United States: Trails and Rails Program adds route from New York City to Washington, D.C.

The National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with Amtrak, has added the New York to Washington, D.C. Saturday morning route as part of its Trails and Rails program.

NPS volunteers will assist passengers with information about national parks and monuments on Saturday mornings aboard Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 153, leaving New York Penn Station at 8:05 A.M. and aboard Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 152, leaving Washington Union Station at 8:10 A.M. Afternoon service can vary but the program is typically offered on select mid-afternoon trains.

Volunteers will help passengers “Find Your Park” among the more than 80 NPS sites and even more state and local parks along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Volunteers will serve as NPS ‘concierges,’ ready to let passengers know what parks they can visit along the route. The Trails and Rails Guides can also assist passengers as they connect to public transportation, provide alternate routes and schedules. Any passenger with a tablet or smartphone may take this information with them. Service between New York and Washington began on Saturday, April 9.

Joshua Laird, commissioner of National Parks of New York Harbor, noted that 50 million people live along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. “In this Centennial year of the National Park Service,” he said, “Trails and Rails will help connect passengers with the parks which are all around them, including the ten national park sites in New York Harbor. Trails and Rails is a smart program that reaches park audiences in unconventional ways. Amtrak is a great, green way to visit your national parks in New York City, in the nation’s capital or anywhere in between.”

“Amtrak is proud to partner with the National Park Service and congratulates the agency on its centennial,” said Mike DeCataldo, Amtrak Senior Vice President and General Manager of Northeast Corridor Operations. “America’s Railroad is pleased to help connect the citizens of our great country with some of our finest treasures – our national parks. The free service these dedicated National Park Service volunteers are providing to our customers is an example of the kind of experience that makes Amtrak the smarter way to travel.”

Since 2000, Amtrak and the NPS have partnered through the Trails and Rails program. In 2016, the program covered 25 segments on 17 routes nationwide. The Northeast Regional route from Washington, D.C. to New York City has been staffed by volunteers since 2012. The Adirondack routes in northern New York are some of the older Trails and Rails routes in the Northeast. In 2015, 741 volunteers contacted approximately half a million passengers.

The program is still training new volunteers. If you wish to become a Trails and Rails guide along the route from New York to Washington, D.C., email TrailsandRails.npnh@gmail.com.

(Source: Amtrak)

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5

News from UIC members

Canada: VIA Rail – The Smart Sustainable Mobility Choice

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) passengers have something to be proud of: their contribution to creating a more sustainable future for Canada. The company’s Sustainable Mobility Report 2015, which was released on April 21, 2016, describes VIA Rail’s efforts to provide an exceptional customer experience, while supporting socio-economic development, by operating safely and efficiently, reducing its impact on the environment, being an employer of choice and maintaining the public trust.

“Passenger rail services play a leading role as a smart way for travellers to support healthy communities, promote a thriving economy and help Canadians transition to a lower-carbon economy,” asserted Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail. “Our commitment to sustainable mobility is the outcome of several years of effort coupled with the firm belief that innovation should be made to serve the cause of a more sustainable future for the generations to come. Additionally, our 2020 Sustainable Mobility Strategy proposes a passenger transport dedicated track project that would enable us to increase traffic on our trains while also reducing road congestion and emissions of greenhouse gases and toxic atmospheric contaminants, while creating thousands of jobs for Canadians… all this while minimizing the impact on the taxpayers of this country and giving them an opportunity to invest in a transformative project through their pension plans.”

Offer the best customer experience
VIA Rail wants to make the train the ultimate transport solution. The company is making every effort to listen to its customers, in order to improve its services, analyze and optimize its schedules, and forge connections with other carriers to ensure integrated travel. Its accomplishments in 2015 include the launch of lower rates benefiting 1.4 million passengers, including military personnel, newcomers to Canada, seniors and students.

Promote socio-economic development
VIA Rail is aware of its responsibility to manage public funds effectively and efficiently, as well as the key role it plays in supporting Canada’s socio-economic prosperity. The company offers communities access to a sustainable transportation system and convenient connections, while also creating jobs, supporting local businesses and promoting culture and tourism nationwide by offering Canadians, as well as visitors from abroad, a unique way to discover the country. Initiatives put in place in 2015 include an ongoing assessment of the impact of strategic investments on sustainable development, especially the dedicated track project.

