7 June – International Press Conference “What else can be done to improve safety on rail-road level crossings?” in Warsaw, Poland

at the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) on 9 June 2011 worldwide

At the invitation of PKP P.L.K. the press conference on the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) together with an exhibition of ILCAD partners’ communication tools took place on 7 June 2011 in Warsaw and coincided with the UIC statutory meetings hosted by PKP: http://www.ilcad.org/spip.php?article51 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY95KGbO45k&feature=youtu.be.

The international press conference was opened by Mr Robert Kuczyński – Spokesman of Investments Implementation Centre IRRP – PKP Polish Railway Lines Company who welcomed all participants and journalists.
He was followed by four speakers: Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux – UIC Director General; Mr Andrzej Massel, Polish Ministry of Infrastructure; Mr Robert Nowak – Division of Transport, UNECE; and Ms Birgit Vahemets (Operation Lifesaver, O.L. Estonia) on behalf of Mr Tamo Vahemets (O.L. Estonia), Ms Helen Sramek (O.L. U.S.A., Mr Dan di Tota (O.L. Canada), Mr Lisandro López Piñeyro (O.L. Argentina).

At the beginning of the conference the UIC CEOs and journalists had the opportunity to watch the two main ILCAD videos used for the campaign: “Just in time”, financed by the European Commission in 2010 and available to all ILCAD partners for use on their websites and in public areas (screens in railway stations, on streets, on television, etc.) until 2015; and a montage of national CCTV footage of bad behaviour at level crossings submitted by ILCAD partners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvmu7Ll22yE

Amongst the biggest safety risks and concerns that railway companies have to face on a daily basis, is the risk at the interface between road and rail, to be found at level crossings. Fatalities at level crossings represent 30% of all fatalities involving railways and 1.7% of road fatalities for the 27 countries of the European Union.
Despite the huge efforts of the entire railway community (railway companies and infrastructure managers) to reduce this risk, there are still far too many people dying or being severely injured in accidents at level crossings every day.
This situation constitutes a permanent concern for railways, even if level crossings represent an easy way for people to cross the railway and are in principle completely safe if all safety rules, in particular the traffic rules for road users, are strictly followed. Actually it is very clear from the statistics that most of the accidents that occur at level crossings are caused by the inappropriate behaviour of road users, motorists, cyclists or pedestrians.
Therefore accidents at level crossings cannot be handled essentially within the rail transport sector as a pure rail safety problem. It is definitively an issue that must be jointly addressed by all players involved at these transport infrastructure interfaces: railway companies and infrastructure managers, of course, but also public authorities in charge of road safety and public works, police forces, representatives of all road users (including pedestrians, school children, etc.)
More than 40 countries joined ILCAD in 2011 including three newcomers: Croatia, Georgia and Ukraine. Other countries have developed their campaigns for this year and included additional partners or are designing an extended field of action. Among these are the U.S.A., Canada, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel and almost all the countries in Europe, including Poland who hosts this conference this year.”

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General

“Level crossings represent a critical point in the transport infrastructure. Poland has over 16 000 level crossings, 10 500 of which do not have barriers or signals but instead have a Saint Andrew Cross. Accidents at level crossings can be very negatively reported by the media and therefore have a very negative impact on public opinion. An accident, a fatality is always very tragic. The railways, with other stakeholders, have to change this public perspective. In 2010 there were 290 accidents in Poland resulting in 53 fatalities and 56 injured people. Late in April 2011 an accident occurred between a lorry and a passenger train running at 110 km/h at a protected level crossing with barriers and signals on the railway line between Gdansk and Szczecin. As a result, four railway vehicles derailed, two people died and many of the train passengers were injured. This kind of accident may happen because of the inappropriate behaviour of road users for various reasons. This is why ILCAD is very useful for helping to change people’s behaviour.
PKP P.L.K. is making efforts to modernise, upgrade or eliminate level crossings. We know that this represents a huge investment in Poland: 5 to 20 million zlotys for each level crossing removed. Even with European financial support, the railways cannot remove all level crossings; a huge number of them will remain in Poland and we thus have to improve education and enforcement of road users to help them protect themselves at very critical level crossings. The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure thanks and supports UIC and all the partners taking part in this international initiative.”

