Thursday 9 December 2010
High speed Rail

UIC HIGHSPEED 2010, the 7th world congress on high speed rail organised and hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MoR) and the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS) together with UIC successfully fulfilled its targets

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-  A remarkable number of high level representatives attended this 7th edition including 20 Ministers and Vice Ministers, Ambassadors, 50 CEOs and Directors from railway companies from 26 countries and 2,700 participants from all over the world
-  UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 was organised around two major round tables and 8 blocks of 40 parallel sessions totalling 209 panellists on dedicated topics directly connected with high speed rail development
- The next UIC HIGHSPEED to be held in September 2012 in Washington

For three days, Beijing has been the world capital of high speed rail on the occasion of UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 organised by the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the Ministry of Railways (MoR) of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS). The official opening ceremony took place on Tuesday 7 December in CNCC (China National Convention Center) in the presence of 2,700 participants from all over the world, government representatives, international organisations, railways, the supply industry and research institutes.

The opening ceremony was chaired by the congress Chairmen, Mr Liu Zhijun, Minister of Railways of the People’s Republic of China and Mr Yoshio Ishida, UIC Chairman and Vice Chairman of JR East, and moderated by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General. It was attended by a remarkable number of high level representatives including 20 Ministers and Vice Ministers, Ambassadors, 50 CEOs and Directors from railway companies across 26 countries.

The opening ceremony speeches were delivered by the following eminent figures: Mr Zhang Dejiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Suthep Thaugsuban, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr Somsavat Lengsavad, Deputy Prime Minister of Laos, Binali Yildirim, Transport Minister of Turkey, Mr Enrico Grillo-Pasquarelli, Director Inland Transport at the European Commission, Mr Fernando Puig de la Belcasa, Vice Minister of Development – Transport of Spain, Mr Malcolm A. Smith, President Pro Tempore New York State Senate, USA, Mr Jan Mücke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport of Germany, Mr Mauro Moretti, CEO of Italian Railways (FS) and UIC Vice-Chairman, Mr He Huawu, Chief Engineer of the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MoR), Mr Huh Joon-Young, CEO of Korail, South Korea, and Chairman of UIC Asia, Mr Karl-Friedrich Rausch, Vice President, Deutsche Bahn Germany, Mr Alberto Mazzola, Director at FS, Italy, Mr Akira Yonezawa, Deputy Director-General for Engineering Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, Ignacio Barron, UIC Director of the Passenger & High Speed division and Michel Leboeuf, Director at SNCF, Chairman of the UIC HIGHSPEED Scientific Committee.

Mr Zhang Dejiang, Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China welcomed the active role of UIC in promoting high speed railways across the globe and technology contributing to economic development, efficient use of energy, optimising use of materials, land-use, and overall contributing to greener transport. China has become a leading country in the field of high speed with 7,531 km of high speed lines in operation and a further 10,000 km under construction.

Across the world, 14,400 km of lines are in operation and 10,000 are under construction. By the end of 2010, more than 1,750 high speed trains (HST) will be operated in 13 countries on 3 continents at commercial speeds ranging from 250 to 350 km/hr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General reiterated the fact that 18 billion travellers have been using high speed rail since the 1960s, a figure which is set to more than triple by 2025.

Mr Grillo Pasquarelli from the European Commission underlined the role played by high speed rail in bringing people closer together in every day life. The world high speed “revolution” makes it necessary to develop worldwide technical standards (with active contribution from UIC). He also mentioned the future outlook of bringing Europe and Asia closer together through rail.

All speakers acknowledged the far reaching impact of the UIC HIGHSPEED conference since its first edition in 1992, and more generally the role of UIC in facilitating railway development through worldwide exchange on technical matters, experience and enhancing cooperation between members on all main railway issues. They further highlighted the advantages of high speed for economic recovery, sustainable growth and social development and in securing public welfare. High speed rail is considered as a major part of the current trend in world railway development as a means to face current and future mobility challenges whilst ensuring a high level of performance, safety, environmental friendliness and cost effectiveness.

Conclusions of UIC HIGHSPEED 2010

The Closing Session that took place today, 9 December, was chaired by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and with a special testimony of Mr Bai Chunli, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS), one of the fathers of nanotechnology awarded by UNESCO for his work.

The 7th UIC HIGHSPEED conference has shown that:

  • High speed has become a recognised mode of transport at world level,
  • High speed has a great future because high speed means:
  • Safety – Sustainability – Capacity
  • Land planning – Economic Growth
  • Creation of jobs
  • Better complementarity with other transport modes,
  • High speed is a very complex system needing the control of various phases: planning, construction, operation, maintenance and integration,
  • High speed can best bring its added value as part of a transport master scheme including upgrading conventional rail networks in order to extend the benefits of high speed rail to more regions and cities,
  • The excellent control of wheel and rail technology has not yet reached its limits in terms of speed, capacity, services and urban integration,
  • We are building a high speed world system for the benefit of the next generation.

The future will thus bring more in the way of achievements and developments. These further steps will require efforts on the part of operations as well as investment in research and innovation.

UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 has been organised alongside the 9th edition of the “Modern Railways” international exhibition that was officially opened on 6 December. 150 companies representing the world supply industry and railway companies showed more than 25,000 visitors the enormous business potential of high speed rail.

UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 was the first edition to be held outside Europe, highlighting the fact that high speed is currently developing at an impressive pace around the world.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux announced that the 8th edition of UIC HIGHSPEED will take place in September 2012 in Washington. Mr Bill Millar, President of the American Public Transport Association (APTA), added that he was very pleased that the USA would host a conference exploring all aspects of high speed rail. All organising partners including the American rail operator Amtrak and the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the Federal Railroad Administration of the US Department of Transportation (FRA), who look forward to welcoming you in Washington.

Special Student Programme and competition

UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 has invited 12 students from various countries (China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, USA) specialising in rail transport as they are important for the future in general and more specifically for the continued innovation of high speed rail.

They were divided into two teams. Team I attended all plenary and parallel sessions and participates in the round tables for which they had to prepare a series of questions. They reported on each session and presented a final report at the closing session.

Team II worked together with a professional a film director and cameraman to make a film with impressions of the conference and visits to the exhibition. This film has been edited during the night of Wednesday to Thursday and shown at the closing session. More information on the awarded students will be given in the next issue.

A special thanks is given to the teams which were involved in the Organisation and Scientific Committees.

For the UIC side:
- Michel Leboeuf
- Ignaki Barron
- Isabel Guillen
- Hervé Aubert
- Naoto Yanase
- Hu Lingling

For the MoR (Minsitry of Railways, China) and CARS (Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences):
- Wang Jiayu
- Huo Baoshi
- Wang Junli
- Liu Gengquan
- Zhao Zangshan

For more information please contact Ignacio Barron:

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Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General and Mr Mauro Moretti, CEO of Italian Railways (FS) and UIC Vice-Chairman (© P. Fraysseix)
(© P. Fraysseix)
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux at the floor (© P. Fraysseix)
More than 2,700 participants from all over the world attended the UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail (© P. Fraysseix)
From left to right: Mr Ignacio Barron, UIC Director of the Passenger & High Speed division and Mr Michel Leboeuf, Director at SNCF, Chairman of the UIC HIGHSPEED Scientific Committee
The UIC stand on the exhibition area (© P. Fraysseix)
Bill Millar, APTA President
Mr Zhang Dejiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (© P. Fraysseix)
The awarded students group (© P. Fraysseix)
(© P. Fraysseix)