Operate safely and efficiently
The safety of passengers, employees and the general public is at the forefront of all the company’s actions and represents a vital priority for VIA Rail. In 2015, the corporation undertook a major project to upgrade its Safety Management System (SMS), in compliance with new regulations under Transport Canada’s Railway Safety Act. These updates enabled VIA to stay at the forefront of best safety management practices in the industry and to further strengthen how it engages its people on its preventive safety culture. On that front, the number of workplace accidents has dropped by 31% since 2011, and the company offered 33,681 training hours on safety in 2015.

Reduce our impact on the environment
As Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail is proud to be one of the most environmentally friendly inter-city modes of travel.Despite the inherent benefits of the train, the company makes every effort to minimize the effects of its operations on the environment by improving its fuel efficiency, using its resources more efficiently and partnering with suppliers to encourage greener products and services. Since 2009, VIA Rail has reduced the intensity of its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% through innovative fleet upgrades, fuel-efficient technologies and behavioural changes. VIA Rail has also committed to fight climate change, as a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Be an employer of choice
The 2,577 people who work for VIA Rail across Canada are the foundation of the company’s success. Whatever their rank within the organization – front-line employees, maintenance or administrative workers, management or specialized professionals – their dedication, talent and passion have made VIA Rail a company that is recognized for its customer service. In 2015, VIA Rail hired 393 new employees, provided training to 83% of its workforce and saw attendance at work reach 93.3%.

Maintain the public trust
Underpinning VIA Rail’s management approach are good governance, strong values and a commitment to transparent reporting and accountability. Doing business on the basis of high standards of integrity positions VIA to operate ethically and build the trust of stakeholders. In 2015, the company launched a new code of ethics that encompasses its commitment to sustainability, and obtained a 99.9% employee attestation of compliance to this new code, among other measures.

The full report can be viewed at http://uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/sustainable_mobility_report_2015.pdf

(Source: VIA Rail)

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.33 / 5

News from UIC members

Russia: New three-year collective agreement Russian Railways to be concluded in 2016

On 22 April 2016 Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways, held a joint meeting of the Company’s Management Board and the trade union committee Rosprofzhel, which was dedicated to meeting the obligations of the Collective Agreement Russian Railways in 2015.

“Despite the difficult economic situation, the Company has not rejected the principles of social responsibility on the part of business. In 2015, all the obligations to the employees, veterans and pensioners of Russian Railways, were fulfilled,” said Oleg Belozerov when addressing the meeting.

The average monthly salary of employees at Russian Railways in 2015 amounted to 44,500 roubles, which is 31% higher than the average in the Russian Federation. Labour productivity for the year increased by 4.8%, while in the first quarter of 2016 it rose by 4.5%.

In order to increase motivation, employees are paid bonuses for ensuring traffic safety, while zonal allowances have been established in regions with high levels of staff turnover and lower wages. Wages are indexed every year, and this year the Company has already found the funds to index wages to 2.9% from 1 March 2016.
Since 2014, Russian Railways has been operating a three-year collective agreement, which has allowed the Company to develop one of the best social packages for employees and retirees in the country.

However, the agreement expires in 2016, so the Company is working on a new version to cover the next three years.

“The collective agreement should not be static. It has to be improved constantly,” said Dmitry Shakhanov, Vice-President of Russian Railways, in his address to the session.

According to Shakhanov, the document should be based on three basic strategic principles. Above all, it should aim at improving the targeting of benefits and guarantees so that each employee can choose herself what social services she wants to use. The next basic principle is to increase the share of benefits that are provided on insurance principles and conditions of equity co-financing on the part of workers and the employer. The third principle is to strengthen the responsibility of employees for operating results.

“The principle of responsibility should be clarified in the Collective Agreement. Otherwise, it could turn out that unscrupulous employees would receive the same benefits as those who are selflessly dedicated to their work. It has to be made crystal clear that low-quality work leads to a lack of resources which we could and should have directed to promoting other staff,” said Oleg Belozerov.