Andrzej Massel, Polish Ministry of Infrastructure

“More than one million people are killed and 15 million are injured or disabled in road crashes every year worldwide. In Europe alone 100 000 people are killed and 2 million are injured in road crashes each year.
Why use the term “crash” instead of “accident”? Once the road traffic risks are known and preventable, one cannot speak about accidents. This distinction must be made as it is crucial for policy design and its implementation. In general the known and preventable risks are: speeding, badly designed or poorly maintained road infrastructure, use of unsafe vehicles, etc. The known and preventable inappropriate behaviour and causes of accidents at level crossings include: zigzagging between the half barriers, frustration at waiting for trains to pass, stopping on the tracks, failing to understand specific instructions for long vehicles, distraction, misjudging of speed and distance, poor understanding of road signs and signals, poor visibility of road signs, low perception of risks, and familiarity.
Unless concerted action is taken, the road safety issue will remain an enormous global social, economic and health concern in the future. In many countries the media do not appear to pay sufficient attention to road safety.
The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly was launched across the world on 11 May this year. The global plan for the decade includes road safety management, road infrastructure, safer vehicles and road user behaviour. Crashes, fatalities and injuries at level crossings will also be addressed. In this context, the UNECE which is the unique global intergovernmental body concerned with road safety supports ILCAD and will soon create a group of experts to work on enhancing safety at level crossings. I would like to encourage all interested stakeholders to participate and contribute to its work.”

Robert Nowak, Division of Transport, UNECE

To watch the UNECE film made to launch the UNECE Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 go to http://live.unece.org/trans/roadsafe/wp1film.html

“The Operation Lifesaver inc. mother company created in the U.S.A. in 1972 (http://oli.org) now also exists in Canada, Argentina, Estonia, and soon in Israel. The mission of Operation Lifesaver is to end railway-related collisions, deaths and injuries. Their actions are concentrated on engineering, education and enforcement. O.L. is a direct partner to ILCAD in the countries mentioned above. Where Operation Lifesaver exists the number of collisions at level crossings has decreased dramatically: minus 84% in the U.S.A. On the occasion of ILCAD 2011, O.L. inc. launched an e-learning module for professional drivers on their website, in conjunction with AAR press conferences organised across the country.
O.L. Canada has developed three websites: one for adults (www.OperationLifesaver.ca); one for children (www.OLKids.ca); and one for young adults between 14 and 24 (www.TrainToDrive.net). Since the creation of O.L. Canada in 1981 the number of collisions (where a train and motor vehicle collide) has fallen dramatically from 800 annually to approximately 200 in 2010.
O.L. also exists in Buenos Aires in Argentina (Operación Salvavidas). This year they combined their efforts with ALAF (Association of Latin American Railways) and together showed the ILCAD video in public areas, on their website and also on national television channels, and distributed safety leaflets at level crossings and schools: http://operacionsalvavidas.com.ar/

On 19 November 2004 AS Eesti Raudtee (Estonian Raylway Ltd), Tamo Vahemets and Urve Miidla founded the non-profit organisation “Operation Lifesaver Estonia” (OLE) following the principles accepted by Operation Lifesaver Inc. Since its creation we have also experienced a high decrease in collisions: http://www.operationlifesaver.eu/ee/en/.
ILCAD has been on our annual events calendar since 2009 and we participate actively in the campaign. The rapid development of ILCAD and its global nature are clear evidence that such a project is much needed. The effect of ILCAD is also proven by the fact that each year the list of activities conducted in different countries gets longer and longer. We organised a variety of activities for ILCAD in Estonia, among them a photography competition. We are very happy to be a partner in this international campaign aimed at educating people and saving lives.”
Birgit Vahemets, O.L. Estonia on behalf of all Operation Lifesaver organisations worldwide

NB The official ILCAD logo and motto “Act safely at level crossings”, which exists in more than 20 languages, and the 2011 CTTV film montage were provided on a voluntary basis by O.L. Estonia and ILCAD partners are very grateful to them.

