UIC Safety Platform Steering Group meeting

The UIC Safety Platform Steering Group meeting took place on 17 May in Paris under the leadership of chairman Jean-Michel Richard (SNCF) and vice-chairman Julian Lindfield (Network Rail).

Following the informal part of the meeting concerning information exchange on significant developments in the field of railway safety, accidents and incidents, the director of UIC HQ’s Fundamental Values department Jerzy Wisniewski reported on the preparation of the 78th UIC General Assembly, which will take place on 8 June in Warsaw, the latest developments within the FP7 EU-funded projects and the current situation of the “International Rail Research Board” (IRRB). In association with the GA the “International Level Crossing Awareness Day” (ILCAD) is to be held on 9 June 2011 with the participation of about 40 partners all over the world. Isabelle Fonverne, coordinator in the UIC Safety Unit of this event, reported on this worldwide activity under the common message “Act safely at level crossings”. An international press conference on ILCAD will be held on the evening of the 7 June in Warsaw with UIC member CEOs and journalists on the occasion of the UIC statutory meetings.

The chairman of the common UIC “System Safety Management Group” (SSMG)/CER Safety Support Group Jean-Francois Meunier (SNCF) reported on the latest activities of this working group, especially the development in the field of Risk Acceptance Criteria (RAC), the way to a “Single Safety Certificate” and ongoing information exchange concerning safety-related aspects with representatives of the International Liaison Group of Governmental Railway Inspectorates (ILGGRI).
Jane Dobson (Interfleet, consultant/UK) presented the intermediate results of a study on the historical evolution of railway safety over the last 25 years, undertaken by this company at ERA’s request. The presentation was followed by a broad discussion among the participants. The final results of this study will be presented to the ERA Safety Performance Group in November 2011.

Christian Neveu (SNCF), chairman of the Safety Platform’s Human Factors WG, reported on the results of this WG; the proposal to start work on “Safety Culture” in 2012 was adopted.

The activities of the Occupational Health and Safety Group (OHSG) were presented by its chairman Colin Clifton (Southeaster Railway/UK). The finalised version of the recommendation about the “Use of mobile telephones and electronic devices” are approved and will be published. The state-of-the-art concerning the recommendation “Managing psychologically traumatic incidents and preventing post-traumatic stress” was presented. The documentation will be finalised by the Safety Platform Plenary meeting in October 2011.
Both subjects were also on the agenda of the UIC Human Factors Seminar on 18/19 May.

Olaf Mette (ERA, Interoperability Unit) reported on the developments of the implementation of the European “Driver Licence Directive” and further activities in this area.

Finally, Peter Gerhardt presented the first draft of the Safety Platform Work Programme 2012.

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Successful 9th World Congress on Railway Research organised by SNCF in Lille

Over 800 participants representing 35 nationalities participated in this congress which constitutes a global benchmark in rail research. The theme of the congress was “Meeting the challenges for future mobility”

WCRR 2011, the 9th World Congress on Railway Research, was held in Lille (Grand-Palais Conference and Exhibition Centre), France, from 22 to 26 May 2011. This congress, hosted in the capital of France’s northern region by French Railways (SNCF), and organised in close cooperation with WCRR’s founding partners –TTCI (USA), DB, RTRI (JR), RSSB (UK), Trenitalia (FS), SNCF and UIC - was attended by over 800 participants from research institutes, the supply industry, as well as railways and institutions working to promote the development of rail transport.

The overall theme of WCRR 2011 was “Meeting the challenges for future mobility.” The theme’s three main sub-topics (respecting the environment and eco-mobility, new services for customers, an efficient railway system) were further broken down into eight major unifying and innovative challenges:

- A more energy-efficient railway
- An environmentally-friendly railway
- Increasing freight capacity and services
- A world of services for passengers
- Bringing the territories closer together at higher speeds
- Even more trains even more on time
- An even more competitive and cost efficient railway
- For an even safer and more secure railway

The WCRR opening session took place on 23 May with the participation of Mr Guillaume Pepy, SNCF President, Mr Yoshio Ishida, EJRC, UIC Chairman, Mr Zoltan Kazatsay, Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, Mr Daniel Percheron, President of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, and Dominique Riquet, Mayor of Valenciennes, Vice-Chairman of the Transport and Tourism Committee at the European Parliament.