The negotiations signing the new Collective Agreement at Russian Railways will take place in the near future.

(Source: RZD)

1 vote

Average rating: 2 / 5


Presentation of European projects

During a meeting dedicated to the presentation of future UIC projects, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, gave the following speech:

For the opening of this workshop dedicated to the presentations of future projects, I wish to thank all the members who are taking part, and for their appreciation of all our efforts to develop our services and all our deliverables – whether they be projects, International Railway Standards (IRS) studies or workshops.

All these actions are driven by the three main pillars of our strategy, professionalism, productivity and promotion – productivity of course within its limits as we realise that we cannot deliver more for less, but we are doing the best we can in this area.

Professionalism and promotion now fall within the Quality Management System (QMS) process, which is a collective approach with our members with a win-win objective. I am happy to say that the presentations that will be delivered today have actually been reviewed through the QMS process. You will receive 22 presentations from the Rail System, Passenger, Freight and Fundamental Values departments. These projects have been proposed by the experts of our members in these various forums and platforms, and the presentations will now be focusing on the business added-value of these project proposals and also how they will be projected in the three annual vision documents.

Thank you again for the higher level involvement of all members. We hope that the approval of these projects in the years to come will enable UIC to continue developing its unique expertise at the service of the railway operating community, through the work of the experts.

5 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5


New guidelines on level crossing safety to help save lives

IRU, the International Union of Railways (UIC) and Operation Lifesaver Estonia (OLE) published a Level Crossing Safety flyer on 3 May 2016 to raise awareness of professional drivers and reduce related accidents at this key interface between road and rail infrastructure.

Using a level crossing is safe as long as users cross properly. Nevertheless, risks still exist and the consequences of a collision between trains and commercial vehicles can be dramatic.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 1968 Convention on Road Traffic and the Highway Code, states that “trains have priority, whilst road users and pedestrians must comply with road signs and signals in order to cross safely and consequently prevent any collision arising from misuse or inappropriate behaviour and potentially endangering train passengers, crew and other users.”

Global freight and passenger traffic, both road and rail, have increased markedly in recent decades, thereby also increasing the risks of collisions at level crossings.
This is why IRU and UIC, two worldwide road and rail associations, together with Operation Lifesaver Estonia, have joined forces to raise awareness about level crossing safety amongst transport professionals. While the flyer does not cover every situation that may arise when commercial drivers use a level crossing, it aims to make them more aware of how to avoid risks potentially leading to a collision.

President of the IRU Commission for Road Safety, Rob Aarse, said, “For true road transport professionals, every road accident is one too many. We welcome this opportunity to work together with the UIC and Operation Lifesaver Estonia in tackling the issue of level crossing safety so that we can raise awareness among drivers of potential dangers and ultimately save lives.”

UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, stressed, “We’ve been working for years on this risky interface, but strengthening collaboration with road organisations such as IRU is key to improving safety at level crossings at the highest level possible.”

OLE’s CEO, Tamo Vahemets, said, “I believe that these safety guidelines developed in cooperation with UIC and IRU will help professional drivers better understand the risks related to crossing railways by providing clear instructions to cross railways safely. I hope that drivers will take such guidelines seriously and follow them as safety norms.”

Beyond raising driver awareness, this cooperation will also help the three organisations enhance knowledge and safety in the design and use of level crossings.

The Level Crossing Safety flyer is currently available in English with other languages set to follow.

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

Read more:
IRU work to increase road safety
UIC work to increase rail safety and road/rail safety
OLE work to increase road/rail safety

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

Italy: FS Italiane will build two high speed lines in Iran

Two high-speed lines, a test centre and staff training: these are the highlights of the framework agreement on cooperation between FS Italiane and RAI (Iranian Railways) signed today in Tehran by FS Italiane CEO, Renato Mazzoncini and Iranian Deputy Minister of Transport and RAI Chairman Pour Seyed Aghaei, at a ceremony attended by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani;

Today’s agreement, which follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the parties on 9 February, confirms FS Italiane as the favoured candidate to develop Iran’s rail network: as main contractor, FS Italiane will design, develop and test the high-speed lines from Tehran-Hamedan and Qom-Arak, whilst Italcertifer, FS Italiane Group’s wholly-owned certification company, will work on the design, execution and certification of the Iranian Railways’ Test Centre, where infrastructure and rolling stock will be trialled using advanced equipment.

