Friday 9 July 2010
Rail System

Rail System Forum Working Session (Paris, 29 June 2010)

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UIC hosted the first Rail System Forum Working Session meeting comprising the former Infrastructure Forum, Technology & Research Platform and ERTMS Platform to update the members on the state of the art and the intended developments.

The new Chairman of the Rail System Forum Mr Zbigniew Szafrański, approved unanimously by the UIC General Assembly meeting in Tokyo, welcomed over 60 members from Europe, Africa, Russia and Asia.

UIC’s Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, thanked Mr Szafranski for accepting the chairmanship and updated members on the statutory meetings held on 9 – 10 June 2010 in Tokyo.

Emilio Maestrini, Director of the UIC Rail System Department, reported on departmental matters and briefly explained the opting-in procedure for the RSF project proposals in 2011.

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the new structure and organisation and Internal Regulations of the Rail System Forum.

Mr Szafranki defined five basic principles which should be applied to the future Rail System Forum and serve as a general guideline:

  • Transparency of activities (projects, financing)
  • No obligation for members to finance a project
  • RSF should work as a body which integrates Infrastructure and Rolling Stock
  • RSF should reinforce the global aspect by integrating more projects from non-European members (this aspect was already confirmed by the participation of Chinese, East Japan, Korean, Russian and Tunisian Railways in the RSF Working Session)
  • Rail System Department shall be at the service of the RSF and the RSF SB

The RSF Steering Board had met the evening prior to the Working Session and proposed a new composition for the RSF Steering Board:

  • 1 RSF Chairman
  • 5 Sector Chairmen
  • 1 Rail System Department Director
  • 5 representatives from the European Regional Assembly
  • 4 representatives from the Asian Regional Assembly
  • 2 representatives from the American Regional Assembly
  • 1 representative from the Middle-Eastern Regional Assembly
  • 1 representative from the African Regional Assembly
  • 1 RCG Chairman
  • 1 representatives each from CER and EIM (without voting rights)

The RSF was about to introduce a set of Internal Regulations to ensure smooth and efficient work flows for common future work. Based on the first draft and the decisions taken by the RSF Steering Board all RSF members are invited to send their change requests to Enno Wiebe at UIC (

A task force was set up by the Chairman, Mr Szafrański, to accelerate the writing process with the intention to approve the Internal Regulations at the RSF Plenary Session on 26.10.2010 in Paris.

The second part of the meeting concentrated on new project proposals for 2011 in the areas of Infrastructure and Rolling Stock and their interfaces.

Track & Structures Sector Chairman Andy Doherty (Network Rail) introduced three new proposals including “Optimise RAMS and maintenance costs of Switches & Crossings” and the topical proposal for “Winter and Railways”.

Several proposals were put forward under the leadership of the CCS & Operations Sector Chairman, Michele Mario Elia (RFI), including both signalling and operational aspects, for example “IP Compatibility”, “Specifications and Proof of Concept on Low Traffic Lines” and “Operation Network of Knowledge”.

On behalf of the Rolling Stock Sector Chairman Joachim Mayer (DB), Emilio Maestrini presented the highlights of this sector’s new project proposals such as the “TEC-REC Support Group”, “Axles fatigue endurance according to EN 13260/13261” and the project ” Extension of the brake curve model for train lengths of 1.000”.

The work of the Asset Management working group, led by Anthonie Bauer (Prorail), was briefly mentioned but will be presented in depth at the next RSF Plenary Session in October.

Presentations were made by UIC Senior Advisors and Project Managers from Europe and abroad. For the first time, project proposals from a non-European Member were put forward. Mr Lan Wang, from the science and technology department of the Chinese Ministry of Railways, presented five new project proposals, an initiative highly appreciated by the of the RSF members.

On behalf of the RCG (Research Coordination Group) Chairman, Christophe Chéron (SNCF), the members were invited to hand in research project proposals to be forwarded to ERRAC (European Rail Research Advisory Council) in order to be finally incorporated in the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (5th Call).

For more information please contact Annemarie Ebenberger:

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The Rail System Forum Chairman Mr Zbigniew Szafranski, appointed unanimously at the UIC General Assembly in Tokyo on 10 June