European GSM-R overlay network proven to be integrated

GSM-R is the new expanding railway digital radio system in Europe – a main component of ERTMS – enforced by European law. 154,000 km of track are planned to be covered with GSM-R, of which more than 68,000 km are already in operation.

As for the GSM-R mobile stations statistics in Europe, 40,223 cab radios, 1,880 EDORs (ETCS Data Radio) and more than 115,000 handhelds are reported to be activated.

As network implementation advances, and as more and more cab radios and EDORS are activated, GSM-R is increasingly used in border crossing and roaming situations.
The UIC Working Groups for GSM-R Network Management (NMG) and European Network Integration for Railways (ENIR) are working intensely on harmonising GSM-R border crossing and roaming operations.
As seen on the map, 11 European railways are interconnected, with 19 direct interconnections and more than 15 transit routing paths in operation.

Such GSM-R network inter-connections normally take place based on a peer-to-peer roaming agreement, between two such networks.
In 2010 the GSM-R Operators in the NMG decided on a Transit Routing Agreement, signed by all of them, stating the general conditions and obligations for transparent support of roaming operations.
Since GSM-R implementation in Europe is a long process, each new implementer, when activating its network, expects that roaming will be possible. This results in a continuous expanding interconnection network with regular updates of GSM-R signalling and traffic routing facilities.
This is why the ENIR group decided to study the integration of each new GSM-R network into the international GSM-R Overlay Network. The outcome of this study was the UIC Common Design Document (CDD) version 1.0, which also covers the routing guidelines to build the individual Routing Data Sets (RDS) – which establish the main and backup routes for the international GSM-R network interconnection – based on the current physical network status.

The RDS databases are calculated and generated by DB Systel, in the frame of the UIC Project GSM-R Network Management. However, the changing of an international RDS if not synchronised can result in unavailability of routing for roaming GSM-R mobiles. So the next step was to decide on a very challenging operation: implementing a unique RDS database in all networks in Europe, at the same moment.
A complete schedule of routine checks was put in place. The GSM-R Implementers (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland), represented in the NMG and ENIR agreed that there was a strong need for all of them to accept this concept and apply the update at the same moment. With this decision the outage of routing facilities was minimised. However, in case of failing the update process in one country could affect GSM-R roaming facilities in all GSM-R networks, with impact on train operation. Given the experienced staff and the robustness of procedures, the risk was calculated as almost zero.
This moment was chosen for 25 September 2011 at 2am CEST (central European summer time).
With all previous steps described achieved, the operation took place as scheduled, lasted 2 hours and was successful, with just some minor consequences to be solved in the next period and no impact on train operation.
Therefore, since together with the impressive implementation and roaming operations figures European GSM-R networks currently use a common RDS database, we can now say that the GSM-R networks are proven to be integrated and well managed in Europe.

For more information please contact Dan Mandoc: Mandoc@uic.org, Chiel Spaans, Chairman NMG: chiel.spaans@prorail.nl, Dirk Brucks, Chairman ENIR: dirk.brucks@deutschebahn.com

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UIC participates in 20th Plenary Meeting of the “Coordinating Council on Transsiberian Transportation (CCTT)

On 28 and 29 September 2011, the 20th Plenary Meeting of the CCTT took place in Odessa, bringing together over 200 high-level delegates from 23 countries: railways, forwarders, associations, ports, etc.
The meeting, chaired by Mr Yakunin, heard business reports from all actors of the transport chain who support the development of a rail solution between Asia and Europe. The focus was placed on the main aspects of the functioning of the Transsiberian Corridor, the measures aimed at improving the effectiveness of container transportation between Europe and Asia and on the need for harmonisation as a whole, whether it be in cargo documentation or technology.

Sandra Géhénot and Anton Akulov from UIC attended this conference where they presented the main results of the ICOMOD study. This study was carried out at the initiative of UIC and assessed, from a market perspective, the viability of a rail link between Europe and Asia.
Initial results show that:

  • There is a huge market potential for rail transport between Asia and Europe which can be as high as around one million TEU in the long-term, part of which can already be carried out today
  • Rail can be positioned as a time-sensitive/time-competitive transport product. Time advantages trigger monetary savings. Rail is particularly beneficial for high-value goods from/to hinterland origins/destinations
  • Currently there is a choice of four different route options, all of which are undergoing further modernisation and upgrading, and might also be complemented with further route and terminal variants.