The agreement also foresees a comprehensive training programme for Iranian Railways staff, also to be supplied by FS Italiane.

The cooperative ventures will be funded by export credits from Italian investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the banking system, which are fully guaranteed by Italy’s export credit agency SACE (CDP Group). Interest rates will be kept stable thanks to the participation of Italian overseas investment agency SIMEST (CDP Group).

FS Italiane CEO Renato Mazzoncini said: “This cooperation agreement confirms the high demand at international level for Italian know-how in the railway sector. We are very proud to contribute in a concrete way to Italy’s success around the world: expansion into foreign markets and the internationalization of our activities, in terms of both infrastructure and competitive routes on European corridors, will be key points in the business plan we are working on."

Iran’s railway infrastructure covers around 10,000 kilometres, and is set to grow to 25,000 km by 2025. Some 7,500 kilometres of new lines are already under construction.

(Source: FS)

2 Votes

Average rating: 4.5 / 5

News from UIC members

Germany: DB defines test routes for new noise-protection systems

Suppliers and universities called upon to develop new noise-protection products and concepts

In cooperation with Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is launching the “Noise protection: trialling new and application-focused solutions” (I-LENA) initiative. The initiative, which will run from April 2016 to the end of 2020, for the first time offers developers and manufacturers of noise-protection systems the opportunity to test their innovations “live” on two DB lines, with the costs to be borne by the BMVI.

“In collaboration with developers and manufacturers, we are bringing noise-protection systems straight out of the lab and onto the tracks. In Bavaria and Brandenburg, we are creating innovation corridors for modern noise protection, on which new ideas, prototypes and products can be implemented, tested and upgraded in regular operations. To achieve this, we are supplying 5 million euros in funding”, said Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt.

“The aim of this initiative is not only to help suppliers implement new noise-protection systems. It is also to promote competition in a future market which is in urgent need of innovative products if it is to develop further. At the same time, upgrading existing and effective noise-protection systems is a prerequisite in strengthening railways as a mode of transport in the long term”, said Deutsche Bahn Noise Protection Officer Ines Jahnel.

(Source: Deutsche Bahn)

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


France: New TGV Atlantique to begin in 2017

Timetables released for Brittany high speed line

New TGV Atlantique unveiled
New TGV services to south-west France are to begin on 2 July 2017.
The new TGV Atlantique 2017 will change the lives of all who use it, allowing them to travel faster, better, and more often.

With 446 days to go before the official launch, details of the new services have been released. Some 2,500 daily timings are affected - over a third of all trains timetabled across France. The service levels have been agreed following extensive consultation with local politicians, passenger associations and socio-economic stakeholders.

TGV Atlantique 2017: Good news all round
SNCF hopes that the new TGV will be a success across all sections of society and boost mobility for all the region’s inhabitants, offering 2.3 million additional passenger journeys per year on routes to the south-west from 2019. The people of Bordeaux are in no doubt: 89 % say that the TGV is “good news” for them. And the “TGV effect” will boost regional attractiveness, with 87% of Bordeaux residents believing that the new TGV will “foster dynamism in their region”.

The new TGV Atlantique 2017: High-quality travel
Travel Faster

The major benefit of high line speeds will be to reduce journey times to south-west France, with Bordeaux now only 2 hours 4 minutes from Paris. The time saving will be also felt by the other 27 towns and cities along the route thanks to better connectivity with TER services.

The goal is to share the benefits of high speed rail as widely as possible: faster trains serving towns & cities en route, and in some cases offering the possibility of commuting daily. The biggest time savings will be:

  • Paris-Bordeaux: 2 hrs 4 minutes, down from 3 hrs 14 mins
  • Paris-Toulouse: 4 hrs 9 minutes, down from 5 hrs 25 mins

Travel better
As of 2017, the region of Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes will benefit from the phased arrival of 40 new double-deck TGV Duplex Atlantique trainsets (to be delivered between 2016 and 2019), representing an investment of 1 billion euros, as well as 24 overhauled Duplex trainsets. These trains have redesigned interiors and meet high comfort standards: new, more ergonomic seating in both first and second class allowing passengers to work or relax, as well as high-speed Wi-Fi.

