Tuesday 26 November 2013
Railway Research

The worldwide community of Railway Research meets in Sydney for the 10th WCRR, the World Congress on Railway Research:

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The World Congress is currently held under the main theme “Keeping ahead of the curve through the sharing of knowledge”

The 10th World Congress on Railway Research, WCRR 2013, the major international forum dedicated to sharing experience and best practice among researchers and fostering cooperation and innovation opened on 25 November in Sydney, Australia and will last until 27 November.

Hosted for the first time in Australia by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) and CRC for Rail Innovation, the WCRR is organised by the group of founding members including AAR / TTCI (USA), RTRI / JR (Japan), DB (Germany), FS / Trenitalia (Italy), RSSB (UK), SNCF (France) and UIC. The objective is to promote exchanges between researchers, decision-makers, manufacturers and operators from the entire rail industry.

The main theme of 2013 edition is “Keeping ahead of the curve through the sharing of knowledge”. This theme is being addressed by 200 speakers from 30 nations.

188 technical papers are showcased across 8 concurrent streams as well as 130 poster papers. 600 delegates across the world are attending.

The Congress opened on 25 November with a welcome address from the Hon Gladys Berejiklian, State Minister, Minister of Transport of Australia who underlined the importance of research to support the rail revolution in her country where huge investments were decided upon to promote the rapid development of rail transportation (freight, passenger and rapid transit) to cope with challenges of demography and economic growth. She underlined the importance to make the main results of railway research available to support decision-making on wide ranging rail transportation projects for the future.

In welcoming all participants David George, CEO of CRC for Rail Innovation, Australia, Chairman of the WCRR 2013 Organising Committee, recalled the objectives of the WCRR to foster exchanges, collaboration and partnerships among the railway and research community at world level. He underlined that the main challenges for research in Australia are aiming to support the growth of freight transportation and rapid transit – for it to double by 2015. Research solutions should allow an optimal use of capacities and networks to be achieved. David George, also Vice Chairman of the International Railway Research Board (IRRB) in the frame of UIC emphasised that the WCRR Congresses and UIC are creating new synergies between researchers in particular through exchanges on research strategies, the Rail Research Portal, the SPARK initiative, the UIC Innovation Awards.

The opening Round Table on 25 November provided the opportunity for all WCRR Organising Committee Members to express the role and priorities for railway research to support railway developments in their respective countries or regions.

Bryan Nye, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), moderated this Round Table and gave the floor successively David George, CEO of CRC for Rail Innovation (Australia), Anson Jack, RSSB (UK), Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, Semih Kalay, TTCI (USA), Lars Mueller, DB Systemtechnik (Germany), Patrice Aknin, SNCF (France), Norimichi Kumagai, RTRI (Japan), Stefano Guidi, FS/Trenitalia (Italy).

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux on behalf of UIC, introduced his remarks in underlining that

throughout history humanism has resulted in progress and progress has again developed humanism. So, no surprise if the UIC together with its members, the railways, has a big appetite for progress so that rail can better answer needs for mobility of modern societies and economies. UIC as the worldwide association of 240 members representing the entire rail system, supports all efforts of the rail community to optimise through research the efficiency of the rail system technology as well as the safety, security and sustainability performances, the so-called “fundamental values” that strongly contribute to the high added value of rail transportation to society.

In this context and in order to promote research and innovation among its members at global level UIC has created a number of appropriate structures or initiatives such as the International Rail Research Board (IRBB), its participation as a founding member to WCRR, the SPARK project to organise exchange of research information and knowledge and encourage networking at world level, the global Portal on Rail Research, coordination role in ERRAC at European level. A further priority is the transmission of knowledge to future generations and the identification of young talents through a number of initiatives such as the UIC Awards, as well as the TALENT project.”

More information on the World Congress is still to come.

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David George, CEO of CRC for Rail Innovation, Australia, Chairman of the WCRR 2013 Organising Committee and IRRB Vice-Chairman
Hon Gladys Berejiklian, State Minister, Minister of Transport of Australia
Bryan Nye, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA)
Opening panel of the WCRR 2013. From left to right: Lars Mueller, DB Systemtechnik, Semih Kalay, AAR/TTCI, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC, Anson Jack, RSSB and David George, CRC for Rail Innovation
Sydney Convention Center