Information published on 5 May 2021 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

A few words from the experts: IRS 90940 – excellence award

  • IRS
  • Reporting
  • Standardisation
  • Standardisation Awards

The UIC Excellence in Standardisation awards ceremony took place on 16 March as part of the Standardisation Conference. Only 30 minutes long, the ceremony was too short to hear the working group members’ reactions to the Excellence award granted to IRS 90940.

UIC Standardisation is pleased to print some of the written reactions to the award in this article.

SFERA working group for IRS 90940

Tibor Weidner, Deutsche Bahn, co-author:
“This is a pure team result. It was only made possible by the open and positive-minded efforts of the experts involved from the various IMs and RUs and the professional support provided by Daniele Arena and UIC.”

Thomas Sutter, SBB, co-author:
“The SFERA standard is made by railways for railways. It is an excellent example of what we can achieve when we work together. Being part of the SFERA team, with all the specialists from many railways, was a great experience and truly inspiring. It taught me that even if there are different nuances in our companies, they are far outweighed by what we have in common, and we are all working toward the same goal: better railways in Europe and beyond. I am very proud to receive this award. Now, the greatest reward would be to see the SFERA standard being applied and helping railways to improve their operations.”

Sébastien Dislaire, SNCF Réseau, co-author:
“As my first experience in international cooperation, I appreciated the young and dynamic team striving to define an interface that will support a revolution in the way railway traffic is managed and promote energy efficiency. The award reflects the way the team cooperated in building the various elements of this interface, relying on the varied experiences and skillsets of all participants to develop a comprehensive end product which we hope will meet the needs of all European railway companies. From a personal point of view, it has been a very enriching experience because of what was learned from our discussions and through the study of a system that covers all aspects of railway operations, from the driver to the traffic controller, from track to wheel, from pantograph to substation, etc.”

Bart Van der Spiegel, Infrabel, co-author:
“Working as part of the SFERA team was a great experience. Lots of people from different countries and different companies and with different backgrounds came together. Some people were stronger in coordinating the process; other produced lots of ideas. The ideas became more concrete and were developed into use cases and a complete communications standard describing an interoperable interface between traffic management and driver advisory apps on train drivers’ tablets. The strength of SFERA is that we all trusted each other and were willing to rely on each other’s different skills to create the IRS.”

Chloé Lima-Vanzeler, SNCF Voyageurs, co-author:
“What I will take away from our SFERA journey is a wonderful team who shared the same mindset: constructive, open-minded and precise!
It is nice to get recognition of the great job that we did collectively.”

Alain Wenmaekers, Infrabel, co-author:
“I still remember the first meeting we had, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Not only because of all the work that needed to be done, but also by meeting many new people from different companies and different countries. I’m now amazed at what we accomplished. Working with such a diverse group toward one common goal made the project much richer.
Today, we are starting a new journey by implementing the IRS.”

Jan Hoogenraad, NS, project management, co-author:
"With the core team, we made SFERA/IRS 90940 a fun group in which everybody contributed to the challenge. It is great to see that this completely new standard is already being implemented. This will accelerate eco-friendly and punctual railway operations."

Wim van Klaarbergen, NS, co-author:
“The excellence award is a great stimulus for the SFERA user- and maintenance groups to keep IRS 90940 in the years to come as relevant for the railway industry as it is today! Thank you!”

Daniel Friedl and Florian Prikowitsch, ÖBB:
“Due to the fact that digitalisation is advancing not only in our country but also globally, the discussions and knowledge within this WG represent an important step towards creating a functioning and accepted system. We are happy to be part of this team and are confident about our implementations in the future.”

Daniele Arena, project management for UIC and co-author:
“Being able to support UIC in the coordination of the two working groups dedicated to the development of IRS 90930 and IRS 90940 has been a challenging but also a very rewarding experience. This award is well-deserved for all the participating experts who have put their knowledge, passion and energy into creating shared solutions.”

Philippe Stefanos, UIC:
“Congratulations to the winners and thank you for the award. I am proud to have participated and to have served members in developing a solution that will serve the entire sector to reduce operational footprint and increase the efficiency of cross-border processes.”

UIC would also like to acknowledge the work of co-authors Harm Jonker of NS and Thijs Assies of ProRail.

For further information, please contact: standardisation@uic.org or Philippe Stefanos at stefanos@uic.org