Travel more often
94% of Bordeaux residents agree that the new TGV will “offer easier access to Paris, whether for day trips or weekend breaks”. The new TGV services will maximise the number of potential travellers and will be tailored to their needs, spreading the benefits of high speed rail across as many towns & cities as possible.

More capacity, more trains: more than 2.3 million additional passenger journeys are expected on south-western routes by 2019
Maximum (trainset) capacity at peak hours
Same-day (even same-morning/afternoon) return journeys possible
Arrive earlier in the morning, return later in the evening.

Brittany high speed line: timetables released
New services and time savings

With the launch of the new Bretagne - Pays de la Loire high speed line in 2017, SNCF promises travellers to and from Brittany time savings as of July 2017. Seven years in the making, the project will offer inhabitants of Brittany time savings of over 40 minutes. Quimper, Lorient, Lamballe, St-Brieuc, Guingamp: all the cities west of Rennes will benefit from shorter journey times. Paris-St Malo will only be 2 hrs 14 mins (down from 2 hrs 56 mins), whereas Paris-Brest will be 3 hrs 25 mins (currently 4 hrs 21 mins).

Frequencies will also be increased to and from a number of other Breton cities. For example, Rennes will be served by an extra daily TGV to and from Paris compared to today. The first train of the day will allow the people of Rennes to reach Paris around 7.45 am, with the last train home departing from Paris around 9.30 pm.

Construction began in 2011 for a cost of 3.5 billion euros, and has involved laying 182 km of new line. The TGVs will have a maximum speed in service of 320 km/h, whilst high speed TER (regional trains) will run at up to 200 km/h. Beyond higher speeds and easier access to Brittany and the Pays de la Loire region, the project will also impact on regional and inter-regional TER services. The number of TER services will further increase with the building of the Sablé-sur-Sarthe chord, which will connect the Bretagne - Pays de la Loire high speed line and the Sablé-sur-Sarthe line. The chord will enable direct connections between Rennes and the cities of Nantes, Angers, and Laval.

(Source: SNCF)

8 Votes

Average rating: 4.75 / 5


Commuter and regional train systems working group meeting

The Commuter and Regional Train Systems working group held its latest meeting in Bydgoszcz, Poland. It was kindly hosted by the Polish Chamber of Manufacturers of Equipment and Services for Railways, and organised by Mr Bartlomiej Buczek, Chairman of the group.

The group is currently preparing a study on the carriage of bicycles by train within this type of railway system. The initial results from the different companies that have participated in this study were discussed. Given the high level of participation and the importance of this subject, together with the possibilities that it offers in a multimodal context, it was decided to continue working in this field.

A possible collaboration with the International Agency of Energy was also on the agenda. In addition, the date was set for the first training session on Commuter and Regional Systems. It will take place from 27 to 29 September 2016 in Rome. The programme and the potential speakers were also discussed during the meeting.
On the second day, there was a technical visit to PESA, the Polish railway manufacturer, where the latest developments in railway manufacturing were shown to visitors. Finally, the meeting ended with a visit to Bydgoszcz station, one of the most modern stations in Poland.

It was decided that the next meeting would be held in Rome, immediately before the training session. It will kindly be hosted by TRENITALIA on 26 September 2016.

For further information please contact Luis Casado Presa: casado@uic.org

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5


CRITIS 2016 – Paper Submission Extended Deadline: 1 June 2016

The paper submission deadline for the 11th International Conference on Critical Information Infrastructures Security (CRITIS 2016) is now extended. Full-text submissions are due by 1 June 2016.

CRITIS 2016 is a global forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, results, experiences and concerns in selected perspectives of Critical Information Infrastructure Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection at large. The conference will take place from 10 – 12 October 2016 at the UIC Headquarters.

