Tuesday 3 December 2013
Railway Research

10th World Congress on Railway Research held in Sydney, Australia, met all expectations

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Next WCRR to be held in 2016 in Milan at the invitation of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS)

Promising synergies developed between WCRR and UIC bodies involved in railway research

WCRR 2013, the 10th World Congress on Railway Research, was successfully held from 24 – 27 November in Sydney, Australia. This global congress organised for the first time in the early 1990s has become the major international forum dedicated to sharing information and experience between railway researchers, decision-makers, manufacturers and operators, as well as fostering cooperation and innovation preparing rail transportation of the future.

The 10th WCRR was hosted for the first time in Australia at the invitation of CRC for Rail Innovation and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA). Chaired by David George, CEO of CRC for Rail Innovation, the WCRR 2013 Organising Committee was composed of representatives of the founding members AAR/TTCI (USA), DB (Germany), FS/Trenitalia (Italy), RSSB (UK), RTRI/JR (Japan), SNCF (France) and the Director-General of the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Around 600 delegates representing 30 countries and all parts of the world attended the WCRR 2013 in Sydney. The main congress theme was “Keeping ahead of the curve through the sharing of knowledge”. From the initial 700 plus abstracts submitted and reviewed internationally, 188 were selected for presentations during the sessions and 100 for the “poster” presentation in a dedicated area of the exhibition. The 188 papers were showcased across eight concurrent streams over three full days.
Three sessions were chaired by UIC representatives, director or senior advisors.

During the congress closing ceremony on 27 November a series of 10 WCRR Awards –among them several for young talents – were presented by members of the WCRR Organising Committee to the award-winning researchers or research teams.

After official closing of the 2013 WCRR World Congress, the announcement was made through a video message of Mr Mauro Moretti, Director-General of Italian Railways FS Group – and UIC Vice Chairman – that the next World Congress on Railway Research would be hosted in 2016 by FS in Italy in Milan. Mr Stefano Guidi from FS/Trenitalia consequently becomes chairman of the WCRR 2016 Organising Committee.

WCRR 2013 also offered visitors a trade exhibition in cooperation with the Australian “AusRailPlus” exhibition which represents the major professional event specialised in rail transportation in Australia. Visitors could obtain on the UIC stand a large choice of information on projects and activities coordinated by UIC in the research field.

In order to optimise synergies between the WCRR World Congress and UIC bodies dealing with railway research at global level, several UIC meetings took place in Sydney in parallel, in particular the UIC International Railway Research Board (IRRB), chaired by Mr Boris Lapidus, Director-General of VNIIZhT, Russia, which aimed to promote exchanges among members on research strategies and to implement joint activities for sharing information and experience on research. In this context an important Memorandum of Cooperation was signed in Sydney between UIC and RSSB, UK, on SPARK, the free interactive web tool that aims to facilitate sharing of knowledge related to railway research (cf. UIC press release n° 33/2013 on SPARK and www.sparkrail.org). The IRRB is also preparing the 2nd edition of the UIC Innovation Awards that will be presented in 2014 to a number of talented young researchers.
Information can be obtained by visiting the UIC World Research Portal www.railway-research.org.

The UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly (APRA) bringing together the Presidents and CEOs of Asian Members of UIC, chaired by Mr Satoshi Seino, Chairman of East Japan Railway (EJRC) and vice-chaired by Mr Gombosuren Sereenendorj (UBTZ) and Mr Askar Mamin (KTZ), was also held in Sydney during the WCRR in presence of the UIC Director General.

Finally Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, expressed his warmest thanks to the Australian hosts for the successful organisation of the WCRR congress and the positive results of the UIC meetings: “thanks to the personal commitment of our Australian members David George from CRC for Rail Innovation and Bryan Nye from the Australasian Railway Association ARA, who were actively involved in the WCRR organisation and hold leading positions in UIC working bodies, very constructive cooperation links could be established between WCRR and IRRB in particular. The cooperation in the frame of the SPARK web tool managed by RSSB will allow a better access to the extremely rich content of the WCRR congresses and ensure the continuity of the knowledge sharing within the global rail research community in the periods between two congresses... Again, on behalf of the worldwide railway community brought together within UIC, I would sincerely like to thank and congratulate our colleagues from Australia for the success of these Sydney gatherings dedicated to global rail research”.

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