“In Poland we have more than 16 000 level crossings on a 19 000 km railway network, which means that the average distance between two level crossings is less than 1.2 km. 97% of accidents are caused by road users and this is why it is so important to make them aware of the dangers at level crossings.
Since 2005 we have been promoting education campaigns in Poland and we are particularly proud to host the internationally recognised ILCAD 2011 in Warsaw. Our initiative has been structured under the auspices of Mr Andrzej Massel, the Polish Minister of Infrastructure, and has involved partner organisations such as the Police Headquarters, the Headquarters of Military Police and Border Patrol, National Road Transport Safety Board, Polish Scouting Organisation, a great number of national and regional TV and radio broadcasters, numerous editorial offices, public institutions, community organisations and private businesses. The “Safe rail-road level crossing…” campaign was recognised by PR establishments as one of the most interesting and professional awareness campaigns targeted at society as a whole.
We consider the awareness campaign to be one method of influencing safety along with improving the technical aspects of rail-road level crossings, supervising the work of personnel responsible for railway traffic safety and taking initiative to advance legal issues regulating the problem of rail-road level crossings in Poland.
I believe that the organisation of ILCAD by UIC is a very valuable initiative, providing great opportunities to share experiences and help to develop activities to save and protect human life and health. We have carefully observed the operations carried out by our colleagues from all over the world and have adapted some of them to our own circumstances. I also hope that Polish initiatives will one day become an inspiration and a benefit to others.
I would like to thank all the participants and journalists present today and invite you to have a look at the exhibition next door showing the various communication tools used by ILCAD partners around the world. I also invite you to participate in the complementary events organised by PKP P.L.K. on 8 June in the afternoon and 9 June which is actually THE big day worldwide.”
Zbigniew Szafrański – President of Management Board, PKP Polish Railway Lines Company

On 8 June 2011 the programme of events organised by PKP P.L.K. for CEOs and journalists in Warsaw city centre included (see pictures):

  • Impairment goggles – simulated effects of alcohol use
  • Vehicle roll-over simulator
  • Car crash simulator
  • Computer aided accident simulation device
  • Save and rescue actions
  • Demonstration of Polish Railway Police unit
  • Manoeuvring square, where guests can try driving special trolling vehicles

On 9 June 2011, ILCAD day, the programme of events organised by PKP P.L.K. for CEOs and journalists in Warsaw included (see pictures):

  • In the morning: a simulation of an accident on a rail-road level crossing at Zabraniecka Street in the suburbs of Warsaw, together with a press briefing with the three main national television channels and eight national and regional radio channels
  • In the afternoon: the opening of an exhibition devoted to LX safety problems
  • Public blood donation for accident casualties
  • Exhibition of the best Polish drawings submitted to the first UIC/ILCAD international drawing contest for children on level crossings. We received 380 drawings, of which 100 were Polish The 26 winners, of which six were Polish, in the four age categories will receive an official certificate and a prize from ILCAD/UIC. All contestants will receive a miniature Eiffel tower. Please visit http://www.ilcad.org/spip.php?article97 for more details.

To see our other global activities and projects please visit our facebook page: facebook.com/ilcad and twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ilcad and our website: www.ilcad.org.

More information on press conferences organised by partners, and videos posted on their websites or on youtube will be provided in due course.

4 Votes

Average rating: 3.25 / 5

UIC invited to attend the rollout of the 700th Autorail Grande Capacité (AGC)

On 7 June, the 700th AGC train (Autorail Grande Capacité – High Capacity Trainset) left the Bombardier workshops in Crespin, Northern France. Nowadays, the 700 trains are operated by the French National Railway Company (SNCF). The first deliveries began in 2004.

The AGC train represents a new generation of regional trains designed to meet current needs regarding the development of urban and intercity rail transportation. Technologically innovative, the trains are run on diesel fuel, electricity or hybrid, and are available in seven technical configurations. The seating capacity of the trains range from 160 to 220 seats, depending on the number of cars. Modular interior design exists in the High Class and Intercity versions.

The Hybrid AGC is the world’s first hybrid train. Dual mode – electrical and diesel – and dual voltage – 15,00 and 25,000 V – technology enables the Hybrid AGC to run across the entire railway network. This results in energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions, as well as negating infrastructure constraints and the need for passengers to change trains.

To mark the occasion, Jean Bergé, President of Bombardier Transportation France, symbolically presented the train keys of the 700th train to Jacques Goolen, SNCF Regional Director.