Submitted papers (either full length or short) can cover one of the following topics (see all details on the webpage www.critis2016.org):

  • Topic 1 - Technologies: Innovative responses for the protection of cyber-physical systems
  • Topic 2 - Procedures and organisational aspects in C(I)IP: Policies, best practices and lessons learned
  • Topic 3 - Advances in Human Factors, decision support, and cross-sector CI(I)P approaches
  • Topic 4 - Special private stakeholder session
  • Topic 5 - Young CRITIS and CIPRNet Young CRITIS Award (CYCA)

Submissions are sent via EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=critis2016. All accepted papers will be included in full length in the conference pre-proceedings. The selected post-proceedings will be included in a special volume published by Springer-Verlag.

Given its wide scope and interesting topics, but also due to its scientific quality and impact in the worldwide Critical (Information) Infrastructure Security (C(I)IP) community, CRITIS 2016 can also be the perfect dissemination opportunity for your company. You may therefore wish to consider the sponsoring and exhibition opportunities or the special package for funded research projects:


For further information please visit www.critis2016.org

Or contact Grigore Havârneanu: havarneanu@uic.org

3 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


All Rail Freight and Global Logistics stakeholders to meet on 22 and 23 June in Rotterdam for the 5th UIC GRFC – register now!

“Shaping Together the Business of the Future”

The 5th UIC Global Rail Freight Conference, organised by UIC under the patronage of the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment, and in cooperation with ProRail (NL), has become a worldwide reference for all stakeholders in the rail freight and logistics sector, and is officially supported by OTIF, UNECE and ITF, the International Transport Forum of the OECD.

Many European and international associations representing the transport and rail sector are partners in this 5th UIC Global Rail Freight Conference: BIC, CIT, CGU, UNIFE, UIP, ERFA, UIRR, Global Shippers Forum, CLECAT, Rail Forum, Rail Cargo Group.

This edition of GRFC will be held in Rotterdam and will run back-to-back with the TEN-T Days organised by the European Commission (20-21 June) and the European Rail Freight Corridor event (21 June) organised by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment under the Dutch Presidency of the EU.

The concept
Business professionals representing the entire transport chain will engage in a concrete discussion on the positioning of rail freight as a sustainable and competitive solution in a global world of increasing volumes of trade.
Through best practice examples and individual business cases, they will discuss the role of corridors as one of the tools with which to boost the efficiency and productivity of rail freight. They will also demonstrate with specific examples that rail is looking to the future in terms of new business models, new forms of cooperation and expertise development of its workforce. Innovation, automation and digitalisation are shaping the rail freight business. To support the business discussions, a small group of young professionals will follow the debates and will deliver their view of and for the industry during the conference closing session.

The Business Conference
The main theme of the 5th UIC GRFC: “Shaping Together the Business of the Future” The main conference topics will be addressed at a series of high-level panel discussions organised around the following themes and moderated by Paul Barrett (http://www.paulbarrett.fr), who has considerable experience in hosting and moderating high-level events with a global dimension.

“From Shanghai to Rotterdam: the landbridge concept 10 years on”

Key stakeholders in the transport chain will review the latest transport volume projections between Asia and Europe and will discuss opportunities for rail freight and innovative business models with the maritime sector and share best practices.

“Strategies to deliver opportunities and enhance effectiveness”
The transport industry is a very competitive sector and rail freight is facing many challenges. In order to secure a prominent position in the 21st century, rail freight has to tailor its approach to business accordingly, maybe revisit its business models, and forge partnerships. These concepts will foster lively debates between key stakeholders in the transport chain and the audience.

“Rail Freight 4.0: innovation and digitalisation for global solutions”
Being competitive in the rail freight business of the 21st century implies adapting processes and rolling stock to the era of digitalisation, innovation and automation. It also means ensuring their suitability to the operational requirements of the future. Automation also implies data generation, which in turn needs to be managed, filtered and protected.

“The workforce of the future: digital skills and human capital”
Adapting processes to the digital era requires the appropriate skills to be developed at the right time. Training is essential. New models also need to be developed. Young professionals will share their vision of / for the rail industry, which they will have formed through interviews with GRFC participants and speakers. They will then engage in a discussion with the audience and business professionals.

