prices. Tickets will be on sale up to two months ahead of the date of travel, with prices starting at 19 euros and capped at 59 euros before options - thus representing an attractive alternative right up to the last minute.

(Source: Thalys)

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News from UIC members

Italy: Mazzoncini and FS challenges – TPL, goods, full mobility, and international expansion

During an audit at the Transport Commission of the Chamber of Deputies the CEO of FS Italiane Group, Renato Mazzoncini, laid down the guidelines of FS for the near future to Members of Parliament and to all of those that followed the live streaming.

From transport company to mobility company, for modal integration
“We need to convert FS from a railway company to a mobility company: this is a cultural change that is a must. Our railway staff now think about trains, but travellers are whom we have to think about: if we do not get a move on, Ferrovie will have problems. Ferrovie dello Stato – said the top managers – are already the backbone of the country’s mobility. We must become a mobility supplier: if not us, someone else will. I always say that: we must also start to think about selling NTV or Alitalia tickets."

FS, first company in Italy for investment
“In the last 10 years we have done two important things as a group: we have changed trains, from those of the 70s to trains built post-2000, and we have fixed the accounts: this year we will close the financial year with a good profit, especially compared to other European companies.” Even without figures, Mazzoncini highlighted that “it will be a profit with a significant growth” if compared to the positive result of 300 million euros of the previous year. "I would recommend leaving the profit in Ferrovie and investing it in the business plan. It is an important plan that requires funding and the resources generated are important.” Talking about investments, the CEO said that FS “had 4.1 billion euros of investment in 2015; we have a budget of 6.2 billion in 2016, while Enel, the second company in terms of investment, has three billion.” In short, “FS invests twice when compared to the second company for investment.”

By the end of the year, Mercitalia will come to light
“We have lost a lot of money on goods. We have a dozen companies and we are working towards a reorganisation within the year, to create, a new company in which we will put all the existing realities, so that our customers will finally have a single point of contact.”
"We have not yet submitted the business plan”, added the CEO, “but on the first draft of the plan, half a billion euros of investment on freight transport has been planned. About 220 to 230 million will be invested to renew the rolling stock and the same amount for part of the logistics platform."

A network spin-off would mean killing the group
“If the decision is to list Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane on the stock exchange and for the railway network to be given to State property, the direct effect could be a weakening of FS.” The value of the network, said the CEO, is 26 billion, which “are inactive”, but “when we go to the bank to fund major works, they give us very low rates because we have these great assets.” A spin-off of the railway network of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group “would mean killing the group; we could lose the whole know-how. It is one of the most important things that we are discussing with the Ministry. There are different options, we will try to not divide it,” said Mazzoncini again, adding that the business plan that he is developing “will also address this issue, and will answer many questions.” Mazzoncini explained that "the issue has been moved to 2017 and we will take a decision after the business plan. I do not have any kind of ideological preclusion, because according to DPCM, the control remains fully public. I just need to be sure that it is a successful operation and therefore it must be “based on a serious and very strong business plan.”

The single European railway market
“We are in favour of opening European railway spaces. Here in Italy, the competitor space is already occupied by NTV.” Focusing on the ongoing discussions about the Fourth European Railway Package, the CEO does not seem to be worried about the possible arrival of the French and German railways on the Italian high speed market. “We already have Italo. “Sure”, he said, “with all respect, I am mostly worried about competing with French or German railways. We are the only country that has high speed competitors and we have already become stronger."

FSE, ATAC, Trenord
Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane is interested in a possible acquisition of Ferrovie Sud Est. In answer to a question asked by journalists before the beginning of the audit, Mazzoncini replied: “Of course, we are interested in everything related to public transport.”

About the ATAC, the CEO said: “If the question is if I am interested in ATAC, the answer is no. “If the question is if I am interested in road transport in the capital city, the answer is yes. The best would be competition. We are holding a dialogue with the Municipality of Rome, which has a problem with a company with 1.7 billion euros of debt and technically bankrupt: they would be naive not to start any form of exchange. We have to move or foreign companies will," said Mazzoncini, certain that municipal companies, sooner or later, “will be given up” by local authorities. “We are the only party”, he added, “which can also propose a pricing integration.”
With regard to Trenord, according to Maroni, "we opened a dialogue to achieve a reorganisation for the upcoming challenges, the service agreement expires in 2020 and we must face the problem of how to meet them. We suggested that Maroni takes control of Trenord, in order to ensure the investments. The current equal model, from my point of view, has no logic, and it also makes it difficult for Lombardia Region to be the controller.” In answer to a question on the operation times, Mazzoncini replied “I think we can do it even now.”

