Tuesday 9 October 2012
Expertise Development / UIC Middle-East Region

First training session successfully held in Turkey in the frame of the UIC Middle-East Railway Training Centre (MERTCe):

“1st International Railway Business Course” in Eskisehir followed by “UIC RAME High-Speed Workshop” in Ankara

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The first UIC training session organised in the frame of the newly founded UIC Middle-East Railway Training Centre (MERTCe) was successfully held from 1 – 5 October in Turkey. The first two-day module of the training course (“1st UIC RAME International Railway Business Course”) was held from 1 – 2 October in Eskisehir in the presence of over 60 participants. The content of this course was a "General introduction to railway business: legal, operational and commercial framework.”

Speakers from UIC, member railways including TCDD, European and international organisations, addressed the issues of railway liberalisation and the legal framework of railway operations, railway standardisation including the future of railway standards, interoperability and the European Union experience, the impact of liberalisation on the development of the railway market, experiences of separation between infrastructure and operations, the future of rail freight transportation and intercontinental freight corridors, suppliers for intermodality in Turkey, etc. All presentations were followed by intensive questions/answers sessions, demonstrating the strong involvement of participants.

The second module of the UIC RAME training session consisted of the two-day “RAME High Speed Seminar” held from 3 – 4 October in Ankara with technical visits on 5 October. This seminar was attended by around 150 participants, in the presence of Mr Süleyman Karaman, Director-General of Turkish Railways (TCDD) and Chairman of the UIC Middle-Eastern Region (RAME), Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, Mr Ali Abdol Saheb-Mohammadi, Vice Minister of Road and Transportation, President of Iranian Railways RAI (and UIC Middle-East 1st Vice Chairman), Ignacio Barron, UIC Director of the Passenger and High Speed Department and several representatives of member railways and organisations with a broad experience in the planning or operations of high speed rail systems. The presentations and experiences were vigorously debated during question-and-answer sessions.

These workshops provided opportunities to visit the sites of TCDD, the TCDD high speed train “YHT”, the Tülomsas manufacturing site and the MERTCe Rail Training centre in Eskisehir and further sites.

This workshop can be considered as the second part of the one organised by UIC High Speed and TCDD in 2007, also in Ankara, with also close to 200 participants from many rail companies in the region.

The first workshop can be considered as “first level”, and consequently consisted of a full analysis of all the elements involved in any high speed rail system: infrastructure, rolling stock, operation, commercial, financing, etc.

This second one, organised as a “second level”, was more focused on strategic approaches and strategic elements of the development of any high speed rail system: network concept, business approaches, traffic forecasting and commercial and distribution strategy, optimal speed, accessibility, stations, sustainability and CO2 balance, maintenance strategy, infrastructure costs, standards, natural conditions impact and research and future vision of high speed technology.

Also, two important presentations were dedicated to Turkish high speed development: scheme of operational, under construction and planned lines, stations and commercial approach.
In these presentations it was possible to take into account the impressive development of high speed rail in Turkey, which, having begun in 2009, now presents a complete plan for a very modern and performing infrastructure, able to operate at 250 km/h and providing a really high level of performance to passenger transport in Turkey and in the region.

Possible further similar workshops are envisaged in the future in the region, including updated versions of the two previous editions (2007 and 2012) and those addressing more in-depth subjects relating to high speed rail.

This new programme of training sessions jointly monitored by UIC’s Expertise Development Division (in UIC HQ) and the Middle-East Rail Training Centre (MERTCe) located in the TCDD Rail Training Centre in Eskisehir, is targeted mainly, but not exclusively, at staff from Middle-Eastern countries:

  • Senior officials of transport companies intending to make investments in the railways
  • Senior officials of infrastructure undertakings
  • Heads of freight and passenger departments of railway undertakings of the Middle-East Region
  • Wagon and locomotive manufacturers, track design and building firms, track equipment manufacturers (sleeper, rail, signalling etc.)
  • Those responsible for transport planning in the ministries, and in regional and local authorities

The main purpose of the training sessions was to:

  • Obtain information and practical knowledge about liberalised rail transport market
  • Share experiences in the field of separation between infrastructure managers and operators
  • Get a good overview and understanding of current and future trends for rail passenger and freight transport, at global and regional level
  • Get in-depth information about high speed rail systems, focusing on strategic elements (stations, environment, traffic forecasting...)

For further information on the UIC RAME training activities (in the frame of MERTCe training centre) please contact Nathalie Amirault:amirault@uic.org or uicmertce@tcdd.gov.tr

For further information on high speed issues please contact Ignacio Barron de Angoiti: barron@uic.org, for information on UIC Middle-East activities Paul Véron: veron@uic.org

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01. Süleyman Karaman, President and Director-General of Turkish Railways (TCDD), Chairman of ‘UIC Middle-East’, at the opening of the UIC RAME High Speed Workshop in Ankara
02. The Middle-East Rail Training Centre MERTCe now operational in Eskisehir
02. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, together with Süleyman Karaman, President of TCDD and UIC RAME Chairman
03. Nathalie Amirault, Head of Expertise Development Division at UIC HQ
04. From left to right, Ignacio Barron, UIC Director for Passenger and High Speed, Süleyman Karaman, TCDD President and Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East
04. Ignacio Barron de Angoiti, Director of UIC Passenger/High Speed Department
12. In front of the Middle-East Rail Training Centre MRTCe in Eskisehir