Speakers will include

  • European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport (invited)
  • Mark Frequin, Director-General Mobility, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
  • Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General, UIC
  • Salman Babayev, Vice-President of Russian Railways (RZD)
  • Pex Langenberg, Vice Mayor of Rotterdam in charge of Mobility
  • Pierre Inga, CEO Prorail
  • Emile Hoogsteden, Vice-President, Containers, Breakbulk & Logistics, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.
  • François Davenne, Secretary-General, OTIF
  • Eva Molnar, Director of the Transport Division, UNECE
  • José Viegas, Secretary-General, International Transport Forum, OECD
  • Olivier Onidi, Director, DG MOVE, European Commission
  • Fraenz Benoy, CEO CFLMM
  • Hossein Ashoori, Vice President for the Operation and Movement of Iranian Railways (RAI)
  • Hüseyin Teker, Freight Department, Turkish State Railways TCDD
  • Oliver Sellnick, VP European Corridor Management, DB Netz
  • Rodan Senekl, Presidium Member, Czech Logistics Association
  • André Thiniéres, Managing Director, Objectif OFP
  • Paweł Wojciechowski, European Coordinator of the Rhine-Alpine Core Network Corridor
  • Ferdinand Schmidt, CEO, Rail Cargo Group RCG
  • Baher El-Hifnaw, Senior Economist in the Transport Unit, World Bank
  • Joris D’Inca, Partner at Oliver Wyman
  • Robert van der Waal, Director Logistics Operations, Samsung
  • Bernhard Kunz, Managing Director, Hupac
  • Dirk Stahl, CEO BLS Cargo AG
  • Fabrice Walewski, General Partner & CEO, Touax Group
  • Miroslav Obrenovic, Head of Asset Strategy & Programs, DB Cargo
  • Cédric Lévy-Bencheton, Expert in Network and Information Security, European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)
  • Peter Boom, Manager Business Development, RailWatch
  • Harald Jony, Director of Energy Management, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG
  • Esther Marconi, FS Italiane, Chair of the UIC Expertise Development Platform
  • Thierry Vanelslaner, BNP Fortis & University of Antwerp
  • Patrick Philipp, Head of IRU Academy
  • An interview with Yves Tyrode, Chairman of the UIC Digital Platform, and Brogan Bambrogan, Hyperloop
  • Thorsten Bomke, in charge of the Service Market Portfolio, Alstom
  • Philippe Dume, Managing Director Services and Rolling Stock in Romania and Bulgaria at Alstom

To register for the 5th UIC Global Rail Freight Forum (GRFC) please visit the conference website: http://www.grfc2016.com

For further information please contact Sandra Géhenot, Senior Rail Freight Advisor: gehenot@uic.org

UIC Communications Department: com@uic.org

4 Votes

Average rating: 4.5 / 5

News from UIC members

Switzerland: BLS Cargo launches its first new multi-system locomotive

On 29 April 2016 BLS Cargo in Spiez received the first two of 15 new multi-system locomotives to operate between the Netherlands and Italy. The locomotives will undergo intensive testing over the coming weeks. By the beginning of 2018, they will be followed by a further 13 locomotives.

At the end of March 2015, BLS Cargo ordered 15 multi-system Vectron MS locomotives from Siemens. The first two locomotives were built in less than 13 months at the Siemens locomotive factory in Munich and were delivered on schedule to BLS Cargo, where they will be known as the Re 475.

“We are happy that we have been able to acquire the new locomotives in such a short time” said Dirk Stahl, CEO of BLS Cargo, in his address during the presentation of the locomotives to the media and clients. “Fitted out for international use, the Re 475s are the ideal addition to our fleet of locomotives and will bring us even closer to our clients along the Rotterdam – Genoa corridor”.

“The BLS Cargo contract is very important to us in a number of ways”, said Christian Schlegel, Head of Sales & Projects Europe at Siemens AG. “We are more than happy to be supplying BLS Cargo with locomotives for the first time. Moreover, these will be the first Vectron locomotives to be kitted out for all five countries along the North – South corridor from Holland through to Italy”.