Interest in Greek railways
FS is interested in the privatisation of Greek railways. "We are participating in data room for the privatisation of Trainose companies”, confirmed Mazzoncini. “At the moment there are three of us, along with China and Russia. It is a very small reality, because it is not related to rail; is an operation that will be worth less than 100 million Euros.” The deadline for submission of expression of interest, which was initially set yesterday, has been postponed to about mid-April.

FS requests from Iran to Sweden
In the railway world “only seven nations have high-speed trains, and Italians and Japanese people have the best systems,” thanks to this skill “we can go around the world.” There are many requests for the Italian railway excellence, "from Iran to Sweden.” Iran represents “a very important opportunity and we are able to do it.” Furthermore, “as operators, we are participating in a competition in the UK, for the London-Edinburgh line, which is very important, where today the service is provided by Virgin of Richard Branson”, explained the CEO. “We are in ATI (Associazione temporanea di impresa) with a strong British company, and we are the only non-British company to have obtained the passport, a license for competition in England. We are very confident. International development is extremely important, if we remain only in Italy we will become a colony little by little.”

(Source: FS Italiane Group)

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News from UIC members

Kazakhstan: Heads of national railway networks in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan agree on updating JTLC development model

A trilateral meeting was held on 29 March in Moscow between the President of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, President of JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) Askar Mamin and Head of Belarusian Railways Vladimir Morozov to discuss joint work within the framework of JSC Joint Transportation and Logistics Company (JTLC).
The parties reviewed JTLC’s 2015 results, its interim operational results since the beginning of 2016 and its future prospects.

The heads of the three companies agreed on the key principles of JTLC’s operational model, including implementing work within the boundaries of the railways in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus and its possible extension.

The basic route of JTLC’s container service is Dostyk/Altynkol – Brest and in the opposite direction. Additional routes are being approved by the parties as the project progresses.

The parties agreed on the need for a unified approach to the formation of tariff policy for subsidiaries and affiliated companies, as well as for third-party members of the Eurasian transport market.

JTLC’s updated operating model also allows for the possibility of attracting rolling stock operators and logistics companies based on market conditions in order to optimise the cost of services and improve their quality.

“The JTLC project is an integration platform for us. It is this model that gives us the possibility to implement the initial plans for equal participation in the company. In 2015, JTLC’s volume amounted to about 80,000 Twenty Foot Equivalents Units (TEUs), 83% more than in 2014. This year we have even more ambitious plans. We want to increase transportation compared to 2015 in the framework of the JTLC project. In view of the current situation, we believe that this area should be a priority for us,” said the President of Russian Railways.

Oleg Belozerov informed the meeting that the Russian government had made an announcement about JTLC, giving Russian Railways instructions to continue work on implementing the JTLC project and update its development strategy.

“The new model will promote the growth of container traffic. It is very important for us to earn extra revenue in this difficult macroeconomic environment. This project will help to increase container shipments and has good prospects,” said the President of JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) Askar Mamin.

Vladimir Morozov, the head of Belarusian Railways, stressed in turn that “To date, container transportation is the only segment which is experiencing growth. JTLC is extremely important to us. It will allow our railway administrations to increase the volume of transit traffic and attract an additional freight base.”

The heads of the railway companies in the three countries agreed to cooperate on developing JTLC’s business plan for the period until 2025 and the shareholders’ agreement in respect of JSC JTLC.

On 29 March 2016, a general shareholders meeting of JSC JTLC was also held at which Alexey Grom was unanimously elected as its new president. Grom previously held the post of first vice-president at JSC JTLC. In addition, the Board of Directors and the Management Board were also newly elected.

(Source: KTZ)


TimeTable Expert Group (TTEG) of MERITS meeting held from 31 March – 1 April 2016 in Madrid

The Merits TimeTable Expert Group (TTEG) meeting was held on 31 March and 1 April 2016 at the invitation of RENFE.

35 participants representing 15 railway companies were present.

UIC was represented by Marc Guigon, Senior Advisor for Passenger Transport, Fabrice Setta, Senior Advisor for eBusiness and Joachim Baars, Expert on timetables.