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ERTMS regional pilot in Sweden, with a view to beginning commercial operation by the end of 2011

UIC strongly supports the rapid consolidation of the ERTMS regional concept

In 2005 the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket – TRV) and Bombardier started adapting the infrastructure of the regional line Borlänge-Malung (135 km of single track with six simple stations) to implement the ERTMS regional concept. This was based on the work of UIC and on the UIC Functional and Operational Requirements Specifications. The first set of UIC specifications which was used by Trafikverket dates from 2003. Accordingly, the UIC concept aims to implement low cost infrastructure compatible with the running of ETCS trains. This applies for fitting low traffic infrastructure with the interlocking of circulation routes centralised in the Traffic Control Centre and with coverage of the route by the GSM-R. Switches in stations and level crossings are controlled and commanded from the TCC via Object Controllers linked to the TCC by radio (GPRS) and/or wired WAN. In principle no track-based train detection systems (track circuits or axle counters) are employed. Trains detect their location autonomously using onboard odometry and pre-programmed balises on the track. Train movements are controlled by Movement Authorities issued by the TCC. This eliminates the need for trackside signalling. Trains and locomotives equipped with the ETCS On-Board according to the interoperable SRS baseline 2.3.0d run on this ERTMS regional line. The system safety target is compliant with the high requirements of the Safety Authority in Sweden as regards the specific operational requirements set up by TRV and SJ.

In this way, the ERTMS regional infrastructure has the potential to reduce costs, as no track-based signalling or train detection is required and agents are not needed in stations. Only the shunting operations in stations are performed locally by the shunting team accompanying the freight train. The use of hand-held GRM-R terminals allows the shunting zone to be temporarily blocked for traffic and then re-opened once the shunting operations are ended. The same hand-held control system allows zones occupied by track workers to be protected. Swedish colleagues have stated that the cost saving due to the ERTMS regional infrastructure meets the target of 50% of the cost that would otherwise have been paid for a classic signalling system. The cost of the GSM-R is not included as it would have been installed in any case.

On 7 and 8 June 2011 Bombardier and TRV organised presentations of the concept, the technology implemented and the performance obtained for a group of specialists from UIC, RFF, ATOC, SBB and ADIF and industry representatives (AZD-Prague, Ansaldo-STS, GE-Transportation, Invensys-Rail, Alstom, Siemens and Thales). An ERA specialist was also present. Participants were invited on a trip onboard a test train. The event facilitated the intense exchange of viewpoints on the potential of ERTMS regional to satisfy the particular requirements of regional lines and to build on the foundations of the UIC concept infrastructure on which ETCS interoperable trains may run. The pilot project in Sweden and further implementations of ERTMS regional re-address the need for research on harmonised solutions for open issues such as train integrity with onboard solution and the use of moving block train spacing. Although the application of ETCS Level 3 is not officially specified, the avoidance of track-based train detection as applied on ERTMS regional could be considered to be a first step in the direction of future ETCS L3 implementation.

UIC strongly supports the rapid consolidation of the ERTMS regional concept when integrating the experience of the pilot in Sweden and is committed to act:

  • To revise and produce consolidated versions of the FRS, ORS and Technical Specifications of the concept. It has been observed that the ERTMS regional concept enables large flexibility in applications on low traffic lines, therefore the UIC specifications shall describe the baseline of the concept, the mandatory characteristics and constraints to be considered when addressing any intended implementation. In this context, the industry representatives were of the opinion that “too much flexibility and customisation” is not in favour of cost-effective supply and it would be opportune to optimise the “customisation”. This viewpoint should be also considered.
  • To use the experience of TRV and Bombardier to draw up a recommendation on generic testing, verification, and validation procedures specific to ERTMS regional. This recommendation should contribute to reducing the cost of testing and commissioning and speed up the process of bringing the application into commercial operation.
  • To address, in relation to the UIC/UNIFE collaboration, the opportunities to extend the supply of ERTMS regional and, in an optimised approach, to apply for FFFIS specification for some of the system interfaces. A TecRec approach can be employed as a pre-standardisation phase.
  • To organise working groups made up of railway specialists to finalise the UIC specifications by mid-2012. In this context, the Operation Focus Group shall organise specific work and carry over the final specification of operational requirements. Assistance to railways wishing to implement ERTMS regional may be governed by the bilateral agreements concluded between the IM or RU and the UIC Rail System Department. For this, railways should address UIC via the Director of the Rail System Department.
  • To organise a large-scale conference in order to promote the concept and offer the opportunity of a structured approach to optimise implementation.
  • The UIC representative would like to thank TRV and Bombardier for their efforts in implementing the concept and pioneering ETCS. The importance of the ERTMS regional application for the progress of ERTMS/ETCS is also underpinned by the organisation of the International ERTMS Conference in April 2012, in Borlänge, Sweden.