SNCF President Guillaume Pepy recalled that railways were an extremely complex system composed of complicated interfaces, both with regard to rolling stock and infrastructure and human factors. The priorities for innovation and research were to ensure the availability of the rail system and smooth, seamless and connected operations. Progress has notably been made concerning services for customers, predictive maintenance for infrastructure and rolling stock, energy use and sustainable development, and optimising the global railway system.

The speech delivered by Mr Yoshio Ishida, UIC Chairman, was very well received by participants. Mr Ishida highlighted the importance of research in the railway sector to make the train the preferred mode of transport. In his view, the priorities were to optimise the operation and maintenance of the railway system, to make it more user-friendly for the customer, to help bring costs down and become more sustainable. He also underlined the importance of research activities on risk prevention in the sector, making his point with reference to the devastating event that has recently hit Japan.

10 prizes awarded during the WCRR closing ceremony

Facts and figures: WCRR 2011 also featured three round table sessions during the plenary session at the start of each day, 49 sessions, 220 oral communications and 85 posters.

The official closing ceremony of WCRR 2011 in Lille consisted of a prizegiving ceremony, where 10 prizes were awarded: one for each of the eight challenges, plus a prize for the best young researcher and for the best poster.
The prizes for the eight challenges were awarded to:

  • Marina Thiuonn-Guermeur, SNCF Innovation and Research (More energy-efficient trains)
  • Arnold Miller, Vehicle Projects, USA (Greener trains)
  • Luca Pugi, University of Florence (Increase freight and freight services)
  • Corinne Talotte, SNCF Innovation and Research (A world of services for passengers)
  • Hua Chen, RTRI, Japan (Bringing the territories closer together at higher speeds)
  • Dennis Huismann, Netherlands Railways (Even more trains even more on time),
  • Björn Paulsson, UIC, and Anders Ekberg, Chalmers University/UIC for Innotrack (An even more competitive and cost efficient railway)
  • Selim Bellaj, SNCF Railway Test Agency (For an even safer and more secure railway),
  • Kate Bonsall, RSSB, UK (Best young researcher)
  • Taehoon Koh, KRRI, Korea (Best poster)

10th WCRR in Sydney, Australia

It was announced at the end of the congress in Lille that the 10th world congress on railway research, WCRR 2013, would be held from 25 to 27 November in Sydney (Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre), Australia. The Chairman of the WCRR 2013 Organising Committee is David George, CEO of CRC for Rail Innovation, Australia.

For more information please contact: WCRR 2011 (Lille): Marie.Cauty@sncf.fr
WCRR 2013 (Sydney): WCRR2013@informa.com.au (to inform us of your interest until the congress website becomes operational).

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Average rating: 5 / 5


1st South East Environment Workshop, Belgrade 29 – 30 September

Please block your calendars!

UIC and Serbian Railways are jointly organising the 1st South East Environment Workshop in Belgrade on 29 and 30 September.
The workshop will present practical solutions for the key environmental issues in the region, enable the exchange of best practice, and create a network among experts.

Among the important environmental issues to be discussed by participants will be waste management, energy efficient operation and remediation of polluted soils.
The workshop will be an excellent opportunity for participants to share information, exchange and network with colleagues. The official invitation and online registration will soon be available.

For more information please contact Martine Cellier: cellier@uic.org

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20 years of high speed in Germany

On 2 June 1991, the first ICE high speed train began operating a regular service from Hamburg-Altona to Frankfurt am Main.

Today, 210,000 passengers use the ICE network daily, a tightly-integrated system covering the entire country, with each journey averaging a length of 307 km.

Deutsche Bahn’s ICE fleet has travelled a total distance of 1.4 billion km and its 252 trainsets – spanning four generations – constitute the backbone of long-distance passenger transport in the Federal Republic of Germany. ICE trains operate 60% of passenger transport in Germany. In 1992, 10 million passengers had travelled by ICE while in 2010 this figure had reached almost 78 million.

