The sixth international seminar on the comprehensive development of the Latin American rail system was held jointly by the Latin American Railroad Association (ALAF) and UIC on 25 and 26 November.
The seminar was held as part of the 57th annual assembly of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Ferrocarriles (ALAF), an institution established in 1963 and recognised as a non-governmental organisation by the UN. The Secretary General of ALAF, José Villafañe, is President of the UIC Latin American Region.
In terms of content, the seminar featured five panel discussions on topics of strategic relevance for the development of the rail system in the region: open access models, cross-border rail integration, human capital training, cargo and passenger operation models and, finally, sustainable development, focusing on environmental issues.
Conceptually, the aim of the seminar was to provide an overview of the extensive work programme completed during 2021, with strong representation from Latin America and Europe. Participants sharing their experiences came from a range of countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, Spain and the United Kingdom.
During the seminar, the enablers of and barriers to open access models for railway management were highlighted, as well as training of railway personnel as the centerpiece of the development of the system, progress made by the main cargo and passenger operators in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay, the new paradigms in terms of environmental matters and the potential contributions of the railway mode and, fundamentally, railway integration as a structural policy for the region.
The opening and closing panel discussions were attended by high-level transport sector representatives from Argentina, where the ALAF headquarters are located, and the ALAF authorities, José Villafañe, Vicente Abate (Brazil) and Juan Carlos Revollo (Bolivia), as well as UIC Latin American Region Vice-President Joubert Flores and UIC Passenger Department Director and Coordinator for Latin America, Marc Guigon.
The seminars can be viewed online via the following link: https://www.youtube.com/c/ALAFlatino