For more information please contact Teo Gradinariu: gradinariu@uic.org

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Line comparison study just published

The UIC Asset Management Working Group (AMWG) was established three years ago to develop and communicate methods and tools to support the consistent application of asset management principles for the benefit of railway infrastructure managers.

The first phase of this development was concerned with establishing a common understanding of the concept of asset management, together with practical steps to help railway infrastructure managers to develop their own approach and methods. Last year we published the document “Guidelines for the application of asset management in railway infrastructure organisations”, which was sent to all UIC Members.

The second phase of work has now been completed. In this we have used the asset management framework as a reference for assessing asset management processes and systems and for comparing the actual performance and costs of the railway infrastructures that we manage. The document “Line comparison study” is the result of this second phase.

This booklet was drawn up by the members of the Line Comparison project group, on behalf of the UIC Asset Management WG. The study was carried out solely for research purposes, in order to improve understanding of the differences and similarities between asset management approaches.
Nine European rail infrastructure managers carried out the study and analysed best practice elements by comparing the asset management characteristics of their organisations and selected lines. This has lead to ideas to help improve their asset management methods.

Participants presented their approaches and solutions, and a comparison of these led to interesting new insights, concerning, for example, inspection regimes, definitions of maintenance and renewal categories, “headache” assets, asset strategy changes and trends, corresponding changes in organisation structures and the integration of asset information.
Other fields of interest are tools and methods for planning and scheduling, budget allocation, cost management and maintenance logging.
It was concluded that the different national safety regulations gave rise to big differences in asset management practices. Participants also concluded that there was a need for greater differentiation of line type or category, both as regards budget allocation and setting inspection and maintenance regime limits.

The study was distributed to all UIC Members and is available online on the UIC website: http://www.uic.org/etf/publication/publication-detail.php?code_pub=528

For further information, please contact Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Technical Adviser – Railway Systems Department: gradinariu@uic.org

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UIC at Inter Rail Expo 2011 (Changchun,China)

Inter Rail Expo 2011 was held from 24 – 26 May 2011 in Changchun,China, one of the most important railway industrial centres in the country. This international show was hosted by the Jilin Provincial Government.

During the “Inter-Rail Forum 2011 on Rail Transit Development & Operation”, UIC was represented by Mr Lingling Hu, Senior Advisor at UIC from the Chinese Ministry of Railways, who had the opportunity to give a speech about “The top role of railways in the world”.
An international audience of more than 300 people joined the conference and took part in fruitful debate with UIC during the presentation. This was a good opportunity to promote UIC among all railways and railway partners in China and Asia. Mr James Wu, the General Manager of the event, hoped that this cooperation opportunity will continue in the future.

For more information please contact Mr Hu Lingling: hu@uic.org

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UIC participates in Forum 1520

Forum 1520, hosted this year by RZD in Sochi, was attended by a large number of European operators and CIS countries from partner industries

UIC was also present at this event and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux took part in several panels, highlighting in particular all the work undertaken with OSJD to improve the interoperability of gauge systems 1435 and 1520, as well as work to facilitate the flow of major east-west corridors through the use of a unique and simplified consignment note. This event also enabled an official agreement to be concluded between Vladimir Yakunin (RZD) and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux (UIC) aiming to boost exchanges and the training of young potential managers with a view to creating a future global alumni network.

In addition, technical visits to sites of transport infrastructure work in preparation for the forthcoming 2014 Olympics were the subject of particularly interesting technical presentations.

An initial news item has already been published in the 240th edition of UIC eNews and you can find more information on the work concerning the three tunnels (service, road and railway tunnels) carried out under RZD’s supervison by clicking here: http://eng.rzd.ru/isvp/public/rzdeng?STRUCTURE_ID=4110

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New group to ensure closer cooperation of independent rail regulators across Europe

Independent rail regulators from across Europe signed an agreement on 9 June which will ensure closer cooperation to meet the needs of passengers and freight customers. A group of independent rail regulatory bodies from 16 European countries, including Great Britain’s Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), met in The Hague to establish the Independent Regulators’ Group – Rail (IRG-Rail) – a new forum for cooperation between national independent rail regulators. This new body will seek to:

  • Promote the interests of passenger and freight users in Europe;
  • Encourage sustainable and effective competition in the provision of passenger and freight transport;
  • Promote a consistent approach to the European regulatory framework for railways;
  • Speak with a strong and common voice at Community level.