Germany has 1200 km of newly-built or upgraded lines on which ICE trains may operate at speeds of 230 km/hr or more. On the new Cologne-Rhine Main and Nuremburg-Ingolstadt lines, ICE trainsets even run at speeds of 300 km/hr.

This 20th anniversary of high speed in Germany is one of a host of significant anniversary dates in the history of international railways: 47 years of high speed in Japan (Shinkansen), 30 years of high speed in France (TGV) not to mention the forthcoming 90th anniversary of UIC (founded in 1922).

UIC warmly congratulates the management and staff of Deutsche Bahn on this occasion.

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Successful 2011 edition of the International Transport Forum in Leipzig (25-27 May 2011)

As a global platform for transport policy issues, acting as a think tank for member countries and organising an annual summit, at which ministers debate strategic issues, the 2011 edition of the International Transport Forum (ITF) attracted more than 800 decision-makers from 52 member countries, including newly this year China and Brazil which show a growing interest in taking part to the ITF work and exchanges. This year participants debated the theme “Transport for Society”.

From 25 to 27 May, Transport Ministers and business leaders, mayors of major cities, top researchers and representatives of non-governmental organisations examined during three days in Leipzig, Germany, various strategic issues putting “users and people first”, by considering transport from the point of view of the individual, the communities and the users. All the speakers and delegates to this Forum agreed on the importance to the role played by research, new ideas and innovation to tackle these challenges. Organised under the Spanish Presidency, the Forum gave the floor to the Spanish Minister for Transport José Blanco Lopez, who called for a urgent need for international cooperation and the useful solution that represent among others public-private partnerships to finance projects.

During the opening ceremony, Jack Short, Secretary General of ITF until June 2011, highlighted the dilemma between the short mandates of the Ministers and the necessity for a long-term action for transport and infrastructure. He reminded also the need to work in a more proactive way and cooperation with land planners in order to make in advance policy of the future.

Mr Peter Ramsauer, German Federal Minister of Transport, who mentioned that human beings have two identities facing the issue of transport, one of them marked by the needs, requirements relating to its status as a consumer creating the need for transport and the other one making him suffering from mobility (pollution, CO2 emissions, etc. ..), added that transport policy relies on a shared responsibility between politics and economy.

Very interesting keynotes and fruitful debates were also made by Jeffrey Sachs, the world-renowned economist and special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends, USA, Enrique Peñalosa, Director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in Bogota, Colombia and Jaime Lerner, architect and urban planner and founder of the Instituto Jaime Lerner in Brazil.

Taking into account the challenges of accessibility, mobility rights or sustainable urban travel, the role played by inland transport and the theme of security in transportation was one of the subjects discussed during the Forum. Zoltan Kazatsay, Deputy Director General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission stressed the importance of the challenge of security in transport. This challenge everyday regards security beyond terrorism. He evoked the interest of a common position in the transport sector in this regard, stressed the importance of research and dissemination of information. On behalf of the activity UIC Security Jacques Colliard recalled the letter sent April 7, 2011 to the Commission on behalf of UIC, CER, EIM, ERFA, UITP. He referred to the research project Protectrail and announced the next UIC Security Congress to be held in Rome on 22 and 23 September. Mr Kazatsay announced the publication by the European Commission of a communication on inland transport security, all modes of transport, by the end of 2011.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, addressed in an interview to the ITF television team which contribution UIC and its member railways can offer in regard to the forum theme “Transport for Society”. Actually, the rail transport sector has been committed during all recent years in improving its environmental performances, in particular in the field of energy efficiency, reduction of CO2 emissions, noise reduction, waste management, etc. Railways represented within UIC are also determined to offer their own advantages for an optimal combination with the benefits of other transport modes in the framework of an efficient, multimodal mobility system serving both the Economy and the Society. He reminded that UIC handed over on 11 May the Declaration for Sustainable Mobility and Transport signed by 45 Presidents or CEOs of member railways to the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations in New-York. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux also congratulated ITF and its organisers for having made this yearly event to one of the major meeting points at global level to debate with all stakeholders on the issue of “Transport and Society”. UIC will be very keen to participate to the next edition of the ITF Forum in Leipzig on the theme of seamless transport.

