The UIC General Assembly held on 8 December in Paris endorsed the creation of the new Rail System Forum (cf. ‘UIC e-News’ Nr. 164 dated 10 December 2009). This new UIC international cooperation body which brings together member representatives links the various interfaces between infrastructure and rolling stock and replaces the previous “UIC Infrastructure Forum” as well as the “Technical and Research” and “ERTMS” Platforms. This new UIC Forum has a pivotal role to play in ensuring that – on an international scale – there is consistency across the whole railway system. It therefore takes under its wing a host of sectors including Track, Vehicle Dynamics, Operations, Command Control and Signalling, Energy management, Rolling stock, Infrastructure Assessment and Research.
The UIC Rail System Forum will play an essential role to ensure optimal integration between activities of the previous “technical” Forums and Platforms and encourage stronger interaction between research-related activities developed at a global level, in particular under the umbrella of IRRB (International Railway Research Board) and in the European context, e.g. under the coordination of ERRAC (European Railway Research Council).
Projects handled by this forum receive the support of the new Railway System Department at UIC HQ in Paris. This department is led by Emilio Maestrini from the Italian Railways (FS Group) who assumed his new responsibilities at the beginning of 2010 in Paris and will also coordinate the Research activities, with a view to fostering better interaction between UIC and the other research-related bodies already mentioned, IRRB at global level and ERRAC in Europe.
Dr. Ing. Emilio Maestrini, born in 1952 in Florence, has a degree in Mechanical Engineering (specialisation in Transport) from Florence University and a Professional Practice License for Engineers (Florence Association of Engineers). He entered the Italian Railways’ (FS SpA) Rolling Stock and Traction Office in Florence in 1978 and held various responsibilities in the Italian railway company including: Manager of the “‘1st Office Technical Rules and Circulation” (1987), Deputy to the “Circulation Department” Manager (1991), Manager “Traction Division” of the Transport Area (1993), Joint Director (1996) and then Director “SBA Traction and Rolling Stock” of FS (1997) before becoming Director of the “Rolling Stock Technology Unit” in 1999 and Director “Engineering, Safety and Systems Quality Department in Trenitalia SpA (FS Group) in 2005. Since July 2009, Emilio Maestrini has fostered relations with Research Institutes and reported to the CEO of Trenitalia on Rolling Stock Development.
Emilio Maestrini has a rich experience in international railway cooperation. In particular he is a member of the Steering Board and Chairman of Working Group nr. 1 on Interoperability at ERRAC (European Rail Research Advisory Council at EU level), former President (2003-2004) of the ERRI (European Railway Research Institute) and has held a number of leading positions in UIC cooperation bodies, notably as Vice Chairman of the UIC Technical and Research Forum until 2009. He is also a member of a number of Italian associations, among them CIFI (Association of Italian Railway Engineers).