In a joint statement, members of the newly-formed IRG-Rail said: "As the rail market in Europe grows, now is the time to strengthen cooperation between national rail regulatory bodies. Effective independent rail regulation and close cooperation between Europe’s regulators will help to ensure that a competitive European market for railways develops and that our railways are meeting the needs of passengers and freight customers.”
In its first year, IRG-Rail will be led by Matthias Kurth (Chair, Bundesnetzagentur, the German multisectoral regulator) as Chair, and Anna Walker (Chair, ORR) as Vice Chair.

For more information please visit the group’s dedicated website at http://irg-rail.eu/about-irg-rail/

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Assistance agreement signed between PKP PLK and UIC as part of the Warsaw-Lodz-Poznan high speed project

On the occasion of the technical and statutory meetings held in Warsaw during the week of 9 June, an assistance agreement was also signed between Polish infrastructure manager PKP PLK and UIC. This agreement calls for UIC’s support and experience in the development of Poland’s high speed rail link between Warsaw, Lodz and Poznan.

This assistance, tantamount to a peer review of the main stages of the project, was requested by PKP PLK, which considers UIC as a technical platform of expertise and impartiality.

This agreement will not of course call into question the possibility for UIC members to respond to any tenders that PKP PLK may launch at a later date for project-supervision services.

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News from UIC members

First green train in Belgium thanks to solar tunnel

Infrabel, the Belgian rail operator, together with Enfinity, Solar Power Systems and the municipalities of Brasschaat and Schoten, have completed a 3.4 km solar panel installation in Antwerp: 16,000 solar panels installed on the roof of the Antwerp-Amsterdam high speed line railway tunnel with a surface area of 50,000 m2, almost the size of eight football fields.

The solar power installation not only serves to power the rail infrastructure (signalling, lighting, heating of stations, etc.) but also the high speed and classical trains running on the Belgian rail network. The solar panels will produce 3,300 MWh on an annual basis which equals the average electricity consumption of 950 households and provide an annual reduction in CO2 emissions by 2,400 tonnes. The train ride will thus be even more environmentally-friendly. Every year, some 4,000 trains will run entirely on solar power, equivalent to a full day of train traffic per year.

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SPECTRUM EU Funded FP7 project – Kick-off meeting – 9 and 10 June 2011 at UIC in Paris

9 and 10 June marked the kick-off meeting for the EU funded FP7 Rail Freight project SPECTRUM for which UIC leads the important dissemination Work Package.
The aim of this freight logistics project, set to last 48 months (starting 1 May 2011), is to develop seamless rail freight services to match customers’ supply chains. The project will determine how to effectively integrate low density, high value, time sensitive freight services with existing passenger services without detriment to either service type, taking into consideration operational, technological and logistics requirements.
Market context:

  • Modern manufacturing techniques and logistics systems require reliable, time sensitive delivery of lower density and higher value goods. This type of goods presents a significant market opportunity for rail freight which it has not achieved on a significant or sustained basis to date. The benchmark is set by the road transport industry and rail has to compete effectively with this sophisticated and adaptable sector.
  • Depending on the market segment the key requirements may be a mix of faster transit time, specialised goods systems, tracking and tracing systems ability and availability, greater flexibility, lower and competitive prices or premium services.
  • Rail has to compete head on with road transport and match bottom line requirements, enhance productivity to levels well above that achieved by conventional rail freight services and simultaneously realise serious cost reductions in both capital and operating costs.
  • The project is complementary to two other EU funded freight research projects which started recently, MARATHON and SUSTRAIL, with which SPECTRUM aims to cooperate closely.

SPECTRUM’s objectives are to work towards defining rail freight services consisting of:

  • A freight train that performs like a passenger train in terms of speed, acceleration, braking, momentum: allowing full scheduling on inter-urban and suburban train networks with no excessive consumption of train paths or the inflicting of delay on other rail traffic;
  • Increased operational productivity through intensive asset management systems, integration of train, capacity management, infrastructure utilisation and integration through handling systems into the co-modal networks of modern logistics;
  • A freight train that is smarter by design in terms of the on-board array of systems for condition monitoring of the train technology, cargo status and tracking and tracing;
  • A standardised and universal power supply system for the delivery of power to temperature controlled containers (reefers) in a controllable fashion.