He addressed a warm thanks and congratulations to Jack Short, who hold the position of the ITF Secretary General until this month.
Jack Short joined the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) in 1984 and was Deputy Secretary General from 1993 to 2001, when he became Secretary General. Previously he worked for the Ministries of Transport and Finance in Ireland, as well as in transport research. In 2006/7 he played a key role in the transformation of ECMT into the International Transport Forum and shaped its profile as a global, intermodal, open transport policy platform.

He also congratulated the Belgian Carole Coune to succeed Jack Short as Secretary General of International Transport Forum at OECD

Carole Coune, 42, from Belgium will be the new Secretary General of the International Transport Forum. Transport Ministers from 52 member countries elected Mrs. Coune to succeed Irishman Jack Short at their annual summit in Leipzig, Germany, on 26 May. Mrs Coune is presently the top civil servant of Belgium’s Ministry of Transport. She holds a law degree from the Université de Liège and had a distinguished career in the rail sector. “Carole Coune is an able leader with broad experience and a profound understanding of the complex issues that transport faces”, said outgoing Secretary General Jack Short.

The interview of UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux in Leipzig is available at: http://webtv.internationaltransportforum.org/channel_interviews_2011.html

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UIC Policy and Management course

The 3rd UIC “Railway Policy and Management” course will take place in Uiwang and Seoul, Korea, from 13 to 17 June 2011, under the supervision of the IRaTCA (International Railway Training Centre for UIC Asia).

Nowadays, the world is facing a very difficult and critical problem: global warming. At this moment, people are drawing their attention to the railway, which is the new growth engine for green growth and the new concept for sustainable development. To take advantage of this opportunity, we need to seek the ideal solution for the prosperity of the railways.

This Railway Policy and Management Course, hosted by IRaTCA, is designed to make practical contributions to railway development among Asian countries through a closer network of cooperation and information sharing, with full support from UIC. In this context, UIC would like to invite those who are interested in IRaTCA activities and who are willing to show their full support and enthusiasm to participate in this course.

We hope that this opportunity will help our members to share their expertise and knowledge as lecturers or trainees.

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Results of the international children’s drawing contest on safety at level crossings

As part of the 2011 ILCAD campaign, an international children’s drawing contest on safety at level crossings was recently organised on the occasion of the International Level Crossing Awareness Day 2011 (ILCAD) which will take place on 9 June.

The competition was open to all children (including those of UIC HQ colleagues and the staff of UIC members) in the following age groups: 4-7, 8-11, 12-15 and 16-18.

Despite very short deadlines we have received 380 drawings by post and email from different countries (Algeria, Croatia, France; Greece, India, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Russia): 200 by children between 8 and 11 years, 160 by children between 4 and 7 years and a smaller number by the 12 to 18 year age group.
We wish to thank all the participants, teachers, parents and railway colleagues for their excellent response and their contribution to the success of this contest. We also wish to thank the jury composed of railway staff and non railway persons who did their best to choose from these fascinating and high quality drawings. This was not an easy task. This contest gave us the opportunity to return to our childhood.

All the drawings can be consulted on PICASA. Please click on the links indicated in the four age categories below:

To see the winning drawings please click on http://bit.ly/ILCAD-DRAWINGS-CONTEST

Category: 4 to 7 years (1st to 10th prize):


Category: 8 to 11 years (1st to 10th prize):


There are only three prizes for the following categories because we received a very small number of drawings.

Category: 12 to 15 years (1st to 3rd prize):


Category: 16 to 18 years (1st to 3rd prize):


The winning drawings have been uploaded to the ILCAD website.
Please click on http://www.ilcad.org/spip.php?article97 and the dedicated ILCAD facebook page facebook.com/ilcadin advance of the international campaign on 9 June.
The majority of the drawings from Poland, Portugal and Italy will be exhibited by our ILCAD partners in their respective countries on the day of the ILCAD event or later.

For organisational reasons all the winners will receive their prize as soon as possible after the International Level Crossing Awareness Day campaign takes place on 9 June 2011 worldwide.