The presentation was welcomed and its concrete facts highlighted.

Mr Yakunin closed the two-day discussion, thanking all participants for their strong commitment in developing rail solutions between Europe and Asia. He commented that the work of railways can only expand in a context where market demand for environmental and secure solutions is growing and that rail is the natural link towards greater integration.

The CCTT Plenary Meeting ended with an official signing ceremony of a protocol which acknowledges recent achievements and specifies the basis of the work for the period ahead.

The next Plenary Meeting will take place in Helsinki in 2012.

For more information please contact Sandra Géhénot: gehenot@uic.org

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1st South East Environment Workshop

The first South East workshop, jointly held by Serbian Railways and UIC in Belgrade on 29 and 30 September, brought together environmental specialists from railways in the South East Europe region, to share best practice, start a regional network, and improve links with the environmental working groups of UIC.

There was excellent representation from the region, with presentations from Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Slovakia. Other railways represented at the workshop included Poland and Romania. Presentations were also delivered by specialist consultants working in remediation of polluted soil from both Serbia itself and the Netherlands. Deutsche Bahn also presented the way they manage their environmental and sustainable development activities. In total around 40 specialists attended over the two days.

Following on from the success of the workshop, all participants have been invited to join the newly-formed UIC Expert Network on Sustainable Land Use which will explore issues around soil pollution, vegetation control, biodiversity protection and so on. The first meeting will be on 15 November at UIC headquarters.

In related news, Serbian Railways are organising a conference on Energy Efficiency in Belgrade on 17 & 18 November, and a 2nd South East Europe Environment Workshop will be planned for September 2012.

For more information please contact Alex Veitch: veitch@uic.org

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Save the date - 3rd International Conference on Communications-based Train Control and Train Efficiency

(Denver, Colorado, 30 April- 1& 2 May 2012)

Conference scope and aims

The third international train control conference is organised by the AAR (Association of American Railroads) and UIC (International Railway Union) in conjunction with the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration, the Transportation Research Board (US), and the Transportation Technology Center.

The conference is a periodic event – every two years – agreed at the UIC world level as an expression of cooperation in the signalling domain and has been organized around the idea that, while the various train control systems currently being installed around the world differ in many respects, their overall objectives are mostly similar as are many of the obstacles they have had to face. It is also assumed that no single organization has a monopoly on good ideas. The conference therefore has the aim of bringing together knowledgeable professionals world-wide in order to facilitate an exchange of information and ideas on technical issues related to train control and train efficiency.


Subjects and presentations

Consistent with its scope and objectives, the conference will include presentations by highly-qualified speakers on the following subjects:

  • Session 1 will occupy the first half-day and will address the architecture, purpose and status of selected train control systems worldwide that are in service or are currently being deployed.
  • Session 2, Common Problems, Different Solutions, is divided into four parts over the next two half-days and will address specific issues related to subjects such as communications, enforcement algorithms, location systems, standards and configuration management, training, and interoperability requirements. There will also be discussions of advances in train efficiency and train automation.
  • Session 3, Common Problems, Common Solutions?, will look at opportunities to work in collaboration on a variety of issues including whether there is the potential for standardization of certain subsystems, and whether common approaches to such things as migration planning, system verification and validation, and validation by testing could produce benefits. The possibility of joint research projects will be explored.
  • Session 4 wraps up the second day of the conference and will focus on lessons learned and will examine the way forward, concluding with a roundtable question and answer period.

Organisation

The Conference will be hosted by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), and will take place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver on April 30 and May 1, 2012. Rooms have been reserved at the Grand Hyatt Hotel which is a short walk from the Convention Center. Registration and a welcoming reception will take place at the hotel on Sunday evening, April 29.

While the official conference concludes at the end of the day on May 1, attendees will be able to participate in an optional field trip to TTCI’s internationally recognized research and testing facilities in Pueblo, Colorado, on May 2nd. Bus transportation will be provided. The program at TTCI will include a tour of the physical facility as well as presentations on train control-related research projects.

The goal of the conference is to enable an open exchange of information and speakers will have the freedom to relate their own experiences, expertise and ideas consistent with that goal. The focus will be on the objectives of developing a mutual understanding of the needs and requirements of modern systems of train control, of the prospect of convergence, and support of a common vision for core signalling systems.