The TTEG is the community of Railway Undertakings that publishes consolidated timetable, services and station data (MERITS data) to be used by railway undertakings in information systems to support journey planners and booking activities.

Mr Francisco Cañamero, Commercial Director of RENFE Viajeros presented the organisation of RENFE Operadora under which RENFE Viajeros has its activities. He gave details on RENFE’s high speed activities, commuter rail network and regional services. He highlighted RENFE’s sales evolution by distribution channels.

Joachim Baars (UIC) presented data quality and explained the new 4.8 version of Merits with minimum Connecting Times (MCT). He informed the meeting about the future adaptations to the MERITS process (multiple MERITS supplier with same home territory, missing border stations, messages…).

Andreas Jung (DB Vertrieb) reported on the MERITS data management activity. He gave an overview of data deliveries, presented the quality insurance report available on the Google Earth application, focused on the quality of timetable deliveries and suggested improvements for the MERITS tool.

Robin Siep (Eurail) presented the Eurail activities, their use of MERITS data and the Eurail challenges.

Frank Martini (HaCon) presented the available report and highlighted some common questions and delicate situations for cross boarding trains.

Dominique Margottin (TAP-TSI) presented the current state of the TAP-TSI regulation and the consequences of the obligations on MERITS activities (tool and railway undertaking behaviour).

Henrik Nyman gave information about new Scandinavian requirements. Sweden has its own local regulation for PRR which is more favourable for customers. He underlined the interest of Scandinavian railway undertakings concerning timetable information.

Maria José González (Elipsos) gave details on the direct trains linking France and Spain within the RENFE-SNCF joint venture.

Fabrice Setta (UIC) gave information concerning UIC leaflet 916.1 and the system code list downloadable on the UIC website.

Marc Guigon (UIC) presented the wishes of the Commercial and Technical groups, and the need to write a white paper on timetable activities. He asked for the support of all Railway Undertakings to achieve this task.

The next meeting will be held from 20 – 21 October 2016 in Krakow at the kind invitation of PKP.

For further information please contact Marc Guigon:


New report: State of the art for the management of Railway Noise in Europe

In 2016 UIC has published an updated report concerning the state of the art for the management of Railway Noise in Europe. This topic has a heightened sensitivity given recent developments at EU level and the forthcoming updated noise guidelines to be published by the World Health Organisation.

Railway transport is widely recognised as the most sustainable form of major transport, as it consumes less energy, needs less space and produces less CO2 than any other transport mode. However, noise has long been the main environmental challenge for railway stakeholders. The public and their political representatives urge railway stakeholders to become quieter. But a lot has been achieved, and more activities are on the way. This report describes the recent developments and their impact.

This report is an update of a previous version, entitled Railway Noise in Europe, which was published in 2010. During the past few years significant developments have taken place with respect to legislation and approach, approval and application of technical solutions, responsibilities of the various parties involved and ways to persuade stakeholders to engage in common enterprises to improve the noise situation. At the same time, there is greater insight into the effects of noise on exposed residents and a growing pressure on railway enterprises and infrastructure managers to reduce noise where feasible. As a consequence, a significant noise reduction has been achieved for millions of European residents. Passenger vehicles with noisy cast iron brake blocks have been phased out in large parts of Europe. The retrofitting of significant parts of the rail freight fleet with composite brake blocks has started. In addition, old noisy wagons are scrapped every year and the new wagons replacing them are much quieter. Many kilometres of noise barriers have been constructed, a large number of noise insulated windows installed and measures on the track introduced.

There are a wide variety of stakeholders concerned with the management of railway noise. The rail sector has to deal with regulations and demands from the European Commission, national authorities, regional and city authorities, citizen groups and individuals, and to align these requirements with the railways’ own strategies. This report describes how this is currently done and seeks to inform the associated discussions.

Noise exposure and the cost of noise control must be effectively managed if rail is supposed to increase its market share, and in doing so to reduce the total environmental impact of the whole transport sector.

The full report is available here

For further information please contact Nick Craven, Head of the UIC Sustainable Development Unit:

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UIC Director General invited to represent the railway sector at the United Nations Climate Summit 2016

Following on from the COP21 landmark legal agreement concerning climate change, the world’s attention has now turned to realisation of the ambitious commitment to limit the global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius”. Whilst it is recognised that this feat will require economy-wide global and national transformations – transport has a major role to play – and rail transport as the most emissions efficient major mode of land transportation can provide a key part of the solution.