Watch TV, listen to the radio, open your eyes: there will be TV shows, radio spots, the EU/ILCAD video “Just in time” will be displayed on the partners’ websites and in public areas (stations in Slovakia, in Argentina….), safety flyers will be distributed at level crossings and in schools, special events will be organised for children and adults in more than 40 countries. An international press conference will be organised on 7 June in the evening as well as side events on 8 June in the afternoon followed by the ILCAD day on 9 June in Warsaw, Poland.

One of the topics on which our partners in the ILCAD campaign work to reduce the number of accidents at level crossings is Education. It starts with children and the drawing contest has shown that children are reasonably aware of what kind behaviour is safe and what is not safe.

All together YES WE CAN!

NB I thank all the persons on the poster, 99% of whom are UIC HQ staff members who have accepted to pose for posters because ILCAD is first and foremost a human adventure! Should you wish to use the posters for your own campaign, please visit our website. You may use the ILCAD logo which exists in more than 20 languages. For any technical problems or more information please contact: Fonverne@uic.org




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20 new Pendolino high speed trains for PKP Intercity

Polish operator PKP Intercity, in charge of long distance passenger transport, has awarded Alstom a contract worth €665 million to supply 20 new Pendolino high speed trains. The contract also includes full maintenance of the trains up to 17 years and the construction of a new maintenance depot. The first trains are scheduled for delivery in 2014.

PKP Intercity will operate the trains on existing routes in Poland: Warsaw-Gdansk-Gdynia; Warsaw-Krakow; Warsaw-Katowice. Travel time between the existing routes will be significantly shortened to 2.5 hours between Warsaw and Gdansk and just over 2 hours between Warsaw and Krakow and Warsaw and Katowice.

In line with customer specifications, the trainsets will not integrate the tilting system. They will be able to carry up to 402 passengers at a maximum speed of 250 km/h.

“These new trains will enable passengers in Poland to experience a new level of quality and comfort. With their leading-edge technology, these trains meet the highest functionality and safety standards,” said Janusz Malinowski, President of PKP Intercity.

(Source: Alstom)

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Average rating: 5 / 5

International Railway Research Board meeting (Lille,France, 26 May)

26 May saw another successful meeting of the UIC IRRB (International Railway Research Board), chaired by Mr. Boris Lapidus of RZD & VNIIZhT. The meeting was attended by UIC Chairman Mr Ishida, UIC Director-General Mr Loubinoux, IRRB Chairman Mr Boris Lapidus from RZD/VNIIZhT, IRRB Vice Chairmen Mr David George, CRC, Australia and Mr Andy Doherty from Network Rail, UK, as well as representatives from Korea - KRRI, Korail and EJR and RTRI, Japan, and AAR and TTCI from the USA and from UIC.

The meeting had effectively already begun, albeit unofficially, during the 9th WCRR (World Congress on Rail Research) organised by SNCF and its supporting teams at the Lille Grand Palais from 22 – 26 May, which most IRRB members attended. During the afternoon of the 25, the WCRR Organising and Executive teams met with IRRB members to discuss possible synergies and future cooperation between the two bodies.

During the official meeting, members looked back on the work carried out since their previous encounter in November 2010 and discussed how to make visible the research priorities of the UIC regions in order to identify areas where, in terms of regions’ common research needs, we could learn from each other and cooperate in future research projects.

IRRB Vice-Chairman David George (CRC, Australia) presented his views on the necessity of research information exchange and his ideas on how to make this operational. One important future tool will be the UIC Research Portal, currently under construction, which will be officially presented and opened to users during the UIC / IRRB International Rail Research Information Days to be held on 5 and 6 July 2011 at UIC HQ in Paris. A draft programme for these Information Days was discussed and agreed upon. All UIC members will be invited to this event.

Another important issue on the agenda was “Standardisation”, on which the chairman expressed a desire for an in-depth debate. The meeting was advised that a Standardisation Working Group (SWG) is being established under the umbrella of IRRB, populated with representatives from the UIC regions. Its role is to undertake a review of the existing family of UIC leaflets and to establish which leaflets are up to date and could be converted into a “new generation” of UIC standards to be known as Global Rail Standards (GRS). The review would also examine those leaflets which may be out of date and could be withdrawn, those which are still important but would benefit from a more detailed review and update, and in which areas new standards are required.