Provision is being made to accommodate a limited number of exhibitors of goods and services related to the subject of the conference. Full information for exhibitors will be available shortly, but advance indications of interest can be made to Kelly Donley, Asst. VP-Industry Relations, at: kdonley@aar.org.

Program and other details

A conference website is currently under development. It will have registration information as well as links to both the hotel and also to an exhibitors’ page. It will be frequently updated as information is made available on program details and committed speakers. The conference website will be accessible through both the UIC and the AAR websites.

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UIC welcomes DB Trainees

“UIC at a glance” was the motto of the seminar held on 23 September 2011, attended by around 30 Deutsche Bahn trainees. The aim of the afternoon workshop was to provide a comprehensive overview of the mission and work of UIC Headquarters in Paris to young professionals from the Deutsche Bahn company. Having recently started their professional career at Deutsche Bahn, the trainees participated in an on-and-off-the-job DB training session.

UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux welcomed the group, led by Daniel Beutler (Managing Director of DB France in Paris), and highlighted some core parts of UIC’s work, its strategic course of action as a world organisation, and underlined that UIC’s full focus is to be at the service of its members.

After the opening the various UIC technical departments provided an overview of their current activities and highlighted the key projects, from freight and high speed activities to Rail System and the RSF “Outlook and Vision” Strategy Programme, without forgetting safety and human factors.

All participants were very touched by the presentation on “International Level Crossing Awareness Day” regarding safety at level crossings. The dissemination material used was impressive and the scenarios presented made many participants think about their own behaviour at level crossings.
The general overview was finalised by a summary of the successful work achieved over many years in the field of environment and sustainable development.

All trainees were highly interested in the work being performed by UIC and each presentation triggered lively discussions. Although only one afternoon was scheduled for UIC, the trainees gained an excellent inside view. Perhaps one of the group members might return one day as a member of seconded staff, to become a senior advisor at UIC. The first feedback, at least, was positive.

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News from UIC members

Russia: On 1 October, Russian Railways commemorated its 8th anniversary

Russian Railways was established on 1 October 2003 under Russian Federal Law № 585, "On the establishment of the joint-stock company Russian Railways”, dated 18 September 2003. The company was founded in accordance with a program that was designed to introduce needed structural reforms to rail transportation. The Russian government owns 100% of its shares.

Over the past eight years, Russian Railways has been actively pursuing productive work in different spheres.

Freight services:

During this time-frame, Russian Railways has increased its pace of work in the field of freight transportation. Since its inception, it has shipped over 11.5 billion tons of freight. These included coal (2.6 billion tons), oil products (2.1 billion tons), building materials (2.4 billion tons), various ores (1.8 million tons), ferrous metals (743.6 million tons), timber (more than 555 million tons) and a range of other goods. At the same time, 3.1 billion tons of freight were exported.

The share of rail transport in the total freight traffic of the country increased from 39% in 2003 to 43.2% in the first 8 months of 2011 (including pipelines). Also, as a result of various reforms, there has been a significant increase in the share of privately-owned freight cars in the freight transportation network. In 2003, privately-owned rolling stock accounted for 16.1% of railway transport turnover, while in the first 8 months of 2011 its share had risen to 54.7%. Russian Railways’ own freight cars (excluding subsidiaries) provide only 5% of the total freight transport turnover.

Passenger services:

In the past eight years, the company has been responsible for the transportation of over 9.7 billion passengers. These include one billion long-distance rail passengers and 8.7 billion commuter rail passengers. Since October, 2003, passenger turnover has totaled over 1.2 trillion passenger-kilometers.

Since 1 April, 2010, all long-distance passenger transportation has been conducted via Federal Passenger Company (FPC), a subsidiary of Russian Railways. Since FPC started doing business, the volume of passenger traffic conducted by its long-distance trains has exceeded 170.6 billion passenger-kilometers.

Commuter rail services:

In 2011, all commuter rail companies are being brought under federal government control together with Russian Railways as a result of structural reforms in railway transport. There are 26 commuter rail companies in total.

Their work is bringing several benefits:

  • An increase in the number of traffic fee categories for passengers
  • An increase the number of people using suburban trains
  • Growth in revenues from passenger transportation

High speed rail:

On 17 December, 2009, Russian Railways introduced the Sapsan (Peregrine Falcoln), a train which offers high speed rail service, on the route between Moscow and St. Petersburg. In July 2010, Sapsan high-speed rail service commenced on the Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod route. Since it started operations, the Sapsan has made more than seven thousand trips and carried more than 4 million passengers.