The main work packages of the project are (apart from the management WP):

Work Package 1: Logistics & Market Analysis

Work Package 2: System Concept Development
This WP aims to conceptualise and design (at a broad level) the nature of 2-3 systems to deliver the ’offering’. Based on an integrated vision, the WP will (pre-competitively) develop a shared (and open) concept of how logistics, operations, infrastructure and vehicles need to integrate to deliver the high service levels expected.

Work package 3: Conceptual Design is conceptual, leading to concept designs, systems, modelling and simulation.

Work package 4: Synthesis, where the designed concept and the economic case are re-integrated with the estimated costs of the systems and the potential market returns synthesised into example business plans. The concepts are demonstrated using modelling, simulation etc. as appropriate.

Work Package 5: Demonstration of a number of the developments
The project will, among others, deliver a standard for power supply to refrigerated containers, undertake extensive market research, develop system concepts and make the first steps into design work for further development by the system builders. It will also deliver an extensive Electronic Handbook that consolidates all the material developed in this project into a one cohesive document.
The handbook will provide necessary background and important information to assist individuals and organisations interested in SPECTRUM outcomes, impacts and contributions.

Work Package 6: Dissemination. This WP is led by UIC
WP 6 was presented and discussed by Dennis Schut of the UIC Research Unit. Dissemination is an important task, because without a proper dissemination, implementation of the project results will hardly be possible and therefore no innovation will take place. Besides the dissemination work in this WP, it is possible an important to keep UIC members informed about project developments, receive their feedback and use this as input into the project again, maximising the chances of a potentially useful outcome of the project. Already in September 2010, the Research Unit of UIC’s Fundamental Values department organised a so-called “Research Board” meeting between the UIC staff (Mr Oliver Sellnick – Freight Director) and members of the Freight Forum with the three project coordinators and a number of WP leaders of the related freight projects SPECTRUM, MARATHONM and SAUSTRAIL. These types of meetings will be organised by the Research Unit for these and other EU funded projects in the future in order to have good input from UIC experts and guarantee smooth information flow between EU funded projects involving UIC participation and UIC members.

The project partners are economic and technological research institutes specialised in rail freight, the rail industry, infrastructure managers and associations such as UIC and the EIA. There is also a very important Advisory Board in which a number of railway operators participate, as well as a group called “Input Partners” comprising mostly users of rail freight services.

For more information please contact Dennis Schut, UIC Research Unit: schut@uic.org

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Seminar on Building Asian Connectivity (Busan, 14-17 June 2011)

The seminar on Building Asian Connectivity, co-organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and UIC, is currently taking place in Busan from 14 – 17 June.
Nearly 50 participants from 20 Asian countries, from the Middle-East to Oceania, and 10 international organisations attended the opening session introduced by Mr Dongwoo Ha, Director of UN ESCAP Transport Division, and Mr Oliver Sellnick, Director of UIC Freight.

This first day was the opportunity to present the latest key trends on freight worldwide, with specific focus on the Asian situation. The participants interacted with ADB, AITD representatives and gained an overview of Asian economic growth during the presentations. While Mr Oliver Sellnick presented general trends and the results of the current market research ICOMOD, Mr Mukul Saran Mathur, Director of UIC Asia Delhi Office, focused on containerisation issues. UN ESCAP also had the opportunity to showcase the current experiences on the Trans-Asian railway corridors concerning international coordination, cost reduction, time savings and new technologies with impacts on forecasted volumes. On their side, Mrs Zubaida Aspayeva, Chairperson of the Freight Commission, and Mr Gennady Bessonov, Secretary-General of CCTT, UIC partner for Euro-Asian rail interoperability, gave detailed reviews of the CIM/SMGS consignment note, forecasted traffic, commercial and cargo experiences between Eastern and Western Asia on the Trans-Siberian route and UIC corridors with CCTT and involved members.

The Malaysian and Indonesian representatives (government and railways) showed their interest in the Door-to-Door issues, the competitiveness of freight railways, positioning solutions and Eco Transit IT tools, whereas the Chinese delegation was interested in pricing and collaboration with neighbouring countries.
This seminar is co-organised by UIC and UN ESCAP, in the frame of the MOU signed in 2005 and renewed in 2010. It is an important opportunity for UIC to interact with and promote its technical work among Asian members as well as with non-members and their respective governments. It is also an opportunity to emphasise the help that international associations such as UIC and UN ESCAP can provide to governments and railways in their development and strategic transport plans.

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UIC calendar

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 15 June 2011

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