The GRS would be based on the work of the Standardisation Working Group, and are set to be developed in conjunction with the technical working bodies of UIC (especially the Rail System Forum) and the supply industry in the same way as has already been done for TecRecs. There will be a close relationship with standardisation bodies such as CEN-CENELEC, IEC and ISO, with whom specific agreements are either already in place or are being reviewed and/or developed.
The detailed procedures for this work are being developed and will be one of the first tasks of the new SWG, which will hold its first meeting in Paris on 6 July.

The meeting reaffirmed the close link between research and the use of standards as a vehicle for disseminating research results. However, it was also pointed out that more focussed coordination of this standardisation work may be needed, which IRRB (as essentially a research body) may not in the longer term be able to sustain, especially as there will need to be close collaboration with UNIFE in particular.

Following a previous proposal to invite high quality rail research providers (academia and non-UIC member rail research institutes) into the IRRB network, a set of selection criteria was discussed and decided upon. New members to the IRRB are very much welcome and an easy-to-use application form will be available via the UIC Research Portal, which will soon be operational.
Finally, plans were discussed for the UIC Global Railway Awards, the aim of which is to stimulate innovation in the rail system, leading to lower costs and higher efficiency, quality and service. The intention is for the first set of these annual Awards to be presented during the December 2012 General Assembly as part of UIC’s 90th anniversary celebrations.

For more information please contact Dennis Schut: schut@uic.org

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News from UIC members

Russia: Russian Railways Construction Projects in Support of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi are Progressing at Full Steam

A multi-level passenger terminal is being constructed at the North Caucasus Adler railway station to make sure appropriate transportation infrastructure is in place to facilitate the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. “The framework will be completed by the end of this year to be followed by installation of utility networks and finishing works”, Russian Railways Vice-President Oleg Toni stated during the construction site visit. He added that the new facility will be commissioned in the 3d quarter 2012.

Adler railway station will become a transportation and connection hub integrating all kinds of passenger services: railway, vehicle, air, and marine transport (given plans to construct berths).

The new terminal will feature six levels providing a full range of facilities which are essential to support terminal operation and customer service. It will have a total area of about 30 thousand sq. m potentially accommodating ca. two thousand passengers at any one time. The total capacity is estimated at 15 thousand people per hour. The new terminal’s hourly capacity is 56 pairs of long-distance/commuter trains and four high-speed trains that will bring airline passengers to the city.

The construction effort is underpinned by cutting-edge technology, including energy conservation. Thin film solar panels supplying the railway station with electric power will be installed on the roof.

A combined highway/railway line connecting Adler with the Alpika Service resort is another highlight of the construction effort spearheaded by Russian Railways. The project necessitates the construction of six tunnel facilities.

Tunnel facility # 3 will be the longest one. It will include a 3.2 km highway tunnel (13 m in diameter), a 4.6 km railway tunnel (10 m in diameter) and maintenance passages (3.2 km in the South and 2.6 km in the North, both 6 m in diameter).

“Tunnel facility # 3 is one of the key transportation hubs to connect Sochi with the Olympic locations in Krasnaya Polyana. Noteworthy too, this project features a very challenging geological setting that potentially hampers tunneling operations. An international working group comprising Amberg Engineering Ltd expertise has been set up to facilitate tunneling works”, Russian Railways Vice-President Oleg Toni told the press in Sochi.

All tunneling operations are performed using Canadian Lovat and German Herrenknecht shields. These shields have an operation speed of about 300 meters a month. As the machines progress, they leave behind an almost ready-to-use tunnel with a precast concrete lining.

Russian Railways is responsible for the key transportation construction projects which are essential as Sochi is gearing up for the XXII Winter Olympics and XI Winter Paralympics to be held in 2014.

Construction is progressing on time according to the updated schedule approved by the Olympstroi Supervisory Board. By now, over 50% of the civil works have been completed.

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