Investments:

  • The company’s investment costs tended to increase from year to year; the cumulative total exceeds 2.9 trillion rubles. Russian Railways’ investment budget in 2011, in inflation-adjusted terms, was 1.5 higher than it had been in 2004.
  • The chief priority of Russian Railways’ investment policy is to develop and upgrade infrastructure, especially in major transit and export-oriented sectors. About 2,500 kilometers of new track were laid, while about 6,400 kilometers were reconstructed and 1,000 kilometers of track were electrified.
  • The share of investment funds which were earmarked for the acquisition and modernization of rolling stock totaled over 20%. Since 2003, the railways, when leasing is taken into account, received about two thousand locomotives, more than 5,000 passenger cars, over 90 thousand freight cars, and about 5,000 units of railcar rolling stock.
  • Significant changes have occurred in the use of the investment budget of the company. More attention is being given to addressing the strategic objectives of improving the quality of services provided: these include an increase in passenger and freight delivery speed, safety guarantees, the introduction of new rolling stock, new management techniques, and solutions to macroeconomic problems.

(Source: RZD)

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Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Railway Transport

The AZP International Conference on level crossing safety held on 27 and 28 September 2011 in Maribor, Slovenia was attended by more than 130 participants mostly from Slovenia but also from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland.
Speakers from the Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency (AVP), National Safety Authorities from Croatia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway and Switzerland, Slovenian Local Authorities, Railway Regulatory Authorities from Slovenia and Slovakia, Accident Investigation Boards from Slovenia and Finland, the Slovenian Roads Agency (DRSC), Faculties of Civil Engineering from Maribor and Ljubljana, the Faculty of Logistic Celje, the Slovenian Ministry of Transport, Railway Infrastructure Managers from Slovenian Railways and Austrian Railways (ÖBB), transport companies from Slovenia, Austria and Lithuania, the President of the Transport Committee of the Slovenian National Assembly, manufacturers (Iskra Sistemi, SŽ-ŽGP Ljubljana, — Lineal), UIC with ILCAD, ELCF, ERA and DG MOVE.
Mr Boris Zivec, Director of the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Railway Transport (AZP) in Maribor, Slovenia, opened the morning session on 27 September.
Mr Janko Veber, Member of the Slovenian Parliament, President of the Slovenian Transport Committee of the Slovenian National Assembly, reported on the priorities in providing safety in Slovenia.
Mr Zoltan Kazatsay, Deputy Director General, DG MOVE, gave a presentation on “securing the safety of participants in transport, particularly at the interface of different transport systems, namely level crossings from a European perspective”.
Mr Marcel Verslype, Executive Director of the European Railway Agency (ERA) and Mr Ljubo Zajc, Director of the Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency (AVP) developed the topic on level crossing safety in EU member states. Marcel Verslype presented the ERA “Railway Safety Performance Report 2011” and the figures and trends in railway and level crossing accidents in the EU as well as the analysis of level crossing accident investigation reports.
According to ERA, there are two main types of accident: accidents related to persons caused by rolling stock in motion and level crossing accidents.
Some significant figures in 2009: 400 level crossing user fatalities, 29% of all railway accident fatalities, and 1.2% of road user fatalities. On average there are 1021 significant level crossing accidents and 428 road user fatalites in the EU per year.
Mr Kazatsay, Mr Verslype and Mr Zivec opened the discussion on “to what extent is coordination and support of higher level of safety at level crossings targeted or expected from a European perspective: SM and CSC”.

Mrs Kirsi Pajunen, ERA Safety Unit, opened and chaired the afternoon session on 27 September. She introduced the role of National Safety Authorities (NSAs) in level crossing safety. Seven representatives of National Safety Authorities (NSA) or National Investigation Bodies (NIB) gave presentations on national experiences respectively in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland and Slovenia.