The Climate Action 2016 multi-stakeholder summit will take place two weeks after the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement, and eight months after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by all the governments of the world. In this context, the summit will serve to strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach to climate implementation. In particular, it will deepen and expand the action coalitions of government, business, finance, philanthropy, civil society and academic leaders launched at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit 2014 in New York, and since then developed through the Lima to Paris Action Agenda.

Climate Action 2016 will seek to make this broad-scale organisation of climate action both more effective and sustainable, and provide a launching pad for climate implementation in the pre-2020 period. UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux has been invited to make two interventions, at the pre-summit stakeholders workday regarding the global vision for sustainable mobility, and then at the main summit to discuss the role of international institutions.

Over the course of two days, the summit will drive high-level engagement with global luminaries addressing plenary sessions on how to deliver on climate commitments and embed the transformation agenda across the globe in government, key sectors and among the general population. At the same time, the summit will focus on convening working groups for sessions on near-term implementation actions and long-term implementation needs. These will focus on City and Sub-national implementation; Transport; Land-use; Energy; Resilience/Adaptation; and Analysis and Tools to Support Decision Making.

Effective climate implementation will require collaboration from a variety of actors. The Climate Action 2016 summit will engage approximately 700 participants, by invitation, representing leaders from government, business, finance, academia, philanthropy and civil society. Seven organisations have come together to jointly co-host the summit, providing this diverse group with the information, connections and tools they need to lead effective implementation in a new climate regime. The co-hosts are:

  • H.E. Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group
  • Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change; Founding Partner, Compact of Mayors
  • Dr Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environment Facility
  • Dr Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Mr Peter Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, World Business Council on Sustainable Development
  • Mr Nigel Topping, Chief Executive Officer, We Mean Business
  • Dr Wallace Loh, President, University of Maryland

For further information on the Climate Summit please visit

Or contact Nick Craven, Head of the UIC Sustainable Development Unit:

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FISAIC expands its activities to other countries

The International Association for Culture and Leisure of Railway Staff (FISAIC) gladly welcomes new members to its large family and is expanding itsexisting membership base. This statement was announced by the General President of the FISAIC, Mr Guy Gieres, at the meeting of the Presidents of the International Technical Commissions.

The meeting took place from 31 March – 2 April 2016 in Ceska Trebova (CZ) in the presence of eight Presidents of the International Technical Commissions and an international guest from Latvia. Now Latvia is one of the countries (along with Spain and Greece) ready to participate in international activities of the FISAIC. An autumn exibition of the Model Railway group in Riga, in cooperation with the Museum LDZ (Latvian Historical Railway Museum), can be a shining example of such a partnership. It is obvious that FISAIC can look forward to numerous interesting projects for the near future.

FISAIC was founded in 1952 and since then has been fulfilling the main task of promoting the cultural and leisure activities of railway staff. It currently consists of 25 member countries, which organise several international events each year presenting the work of the FISAIC members. Such events are usually appreciated by a wide audience, proving the fact that the national railway companies employ many talented people who successfully represent them at international level.

For further information please visit

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Number of visits to EcoPassenger website has quadrupled

The UIC EcoPassenger website, which was re-launched last November, has received four times the number of visits since the updating process in comparison to the website’s previous statistics.

The figures provided by the website’s tracking system show a strong increase following the implementation of new functionalities which analysed the visits over the last year. The website receives over 4,000 visits per month and displays over 23,000 pages.

The main factor contributing to this increase is the possibility of implementing a widget on other websites, which extends the possibility of performing calculations with EcoPassenger and shows the relevance of personal choices in energy consumption, carbon emissions and local air pollution.
The addresses required to implement the widgets can be found below in the various languages:

In addition, the new EcoPassenger version has improved usability for smart phones and tablets with a new mobile version completely compatible with all operative systems.

