Information published on 27 October 2015 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 470.

NEXTSTATION 2015, the 5th International Conference on Railway Stations, successfully held in Marrakech:

Railway Stations become “Slices of connected cities”

  • Stations and Intermodal Hubs

The 5th International Conference on Railway Stations, NEXTSTATION 2015, was successfully held in Marrakech and was attended by 350 participants representing 30 countries from all over the world in the presence of many high level representatives from the political and economic world, including several African Ministers.

NEXTSTATION 2015, jointly organised by the International Union of Railways (UIC) and Moroccan State Railways (ONCF) under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, is a unique global event entirely dedicated to the planning, development and management of Railway Stations. The main theme of this 5th edition of NEXTSTATION was “Rethinking Stations for Future Intermobility”.

The first round table dealt with “Opportunities for International Cooperation in the field of Stations” and was moderated by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, and Farida Moha from Morocco, with the participation of Mr Carlos Ventura, ADIF, Chairman of the UIC Station Managers Global Group (SMGG), Mr Patrick Ropert, Director General, Gares & Connexions SNCF, Mr Vitaliy Votolevsky, Director General of Passenger Stations Directorate, Russian Railways RZD, Mr Paolo Gallo, CEO, Grandi Stazioni, FS, Italy.

Among the issues discussed, the speakers emphasised:

- How to make passengers actors of their own security, taking into account that security is a key issue
- The need to work on smart, more business-oriented stations
- How to make our railway stations 2.0, for example by making the most of the potential number of visitors

Mr. Etienne Tricaud, an architect at AREP, France, made a comment from the floor which summed up the conference and delivered a motto: “Stations: slices of cities; we architects structure a public space which changes very quickly; tomorrow, stations will play hybrid roles. Our mission: build “capable spaces”, ready to absorb all future modes of travel."

A second round table on day two, moderated by Mr Carlos Ventura, Director of Stations, ADIF, and Chairman of the UIC SMGG, was dedicated to the theme “Trends and challenges of Intermobility”. It brought together Ms Dounia Houssini Squali, Ministry of Transport, Head of the Strategic Studies Division, Kingdom of Morocco, Mr Alain Flausch, Secretary General, UITP (International Organisation for Public Transport), Ms Pauline Robert Etcheto, Project Manager, Systra, France, Mr Henry Marty-Gauquié, Director, Liaison with International Organisations, European Investment Bank (EIB), and Mr Robert Tasiaux, Partner at A.T. Kearney, Belgium.

Speakers agreed that intermobility was probably the main challenge and that main priority actions should make stations highly connected. Beyond that, the station issue comprises three challenges: economic, urban and social. Intermobility, as an urban solution, is the correct answer to metropolisation, the urban sprawl. We must see these hubs as facilitators. It is urgent because our cities are becoming hellish. Choose the right mode at the right place. Policies are missing in this type of conference and we must spend more time developing them!

- How to move from an intermobility constraint (place-break) to an intermobility opportunity (place-resource).
Examples: Atocha railway station,
SNCF: pianos in stations.
Several examples where time is important:
- time in terms of speed
- time in terms of punctuality (achieved thanks to robust timetabling, etc.)
- time in terms of waiting (enjoying time as an opportunity)
- time as it is perceived: cultural dimension

Parallel Sessions

More specialised issues were dealt with during parallel sessions.

Session 1A: Development and management of stations
Moderated by Iñaki Barrón, Director of UIC Passenger/High Speed Department

  • Station management to deliver intermobility
  • Development of railway stations in Korea
  • From station to hub management: DB Station and Service’s new approach to railway stations in the digital age
  • From intermodality to intermobility: how research and innovation trends frame stations’ adaptation to post-urban challenges
  • Station management in your pocket
  • Computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) in stations

The session reflected exactly what the title indicates: major stations are complex entities shaped by a long list of issues and actors, many often not clearly identified. The concepts of development and management can come to mean almost anything when presenting and discussing stations.

The six presentations showed this reality through three aspects: two conceptual presentations on theoretical approaches (UK and Korea), two further presentations describing real cases, and two more focused on a current trend: smart stations, the ability to use new technologies to improve and optimise the operation of a major railway station. The title of one of these presentations reflects the spirit of this edition of Next Station: “from intermodality to intermobility” captures the conceptual change needed in the main approach for railway decision-makers as they seek the station of the future.

Session 1B: Comprehensive protection
Moderated by Jacques Colliard, UIC, Manager of Security Platform

  • The new challenges of rail security
  • Security and crowd management at Paris Gare du Nord and St Denis/Stade de France
  • Comprehensive protection of stations
  • Railway station control and protection: experiences in China
  • Interaction between security and safety within stations
  • Solutions for all your needs in terms of prevention

Session 2A: Territories
Moderated by Marc Guigon, UIC Senior Advisor, Passenger Transport

  • Urban integration and impact of new stations
  • Balancing territories through development of ecotonic railway hubs
  • Comparative study between two different urban integration patterns around high speed stations in China
  • Development of Ecoste, eco-friendly station
  • Can rail tackle urban sprawl? A look at territorial strategies around suburban stations in France
  • Massy-Palaiseau versus Le Bourget station: a comparison of major transit hubs in two important sub-centres of the future Greater Paris urban area

The main aim of this session was to underline the impacts of railway stations on cities and regions (urban planning, territorial divisions, enhancing the value of the station area, etc.) for several scales of stations: small, medium, sub-urban and high speed.