Stronger market position
With these new locomotives, BLS Cargo will significantly enhance and develop its outstanding position with regard to innovative production concepts along the freight corridor. DACHINL multi-system locomotives are fitted with the necessary traction and train safety systems to enable them to travel through Germany (D), Austria (A), Switzerland (CH), Italy (I) and Holland (NL). The Re 475s will satisfy the increased requirements arising from anticipated growth on the freight corridor, as well as replacing older existing locomotives. During the course of the year, another three Re 475s will follow. The second and third tranches are planned for 2017 and 2018. This phased project will close up the shortfalls arising in the demand for locomotives ideally.

Intensive testing phase
The locomotives were tested for the first time in the Munich factory in April. From May, BLS Cargo and Siemens will test the locomotives more intensively in Spiez and on the Lötschberg axis, and will finalise the operating documentation. The subsequent handover of the locomotives is planned for the end of June, once licences for Switzerland, Germany and Austria have been obtained and all tests passed. They can then be used for traffic from Basel and on the Lötschberg axis.

Licences for Italy and Holland are currently in progress so that BLS Cargo will be able to make full use of the Re 475s from the middle of 2017 on the Rotterdam – Genoa corridor.

(Source: BLS Cargo AG)


Invitation to take part in international conference as part of ILCAD 2016

“How to improve safety at and around level crossings”

To celebrate ILCAD 2016, LDz (Latvian Railways), OLE (Operation Lifesaver Estonia) and UIC are most happy to invite you to Riga on 10 June 2016 to take part in the international conference “How to improve safety at and around level crossings” with experts from different sectors and countries and to a technical visit on 11 June 2016 in Tallinn.

The event will start on 10 June at 09:30 in Riga with a press conference followed by presentations and close at around 16:00 (see programme).

The conference will be simultaneously interpreted in Latvian, English and Russian.

The main topics to be discussed to launch the 8th edition of ILCAD worldwide are: Engineering, Education/Awareness, Enforcement but also human behaviour, inspection, risk assessment, evaluation, cooperation between the railways and the road infrastructure managers, local authorities, the media.

The 2016 edition will be focusing on safety at level crossings involving “Senior citizens and persons with sensory and mobility restrictions”.

To officially register by 16 May 2016 please use this hyperlink:


To book accommodation in Riga and Tallinn please refer to the list of hotels.

Should you wish to organise activities around ILCAD in your country please contact fonverne@uic.org. A questionnaire on statistics to be filled in was previously sent to ILCAD partners, all available information will be published on our website http://www.ilcad.org/Participants-2016.html

We all look forward to meeting you on 10-11 June in Riga and/or Tallinn and wish you a pleasant and safe trip.

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

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Next meetings scheduled

  • 19-21 September 2017 UIC PoSE Meeting Rome
  • 19 September 2017 EMCA Paris
  • 19-20 September 2017 UIC Legal Group meeting Rome - Italy
  • 20-21 September 2017 RSF Steering Board UIC 203
  • 21-22 September 2017 Capacity4Rail final conference Madrid
  • 26 September 2017 Workshop on electronic rule books UIC HQ PARIS
  • 27-30 September 2017 UIMC scientific congress & General Assembly York - UK
  • 28 September 2017 First SAFER-LC Workshop on rail and road users requirements regarding safety of Level crossing Paris, UIC HQ
  • 28 September 2017 CDF Steering Committee Paris
  • 28 September 2017 Commercial and Distribution Steering Committee UIC Paris
  • 28 September 2017 Commercial and Distribution Fourm Steering Committee Paris
  • 28 September 2017 Commercial and Distribution Steering Committee Paris
  • 4-7 October 2017 UIC Asset Management Global Conference Paris UIC
  • 4 October 2017 APRA Web Conference Paris UIC HQ
  • 19-22 October 2017 Next Station Conference Madrid
  • 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
  • 26-27 October 2017 Expertise Development Platform Rome, Italy
  • 30-31 October 2017 16th UIC Asia-Pacific Management Committee Saint-Petersburg, Russia

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 3 May 2016

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