Thursday 12 May 2022

UIC successfully launched its Centenary

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Among the main challenges for the sector: curbing global emissions by 2030 and contributing to decarbonisation, promoting modal shift and working intelligently with other modes of transport to be part of the solution

As part of its centenary celebrations, UIC hosted an online launch ceremony on 5 May 2022 attended by around 230 participants. The event was an opportunity to give the floor to the UIC Chairman and Director General, to listen to messages and wishes on behalf of UIC Members and to learn more about the UIC Manifesto to be published beginning of June 2022, containing the existing and future solutions that need to be implemented.

The ceremony was opened by Simon Fletcher, UIC Director Europe, who moderated the event and started by introducing the first two key speakers, Krzysztof Mamiński, CEO of PKP (Polskie Koleje Panstwowe, Polish State Railways) and UIC Chairman, and François Davenne, UIC Director General.

Mr Mamiński, in a recorded speech, congratulated UIC on its anniversary and described how it continues to contribute to the evolution of the railway sector. He spoke about the importance of promoting rail as a key player in the transport sector alongside other modes, and how the document Vision of Rail 2030 will help the sector to achieve its goals in the areas of interoperability, digitalisation and the environment. He thanked the UIC members for their cooperation, saying it was important for the sector to stay united, and reminding them of UIC’s values: unity, solidarity, universality.

Before the second key speech, a series of messages delivered by CEOs of UIC members was shown, notably from Sweden, Korea, Djibouti and the Czech Republic, congratulating UIC on its anniversary and expressing the wish to continue cooperation and innovation with UIC for the years to come.

In his speech, François Davenne said that this centenary was a symbolic and important moment for UIC, linking the past, present and future. He referred to the 2030 Vision as a guide to help the railways progress over the next 10 years, saying that there is an understanding across the whole sector that the railways need to act and be committed to delivering this vision. Among the main challenges, he mentioned curbing global emissions by 2030 and contributing to decarbonisation, promoting modal shift and working intelligently with other modes of transport to be part of the solution, transforming cities and connecting communities, accelerating innovations by developing technology and solutions, providing seamless connections for passenger and freight, developing digital ticketing, and transforming the customer experience.

To complete the Vision, the UIC Manifesto, a document which is due to be released in June, will help to streamline UIC’s policies. It is a very concrete follow-up to the 2030 Vision and to the discussions between Members at the Symposium at the end of 2021. It will also continue to look to the future and the need for innovation, with the publication at the end of the year of its new three-year work programme, covering the period 2023-2025. To honour all these challenges, UIC has also prepared a calendar of events related to these objectives during this year of celebration. Among them are the Sustainable Railway Awards, ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day), WCRR (World Congress on Railway Research), the UIC Security Congress, WCRT (World Congress on Rail Training), as well as COP27 at the end of the year.

Mr Davenne thanked all members for their contribution to the Vision and the Manifesto. He said that the successes and improvements made to the railways were thanks to the work and contribution of all its members and reiterated that UIC’s values were especially important in current times in order to continue collaboration in the years to come.

A second series of recordings with congratulatory messages from China, Spain, Norway, the United States and Cameroon was then shown before Kevin Smith, Editor of the International Railway Journal (IRJ), was introduced for the Question-and-Answer session with François Davenne about the Manifesto and what the centenary means.

Reflecting on UIC’s long and rich history, Mr Davenne described some of the challenges and achievements that the railways and UIC have witnessed over the last century, saying that UIC has managed to bring the world’s networks around the table and has created a forum where they can all speak together.
With regard to enabling the 2030 Vision, UIC is working to develop common global specifications, working to implement a traffic management concept, working to increase the capacity of the railway system, acting as a key driver for implementing modal shift and working towards achieving carbon neutrality. With regard to the future, he sees the railway sector in 2050 as being much more connected and versatile, with lighter trains, new road infrastructure, and autonomous vehicles playing a key role.

Simon Fletcher showed a third series of thanks and encouragement from Iran, Spain, Croatia, Switzerland, Turkey, Malaysia, Hungary, Japan, Morocco and Italy before introducing the final speaker of the ceremony, Mr Francisco Cardoso Dos Reis, Chairman of UIC Europe and representing Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP). Mr Dos Reis reminded the audience that 2022 also celebrates the European Year of Youth and how important it is to work with younger generations to make the shift to rail. He said that UIC was founded to encourage cooperation among the world’s railways and that it is up to us to continue the legacy of our forefathers and to do this we need the help of the younger generations to shape the railways of tomorrow.

In conclusion, François Davenne thanked all participants for attending the online launch ceremony, reminding them that the railways have an international common vision about what they should become. The railway sector is an industry with a purpose, dedicated to bringing value to the services used by the public and to making a valuable contribution to our society and to our cities. Railways must prove that they are the best option and to do this they must improve their market share and competitiveness and deliver specifications and standards to make its contribution efficient.

The replay of the event is available at:

For further information about the UIC centenary celebrations please contact:

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