Wednesday 8 December 2021

On the occasion of the launch of its centenary, UIC brought together all its Members and stakeholders

The theme of the Symposium was “The Future of the Railways: Making Modal Shift Desirable”

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UIC organised the first UIC Symposium, held the 30 November and the 1 December 2021.

As part of the European Year of Rail, as well as the launch of its centenary to be celebrated in 2022, UIC organised a Symposium last week.

UIC wanted to start this centenary by giving its Members and partners the opportunity to discuss the crucial issue “The Future of the Railway: Making Modal Shift Desirable”.

The symposium, never before done in this hybrid format, provided an opportunity to show policymakers the transformational projects that will have a major impact on efficiency in the short term and will serve as drivers for modal shift to rail and public transport to achieve the objectives of the SDGs and the Green Deal in Europe; transform cities and connect communities; contribute to win the race to zero carbon and install the renewables revolution; innovate radically for physical and digital connectivity with other modes for a door-to-door service; and revolutionise the customer experience for changing mobility behaviours. The two-day high-level conference brought together around 1250 participants including 60 high-level speakers from 59 countries who discussed the transition to clean mobility through a modal shift to rail.

UIC Chair and CEO of PKP S.A. Mr Krzysztof Mamiński said: "As you may probably know, UIC will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022. Today’s Symposium launches these celebrations. We know that now, more than ever, rail transport has a key role to play, especially in achieving climate goals. This can happen through an effective climate transformation as part of the decarbonisation and digitisation of transport services. Rail transport has to become the backbone of future mobility on a massive scale. Not only in Europe, but also globally. I am appealing to you today! We must strive for it together, and only together can we achieve it. As Chairman of UIC, I have committed myself to working with our members in Europe and beyond to ensure that railways play an important role in achieving specific climate and environmental goals. By definition, the railway is the most efficient and environmentally-friendly form of public transport. In this decade, rail freight transport in the European Union must increase by 50% and high-speed rail traffic must double. I am just firmly convinced that in the coming years the UIC will play an even greater role in promoting new innovative solutions in the rail sector for a real modal shift.Today’s meeting is a good opportunity to initiate a discussion on the vision of railways jointly developed by UIC members from Europe, Asia-Pacific, North and Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. The document entitled the 2030 vision “Design a better future” is truly global. This document was a significant inspiration for the dialogue on the future of railways at the recent COP26 climate conference, and I believe that it will also be the case at our two-day conference."

More about the 2030 vision:

During these two days, UIC Members gave very interesting testimonies of their current projects and their ambitions and challenges for 2030. The last round table brought together the UIC Regional Chairmen: Mr. Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, Mr. Mohamed Khlie, Mr. Batyr Kotyrev, KTZ (on behalf of Vice Chairman of UIC Asia-Pacific Region), Ms. Barbara Barr, Mr. Metin Akbaş, Mr. José Nicador Villafañe. Each of them had the opportunity to express their views on the Vision 2030 and a convergence of views was observed among them.

UIC Director General, Mr. François Davenne, stressed that this convergence of views and dialogue between UIC regions was the work of Mr Mamiński. The regular meetings with each of the regions since his arrival as Chairman of UIC are now concretely translated into a global alignment of the challenges that each region faces. This dialogue will continue and expand in 2022.

François Davenne concluded: “We are on the same page and share the same vision despite our very different circumstances. We are looking toward the same future: rail as the backbone of mobility. We have 10 years to make the difference. There are huge expectations from young people. We have to be more efficient and more customer-oriented. We have to speak to them as customers and citizens.

Following the UIC Symposium, UIC as a technical platform will publish a Manifesto in January 2022 to bring together the existing and future solutions that need to be implemented.

During this special year of celebration, the new generations will of course be among our ambassadors, also on the occasion of the European Year of Youth.

The programme of events for 2022 will be unveiled early next year, so stay tuned!

We warmly thank our Master of Ceremony, Simon Fletcher, our moderators, Anson Jack, Sandra Géhénot, John Preston, Heather Thompson, Lucie Anderton, our sponsors - Ermewa, Huawei, Kone, Mermec, Unife, WSP, Yellow Design Foundation, Fontana design – as well as our media partners – BtoB Rail, FerPress, Mobility Magazine, IRJ, Railway Pro, Zdmira.

All presentations and the replay of the Symposium are available on this page:

#UIC100 #DesignABetterFuture #ModalShift #OnePlanet #YearOfEuropeanYouth

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