UIC invites you to check the emissions of your trips at

For further information please contact Aymeric Boniou, Webmaster:

UIC Communications Department:

Gabriel Castañares Hernández, Senior Advisor on Energy and CO2:

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Workshop on Energy Efficiency of Parked Trains and Refurbishment of Rolling Stock to be held on 8 June 2016 in the Netherlands

A UIC workshop dedicated to Energy Efficiency of Parked Trains and Refurbishment of Rolling Stock will be held on 8 June at the NS offices in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

This workshop will be an excellent opportunity for managers, advisors and experts to exchange experiences on best practices, procedures and technologies on the management of parked trains regarding energy efficiency and the refurbishment of rail rolling stock.

Representatives from the supply industry and managers of rail companies involved in energy efficiency programmes dedicated to this topic will take part in the workshop. The workshop will be an excellent opportunity for railway companies to meet and exchange best practices on all related aspects during the dedicated technical session.

Technical presentations on the performance and management of energy efficiency of parked trains and refurbishment of rolling stock will be followed by fruitful discussions allowing benchmarking as well as sharing best practices and possible challenges. The programme will include a technical visit to railway facilities.

To secure your participation, please register at the following link:

We look forward to seeing you in Haarlem (Netherlands) on 8 June.

For further information please contact Gabriel Castañares Hernández, Senior Advisor on Energy and CO2:

2 Votes

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Foster Rail Final Conference held on 7 April 2016 in Brussels

The Final Conference for the EC funded FOSTER-RAIL project was held on 7 April at the Marriott Hotel in Brussels. About 70 people attended this event, including representatives of DG MOVE – European Commission, representatives of a number of Member States, the FOSTER-RAIL project partners as well as many ERRAC rail stakeholders and representatives of other modes of transport. The conference was opened by the ERRAC chairman Mr Andy Doherty. In his opening words he gave special attention to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and especially to one of our CER colleagues Mrs Aline Bastin who was unfortunately one of the casualties. He said that more than ever safety and security of the rail system is at the focus of our attention.

The central topic – the achievements of the FOSTER-RAIL project were embedded in a number of other related interesting topics:

Mr Keir Fitch explained on behalf of the European Commission that Joint Undertakings, like Shift2Rail, are specially designed within Horizon 2020 to overcome the issues of R&I fragmentation and to support market uptake and the implementation of innovative solutions. Shift2Rail represents a powerful instrument to complement and support the establishment of the Single European Railway Area and contributes to meeting the ambitious objectives of the EU transport policy.
He explained the opportunities for rail research & innovation within the current H2020 programme and stated that in order to be successful in delivering its ambitions, the rail sector will have to ensure:

  • An effective cooperation among the different actors of the rail sector, guaranteeing that the user needs are properly reflected in the development of innovative solutions and that the broader research community can contribute to the excellence of the programme
  • A properly functioning system approach to allow sufficient coordination of the different R&I activities and deliver solutions responding to the sector’s needs
  • That the critical challenges faced by the rail sector are well addressed by the planned R&I activities, incl. taking into account the diversity of networks / businesses / operations across Europe;
  • A real added-value of the R&I activities and a long term contribution to a joint
  • vision delivering the sector’s ambitions

The ERRAC chairman went on to present the ideas and suggestions for the future of ERRAC as the European Technology Platform for rail as discussed previously by the ERRAC Strategic Board. A review of the role of ERRAC had become necessary because of the changing rail innovation landscape and the set-up of the S2R Joint Undertaking. Following his presentation entitled: “ERRAC evolution and regeneration - a changed and new role in the railway vision of the future railway? “ he presented his views for discussion in the form of a Declaration which was then endorsed by the ERRAC Plenary members as the way forward for ERRAC. The presentation and the text of the Declaration can de downloaded from the website.

The FOSTER-RAIL project coordinator Mr. Dennis Schut then gave an overview of the content and the achievements of the FOSTER-RAIL project which started in May 2014 and will end at the end of April 2016. The project was funded by the European commission and was designed to support ERRAC, the European Rail Research Advisory Council. The work has built on the previous achievements and publications. Among other things, the project has developed initiatives for closer cooperation between ERRAC and the other transport related European Technology Platforms in order to investigate opportunities for the modes of transport to get better connected and cooperate in innovation. On the other hand links were explored and strengthened between the ERRAC (European) level and the rail research & innovation related organisations and activities on a national level.
A great deal of effort has been invested in the development of the most likely 2050 rail business scenario to build the updated SRRIA – Strategic Rail Research & Innovation Agenda and the new and updated 10 part-research & innovation roadmaps to put the development of rail as the backbone of the transport system on the track towards 2050. The project also considered the (future) relation between ERRAC and Shift2Rail. One of the eight work packages also continued to evaluate previous European rail research projects and the way the results of each of these projects has found the way to implementation and market uptake.

