UIC held a webinar on 20 April for its members in the Middle East region, attended by 35 participants. The webinar focused on technical issues such as safety, research and innovation, asset management, operations and 5G FRMCS activities.
UIC Director General, François Davenne, opened the webinar, explaining that the event related to the UIC Middle East region’s work programme. He particularly emphasised the need to develop a vision of the overall system, taking into account the system as a whole, from infrastructure and modelling to rolling stock, etc. He reminded participants that webinars were being organised in order to gain a better understanding of members’ needs and to give members an opportunity to become better acquainted with UIC’s technical added value.
Atila Keskin of Turkish Railways (TCDD) presented the Turkish Railway Research and Innovation Centre established in 2010. He explained the cooperation in place with IRRB, amongst others, and presented the Centre’s vision and objectives. Mr Keskin noted that the Centre had been participating in 11 EU-funded projects since 2011. He also presented in-house projects and domestic train development, as well as future railway developments.
Iranian Railways presented its training activities, as well as research and development activities implemented since 1991. Topics included safety promotion, efficiency, use of new technologies, and promotion of human resources. IR’s representatives noted that it had prioritised 30 issues and that working groups had been set up to resolve these specific issues.
During the second part of the webinar, the objectives of the UIC Rail System Forum were presented by Christian Chavanel, Director of UIC’s Rail System Department. The strategic objectives were managed by eight Sectors:
- CCS & telecoms
- Asset management
- Railway digital modelling
- Infrastructure subsystem
- Interfaces and interaction between infrastructure subsystem and rolling stock (TTI)
- Rolling stock
Mr Chavanel also advised that the Rail System Forum’s Terms of Reference had been adopted with the creation of two new Sectors: Operations and Railway Digital Modelling. He then presented the V-cycle, showing that UIC is capable of accelerating market uptake of innovative solutions.
Martin Brennan, UIC Head of Innovation and Research, presented UIC’s involvement in research and innovation, emphasising the system-wide vision currently being developed. UIC is currently involved in 17 EU-funded projects. Mr Brennan also mentioned UIC’s participation in the World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR) 2022 as one of the founding members. He then presented the several working groups within the International Railway Research Board (IRRB).
The webinar continued with a focus on opt-in projects. On behalf of Bernard Rositzka, UIC Head of Infrastructure and Asset Management, Sophie Serodon presented the Asset Management Working Group’s objectives, achievements and future plans, including projects on end-to-end decision support tools, maximising the benefits from big data, and whole system decision-making.
Frédéric Hénon, UIC Head of Operations and Safety, presented current and potential future projects in relation to operations and safety, with a particular focus on future railway operations and traffic control centres, new methods for safety demonstrations, digital automatic coupling, and operational use cases for 5G for rail.
Alain Scherrer, UIC Head of Rolling Stock and Energy, presented the use of hydrogen in railway operations (H2TR), as well as functional requirements for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in trains.
Jean-Michel Evanghelou, Deputy Director of the Rail System Department, presented FRMCS, the Future Railway Mobile Communication System, highlighting the fact that FRMCS consists of two projects: FRMCS (currently in phase 3, the maturity phase, producing all the relevant specifications) and the FRMCS migration scenario (FMS), focusing on onboard evolution. The objective is to have a system available (market readiness) for early adopters by 2025.