Session 2B: Design 1
Moderated by Etienne Tricaud, (Chairman of AREP Group), France

  • How to define and implement accessibility policy
  • Station renovation with the inauguration of the “Ueno-Tokyo line”
  • New approach to road and railway attractiveness
  • Sensory differentiation dedicated to “mobile living space: applied in rail transport environment”
  • Design and implementation of rail stations in the sustainable cities of the future
  • Functional determinants in the design and construction of major transport stations

Session 3A: Enhancing the customer experience
Moderated by Mohamed Chahid, ONCF, Director of Heritage and Assets

  • Stations as new public living space
  • Tourism, a business opportunity for stations
  • Managing intermodality in railway stations, a key factor in the development of tourism linked to high speed rail services: the case of French cities
  • Ticket distribution: from station to apps
  • Enhancing the travel experience with culture
  • A parking space at your disposal: a service appreciated by customers

Session 3B: Technologies
Moderated by Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of UIC Fundamental Values Department

  • Smart railway stations and smart cities (dedicated retail facilities, access to ticket counters/machines, new solutions for smartphone applications)
  • Research & Development on future issues in accessibility for disadvantaged persons (support for elderly and persons with reduced mobility, focus on easy access to station facilities/trains – tactile, sound and visual guiding paths – Japanese example)
  • Multimodal station as a new city centre. Case study: Iranian station in Hamedan (spatial planning and advanced market study taking into account intermodality and accessibility solutions)
  • Crowd dynamics and pedestrian trajectories in public transit – French student analysis and proposed computer simulations to control crowd flows with stations)
  • Global Taxi Network (global apps for contacting, booking and paying for taxi rides as part of a global network - IRU)
  • Low-carbon stations for low-carbon cities (environmentally oriented study for reducing CO2 emissions generated in stations, as well as modern technological solutions for energy saving)

Session 4A: Stations for high speed services
Moderated by Mohamed Smouni, ONCF, Director of Development

  • The first high speed project in Morocco
  • New stations on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line
  • Urban integration of peripheral HSR stations in Spain. Planning strategies, urban integration of rail
  • Before – Station design: a lesson learnt from North European project processes
  • Introduction of services as concerns JR East’s Shinkansen, high speed stations
  • Past and future of stations on high speed network

Session 4B: Design 2
Moderated by Carlos Ventura, ADIF, Chairman of the UIC Station Managers’ Global Group (SMGG)

  • A conceptual design to improve the quality of Tehran Railway Station Precinct
  • Planning user friendly main railway stations: the SBB approach
  • Rehabilitation projects in the USA: Los Angeles Union Station and Washington D.C. Union Station
  • The interconnection of public transport networks in central stations: a key issue for metropolitan areas
  • Representations of users in the fabric of commuter train stations: from moving mass to anchored multitude
  • Casa Port Station as an archetype for the modern city-centre intermodal hub

This session was really very interesting and examined various of the approaches taken in station design, e.g. in Iran, Switzerland, the USA, France, and ending with Casa Port Station in Casablanca, Morocco, and its integration into the city.

These sessions were complemented by a presentation of academic posters.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, closed the conference by saying:

Closing this 5th session is first a pleasure because everything went well.
The round tables, parallel sessions, questions and their answers.
And this is the goal and pride of UIC, I mean serving its members. And I want to publicly say tonight that I am proud of my team, who worked in friendship with ONCF. [...] It is a pleasure but also worthwhile because it’s over. After much work we will go back and move on. We opened the conference with the elegance and poetry of words and pictures. We all shared the Station of Dreams. Then for two days with 60 players we designed the stations of our dreams. Stations like the pieces of a city.
Connected stations, intelligent, interactive, inclusive, exchange catalysts.
Stations are part of a new financial dynamic and not just as cost centres, with the development of business centres in an innovative socio-economic context.
Stations where customers, travellers or not, can become actors of their own mobility and actors responsible for their own safety. Open and accessible stations, spaces of freedom for all, customers and citizens. Living stations that form an international network as a chain linking their values and teachings.
It is the role of UIC to ensure this.
“What will tomorrow bring?”
There is at least one door I can now open for tomorrow. Where will the sixth NEXTSTATION International Conference take place? In Spain, in 2017, probably between Madrid and Toledo.
Thank you, gracias, grazie, danke, arigato, xièxie, shoukran!”

For further information please contact Marc Guigon: