Friday 8 April 2022

5th UIC Refugee Task Force meeting held on 6 April 2022

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The 5th UIC Refugee Task force meeting was attended remotely on 6 April 2022 by around 40 participants from across Europe, with representatives from UIC member railways and partner organisations.

Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, Coordinator Middle-East and Latin American Regions, Coordinator UIC Refugee and Covid-19 Task Forces, together with Vanessa Pérez Miranda, UIC Senior Passenger Advisor, welcomed the participants and gave an update of the situation regarding the situation in Ukraine.

Anton Pylypchuk, representing Ukrainian Railways (UZ), and replacing Olena Oleksiy as the Task Force contact for UZ, shared the latest news regarding the situation in Ukraine. He gave information regarding two websites: the first concerning humanitarian aid (, with a list of items most urgently needed, a phone number to call to provide aid for both passenger and freight transport and the volume of aid so far received. The second website showed information regarding train schedules, passenger traffic, daily updates on routes and the availability of tickets. He expressed gratitude for all the support provided by the UIC Task Force and reminded the meeting of the importance of the role of railways.

A round table discussion then followed to discuss the current situation per impacted country and company with a particular focus on the subject of the travel policy for refugees, conditions for free travel and the possibility of digital tickets. Updates were given, among others, from:

  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Poland
  • Hungary
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Norway
  • Sweden

David Sarfatti, UIC Senior Passenger Advisor, gave an update on the subject of ticketing, saying that a discussion was underway with the head of Eurail for the possibility for refugees to benefit from a digital pass that would be valid across Europe.

Magdalena Kujacińska, representing Polish Railways (PKP), gave a presentation on the latest news on the situation regarding Poland, saying that in terms of figures 4.2 million people have left Ukraine, 2.5 people have entered Poland and 310,000 have crossed the Polish border by train. She then described the situation in stations, giving updates on the flow of refugees, information on free travel and the number of trains that have been dispatched.

François Rast, representing Swiss Railways (SBB), gave a short update on the situation in Switzerland and made a request for transport support, saying that SBB plans to load a freight car and transport it to the Swiss border, but needs help bringing it to Slawkow Euroterminal in Poland. One possibility is to cooperate with DB Cargo or to add the SBB car to an existing transport chain. Members are invited to contact Mr Rast if they can help regarding this request.

Members are encouraged to share their thoughts, either by writing to the internal UIC Task Force Refugee team or by posting in the UIC Extranet at this link:

A Task Force LinkedIn group is open to members. Feel free to join the group and share your thoughts:

A dedicated webpage of the Refugee Task Force is available on the UIC website:

The next Task Force Refugee web-conference is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 12 April 2022.

For any further questions or proposals for contributions to these Task Force meetings, please email:

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