Wednesday 5 October 2011
Railway Signalling

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

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

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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.


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:

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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