Following the general project overview, the leaders of each of the 10 part-roadmaps presented a resume of their work. The extensive versions of each of these part-roadmaps can be downloaded from the website (under ‘Foster-Rail’) as well as an integrated roadmap brochure, a brochure describing the contents of the total project as well as many other project deliverables. The project coordinator informed the attendees that the text of the integrated roadmap brochure will be translated into 5 languages of a number of Eastern and South-Eastern European countries in order to considerably enhance the impact of the 36 months of hard work. There is a large need and potential for innovation of the rail system in these countries as well as a high level of expertise but in comparison to western European countries a lower degree of command of the English language. Translations in the Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Czech and Serbian languages will soon be available from the website. This information met with a positive reception among the audience!

The last presentation of this interesting event was made by Prof. Manuel Pereira, academic vice-chairman of ERRAC. He described the first results of one of the last deliverables of the project, a comparison between the ERRAC SRRIA and the Multi Annual Action Plan of Shift2Rail. Together with the other results of the FOSTER-RAIL project – SRRIA and Roadmaps – this comparison will present valuable input to the EC and the other rail stakeholders for the content of the future work programmes and calls for proposals for H2020 and S2R, as well as for their follow-up after 2020.

Due to other important obligations, the UIC Director-General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux could not attend this Final Conference. Project Coordinator and UIC Research Manager Dennis Schut read to the audience a personal message sent by Mr Loubinoux. Among other things he stated that “it has not been an easy ride to run this project alongside the development of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking which has taken much of the specialised rail research and innovation manpower from many of the European rail stakeholders. Nevertheless, the project consortium has managed to develop a great number of important deliverables which should be used to guide the steps forward towards the necessary innovation of the European Railway system in becoming the backbone of the EU transport system as the main intermodal component… and doing so, in full support of the EC’s Transport White Paper and its aims for a sustainable European transport system.

These important FOSTER-RAIL deliverables such as the Rail Business Scenarios and based upon these the new Strategic Rail Research & Innovation Agenda and its 10 part Roadmaps will also provide a strong input to the future Horizon 2020 and S2R work programmes and call topics as well as being the basis for the future transport related research programmes and calls.

Having had the honour of being the coordinating organisation for this strategic project, I would like to thank the European Commission, all project partners and all other contributors for successfully supporting this project and its deliverables.

I hope that all European transport stakeholders will take notice of the interesting project results and will use them as building block for our future sustainable and customer focused European transportation system. You can be assured that the UIC and the Rail Operating Community will do so and will continue to give its strong support to ERRAC!”

The ERRAC chairman Mr. Andy Doherty thanked everybody for their attendance and participation in the final event of the important FOSTER-RAIL project and officially concluded.

A special interactive workshop will be organised for UIC members at UIC HQ in Paris – possibly on 28 May – to present and discuss how to implement the FOSTER-RAIL Rail Research & Innovation Roadmaps. You will be kept informed through the forthcoming issues of UIC eNews.

The speech of Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux is available here:

For further information about ERRAC and in particular the results of the Foster Rail project please visit the dedicated website: and the pages dedicated to this project

Or contact Dennis Schut:

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


UIC-FIATA Contact Group meeting to be held from 12 – 13 May 2016 in Shenzhen, China

The UIC-FIATA Contact Group is organising a larger meeting which is scheduled to take place from 12 – 13 May 2016 in Shenzhen, China.

The main points to be discussed are:

  • The expectations of Freight Forwarders vis-à-vis Rail Service Providers with regard to trade between China and Europe concerning the suitable commodities to transport on this trade route
  • Simplified Border Crossing facilitation in the digital age and facilitation of procedures and documentation on the Eurasian Rail Link
  • Practical results of using different rail corridors in trade between China and Europe
  • Developments of rail infrastructure and the expansion of terminal operations on the Eurasian rail link

UIC Members who are interested in attending this meeting and who wish to receive further details please contact Hans Günther Kersten, Director of the UIC Freight Department:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


BODEGA – First rail field studies began in Brussels on 8 April!

Thanks to the support of the Belgian Police, UIC had the opportunity to organise the first rail field study on 8 April 2016 in the Eurostar Channel Terminal from Brussels-Midi railway station.