According to ERA’s reported data, the year 2009 was the safest year on the EU’s railways for both passengers and rail staff since 2006. Railways remain one of the safest modes of transport in the European Union (EU). Yet, some 1400 people still die on EU railways each year; most of the fatalities are unauthorised persons and level crossing users. There are about 124,000 level crossings in the EU, so on average there are four level crossings per 10 km section of track. Only 41% are equipped with either manual or automatic protection systems. The national investigation bodies (NIB) notified the Agency of 197 opened investigations of accidents and incidents that occurred during 2010. The Agency also received 210 investigation reports during 2009 covering accidents dating from 2006 and onwards.
http://www.era.europa.eu/Communication
The second day (28 September) was dedicated to presentations on the improvement of safety at level crossings through engineering solutions and educational measures.
Isabelle Fonverne (UIC + ELCF Secretary) and Alan Davies (European Level Crossing Safety Chairman) delivered a presentation respectively on ELCF work and ILCAD 2011 (International Level Crossing Awareness Day) that took place on 9 June in more than 40 countries worldwide – more information at
www.ilcad.org; facebook.com/ilcad; http://twitter.com/#!/ilcad

The next edition will take place again in June 2012.

Both chaired the sessions on engineering and education and opened the discussion at the end of the conference.
For information an ELCF plenary meeting and an ILCAD 2011 debriefing meeting will take place on 20-21 October 2011 in Lisbon. You will find further information on this issue in a further e-news edition.
The conclusions of this conference: improve safety at level crossings, more efforts have to be concentrated jointly on the improvement of engineering to make level crossings more visible, ensure more effective enforcement of the laws, take more awareness measures to educate the public on the dangers at and around level crossings, take the whole system more into account and stop blaming the user.
More information will be uploaded shortly on the AZP website: http://www.azp.si/www/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125%3Aletno-poroilo-o-varnosti&catid=45%3Anovice&Itemid=97&lang=en

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Participation of Mr Yoshio Ishida in the annual APTA meeting

The annual APTA meeting 2011 started on 1 October in New Orleans, US, and Mr Yoshio Ishida, UIC Chairman, gave a speech as guest speaker at the APTA Board of Directors Meeting. He has attended the annual APTA meeting for three years consecutively as UIC Chairman.

As UIC Chairman, Mr Ishida strongly emphasised the special significance of holding the annual APTA meeting in New Orleans, mentioning that New Orleans is the city which was damaged so greatly by the massive Hurricane Katrina six years ago, and has been restored by citizens’ efforts, and that RTA (New Orleans Regional Transit Authority) has been playing the most prominent role in the restoration.
Then, in response to APTA’s request, he, as Vice Chairman of JR East, mentioned the massive earthquake which hit the eastern part of Japan on 11 March. He explained that JR East train operations are already back to normal, except on some lines, where restoration is being discussed by the national government, local governments and JR East. He also mentioned that he was proud of the employees who took the initiative to evacuate passengers in dangerous circumstances and no passengers were killed. In addition, he expressed thanks to many APTA members who sent encouraging messages to JR East as well as Japan.

Finally, he, as UIC Chairman again, expressed his deepest gratitude and thanks to Mr Millar who has devoted himself to public transport and its development in the US, and will retire after this annual APTA meeting.

After the annual meeting, he met Mr Melaniphy, the new president of APTA, and asked APTA for further cooperation in organising the UIC World High Speed Congress in Philadelphia, US in July 2012.

These efforts will strengthen the relationship between UIC and APTA.

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UIC wishes to pay tribute to Michael Smith, Secretary of the ISO Technical Management Board

It was with great sadness that UIC learnt of the death of Michael Smith, Secretary of the Technical Management Board at ISO (International Standardisation Organisation). He died suddenly on 25 September 2011, in New Delhi, where he had been attending a meeting of the TMB and ISO’s 34th General Assembly.

UIC wishes to pay tribute to Michael Smith’s work. He was the TMB Secretary since its inception in 1994, during which his exemplary leadership qualities in an international environment were most valued. He helped build a strong team within the ISO Central Secretariat and brought out the best in those he led.

“During his tenure, Mike witnessed several dramatic changes and developments in the ISO standards development processes. Mike’s conflict resolution skills were second to none and he played a key role in guiding committees and ensuring coherence within the technical community. He played a major role in overseeing numerous improvements, including in the development of standards, the ISO Chairs’ conferences, and ISO business plans. In addition, Mike was instrumental in contributing to the launch of some of the most well-known ISO standards, including ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and ISO 26000” said Rob Steele, ISO Secretary-General about him.

The UIC was working closely with Mike on the development of a specific Technical Cooperation Agreement between the UIC and ISO for standardisation. Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux wishes to acknowledge the level of cooperation achieved between the ISO and UIC.

The UIC team would like to extend their deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences to both Mr Smith’s family and the staff of ISO.

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7th World Congress on Railway Security (Rome, 22-23 September)

The 7th World Congress on Railway Security, opened by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, Mauro Moretti, CEO of FS Group, and Roberto Castelli, Italian Vice-Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, was an opportunity to reiterate the importance of security policies as key components for the rail business and to recall the leading international role of the Security Platform in this area.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed the need both to develop responsiveness to cope with events that could affect UIC members, and to build together a real security strategy to serve railway activities in partnership with the various international institutions with a potential role to play on the subject.

He recalled the priorities established by the UIC security unit: developing synergies between safety and security and developing a security strategy for high speed passenger rail systems.

Over 200 participants from 22 different countries participated in the various sessions (covering political and current topics, the issue of metal theft, security in large railway stations and research projects).

Given the resurgence of metal theft, the security platform has been asked to develop work specifically dedicated to this subject, taking into account what has already been done within various bodies and on various occasions, and to tackle, by fostering the necessary partnerships, several aspects such as: preventing thefts, protecting infrastructure, policing those receiving and trading stolen metal, and customs aspects).

In the area of research, the congress provided an opportunity to take stock of progress in the PROTECTRAIL project, launched on 1 September 2010 as a collaborative project between railway companies and security solution providers.

In addition the congress was an occasion to deliver the first official presentation on the RESTRAIL project – “reduction of suicides and trespass on railway property”, whose official launch was set for 1 October 2011 and kick-off meeting for 8 November at UIC headquarters in Paris. This European project coordinated by the UIC security division aims to offer decision-makers a number of support tools for their decisions, both to reduce the occurrence of suicides and trespass on railway premises as well as to mitigate the consequences.

Concerning high speed security systems, UIC is fully involved in the initiative launched by the US authorities to define a specific policy for future high speed systems taking into account the risks and opportunities resulting from their rapid development in a range of countries across various continents. The topic will be re-addressed during the 8th World High Speed Congress (UIC HIGHSPEED 2012) to be organised by UIC and APTA in Philadelphia from 10 to 13 July 2012.

Other topics of common interest were considered worthy of further discussion by participants, and will thus remain part of the UIC security action plan.

The next UIC World Security Congress will be held in October 2012 in Bratislava, in collaboration with Slovakian Railways.

For more information please contact Jacques Colliard: colliard@uic.org

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REMINDER! Harmonising freight wagon systems in international transport and their design features, UIC Global Seminar from 25 – 26 October 2011 in Sochi, Russia

After a successful 1st edition in 2009, the 2nd global seminar on “Harmonising freight wagon systems in international transport and their design features” will be held in Sochi, Russian Federation, from 25 – 26 October 2011.

Once again, the Joint Stock Company “Russian Railways” will host this seminar, which will provide a unique opportunity for the exchange of experience between different stakeholders, tackling both the actual state of art and the implementation of new technologies which will serve as a foundation for managing the challenges faced by companies handling freight shipments in international railway transport.

As one of the main goals is to set up unrestricted international railway freight shipments between Asia and Europe, the seminar will enjoy the participation of speakers from both Asian and European regions. Furthermore, the participation of UIC HQ experts in this event will enrich the seminar programme and provide added value for its participants.

If you are interested in participating or being a speaker to address the respective topics of the agenda, all information can be found on: http://www.uic.org/baseinfo/reunion/reunion.php?id=63032.

The number of seats is very limited and will follow a first come-first served basis, so register quickly.

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Third meeting of the RAILVET (Railway Operation in ECVET) project financed by the European Commission

The third meeting of the RAILVET (Railway Operation in The European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) project took place at UIC Headquarters, on 29 and 30 September 2011.

RAILVET is a project which is supported by the European Union Leonardo da Vinci Programme (LLP).

The project is coordinated by the Turkish Ministry of Education, General Directorate of Technical Education for Boys – ETOGM in partnership with:

  • UIC
  • TCDD – Turkish State Railways (Turkey)
  • HAK-IS – Turkish Trade Union (Turkey)
  • NUOV – The National Institute of Technical and Vocational Education (Czech Republic)
  • AIMM – Maritime Academy (Italy)
  • ITN – Nautical School “SAN GIORGIO” (Italy)
  • FVETS – Foundation For Vocational Education and Training Services (Slovakia)

The purpose of the RAILVET project is twofold:

  • To develop a railway curriculum frame for the “operation” job family, based on the frame developed in a previous European project entitled “DEPRAST” (http://www.deprast.net/) and to include logistics and train traffic (integrating combined transport)
  • To adapt the frame training modules to ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training)

The project aims to develop an innovative curriculum (minimum core qualifications) for vocational training in “railway operation” job family, namely for the following three groups of railway staff, involved in cross-border operations:

  • Onboard staff responsible for train and passenger safety (except for train drivers)
  • Staff responsible for assembling trains
  • Staff responsible for dispatching and control-command

The purpose is to integrate core competences for inter-module, multi-module and combined transportation into the curriculum, and eventually adapt it to the ECVET system for recognition, transfer and certification of qualifications of the railway staff in this job family, acquired through formal, non formal and informal education and training.

The curriculum frame is for formal and non formal vocational and technical schools at secondary level, and corresponds to the fourth level of the European Qualification Framework (EQF).

The meeting in Paris was the occasion to review the draft curriculum developed by TCCD and ETOGM, as well as review the first comments sent to the current partnership by external experts from Rail Training Centres of Finland, Germany, UK, Spain and Austria.
Further information about RAILVET http://www.uic.org/spip.php?rubrique1919

For more information please contact Nathalie Amirault: amirault@uic.org

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Training on High speed systems at UIC

From 26 to 30 September, the 8th UIC Training on High Speed Systems was held at UIC Headquarters.

Throughout the week, all the elements composing a high speed system were analysed, comparing the experiences of different approaches from around the world.

The objectives of this already consolidated training are to provide an accurate and comprehensive overview of the high speed system, in order to give high level engineers, managers, strategy experts, decision-makers, economists, etc., all the information needed to facilitate decision-making on these systems.

The 8th edition involved a total of 20 participants from 10 countries. They exchanged knowledge and technical and business experience with 44 speakers from 11 countries, all with high speed in operation or under development.

After the theoretical sessions, and as usual each year, a technical visit was organised on Saturday 1 October to the new Rhine-Rhone high speed line, courtesy of SNCF.

The next edition of the training will be held in Japan, combining theoretical sessions with technical visits to the Shinkansen system.
A second level of the same seminar is to be organised in Spain, in February, including discussions on practical cases as well as technical visits.

For more information please contact Ignacio Barron: barron@uic.org

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Cleaner Diesel Vehicles soon running on European Tracks

Yesterday the European rail research project CleanER-D (Clean European Rail-Diesel) held its midterm conference, bringing about a lively discussion among engine and rolling stock manufacturers as well as operators on expected results after 2 years of cross-sector collaboration in the consortium.

The conference was jointly hosted by the project coordinator UNIFE, the European Rail Industry and the International Union of Railways (UIC) together with 23 CleanER-D partners. CleanER-D is a project partly funded by the European Commission to develop, improve and integrate emissions reduction technologies for diesel locomotives and rail vehicles.

Diesel propulsion will still play an important role on the European rail network as a large part thereof is still not electrified, and it retains a major role in rail freight transport.

Although the level of development of rail network differs starkly from country to country, train operating companies still depend on diesel traction across the whole European continent. In order to take Diesel propulsion into the future of European transport, the CleanER-D consortium made considerable progress towards complying with the challenging emission limits set by the European Commission.

The speakers of the demonstration projects presented their approach to complying with the emission levels below the limits established by the new European Directive 2004/26/ EC by the refurbishment of existing rolling stock and development of a new locomotive. The possibilities to refurbish existing locomotive or diesel multiple unit fleets in order to reduce the costs for procurement of new vehicles were outlined.

In addition to that, focus was on the evaluation of innovative and hybrid solutions for the best possible contribution to reductions in CO2 and pollutant emissions. The sustainability study covering diesel performance and emission represents a mid-term success of CleanER-D. The European Commission contributed their vision on sustainable products and future emission limits to be expected in the Non Road Mobile Machinery Directive (NRMM) and set a clear framework and leitmotif for future R&D activities in this field.

The day concluded with an outlook on the next steps within the CleanER-D project including the refurbishment of a Czech DMU railcar, a German main line locomotive and the roll out of a new main line locomotive from Spain.

CleanER-D has proven that Diesel propulsion fulfils the new exhaust gas limits and that freight and passenger services hauled by Diesel can be very innovative and state-of-the-art technology.

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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
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Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 7 October 2011

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