As a partner of the BODEGA consortium, UIC is the coordinator of the BODEGA field studies.

The field study team was composed of Human Factor specialists as well as an expert in ethics, representing CEA, CEIS, the University of Namur and UIC.

The day focused on making observations on the field and conducting interviews with several Belgian border guards. It was also the opportunity to interview trainers, operational managers and top managers of border guards.

It was the opportunity to better understand the current activities of border guards and to ask them some questions about their needs in the framework of the “smart border initiative” that will be implemented soon by the European Commission. The human expertise that is required for the border guard officers was really impressive.

At this stage of the field studies, lots of raw data from interviews and observations have been collected and will be analysed through a common grid of analysis. Obviously, all these data remain anonymous and confidential, complying with the deontological and ethical principles shared within BODEGA’s consortium.

Following this preliminary analysis, some first inputs for the BODEGA recommendations will emerge… and will have to be followed!

UIC would especially like to thank the Belgian Police, who despite the recent events helped to achieve this first field study in the BODEGA project.

Reminder: BODEGA is a three-year European research project aiming to facilitate the construction of the future smart borders through ethical, societal and legal considerations into a set of human, organisational and technical factors.

For further information please contact Virginie Papillault:

2 Votes

Average rating: 4.5 / 5


Save the Date for the 13th UIC Sustainability Conference to be held on 12, 13 & 14 October 2016 in Vienna

The 13th UIC Sustainability conference will be held in Vienna in partnership with OBB from 12 to 14 October 2016 – Save the Date!

Much has happened in the four years since the worldwide railway sustainability community gathered in Venice for the last UIC Sustainability Conference.

In many ways 2015 was a defining year for sustainable development due to two landmark international agreements: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals) & the COP21 Climate Change Accord. In 2016 the attention of the world’s governments and civil society will shift to the implantation and realisation of these agreements. Whilst transport is an accepted enabler of economic growth, the role of sustainable transport is gaining recognition as an enabler of sustainable development. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-moon’s Five Year Action Agenda specifically includes transport as one of the six building blocks for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. This was followed up by a message from UN Secretary General to the UIC General Assembly of July 2015 concerning the major role of railways to build a low carbon future.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, comprising the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) sets out the framework for development policy and investments agreed by all member States of the United Nations. Sustainable transport can be viewed as an enabler for all 17 of the SGDs. However, there are a sub-group of targets that offer the railways a good opportunity to demonstrate to national governments how they can make a substantive contribution, for example; energy efficiency (Goal 7), resilient infrastructure (Goal 9) and access to sustainable transport (Goal 11), resilience to climate-related hazards (Goal 13), promote environmentally sound technologies & multi-stakeholder partnerships (Goal 17). Together, these goals cover main dimensions of sustainability relating to railways, such as energy efficiency, adaptation to climate change, sustainable mobility and stakeholder integration.

The Climate Change COP21 negotiations successfully concluded at the end of 2016. Notably an increased level of ambition (1.5 degrees) was included in the final outcome. Rail companies have an opportunity to demonstrate how increasing rail market share can help to reduce transport emissions and through this help to achieve the governmental commitments set out in the ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs) and also support greater ambition for the 5 year revision of the NDC. In this frame, the UIC campaign ‘Train To Paris’ successfully showed the rail sector commitment and the major role as an alternative solution to climate change in the transport sector.

At the European level the rail sector must respond to the EU Transport Paper White mid-term review & implementation report. Effective steps are needed to turn the ambitious objectives into reality, including modal shift / emissions targets and internalisation of external costs. Rail freight noise remains a politically sensitive issue. Energy & CO2 have a high profile following COP21 and a growing recognition of the need to break the EU dependence on imported fossil fuels. This is reflected by recent developments in the EU ETS, renewable energy directive and proposed energy union. The conference will highlight how modal shift to rail has a key role in reducing both transport carbon emissions and the dependency on imported oil.

In addition to the global issues the conference will consider sustainability from the railway practitioners’ point of view, with deeper dives into energy management, sustainability reporting for the rail sector, and climate change adaptation, amongst other issues.

Further details regarding the conference will be announced in the coming months.

For further information please contact Nick Craven, Head of the UIC Sustainable Development Unit:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

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 April 2016

  Contact the UIC e-News team