Information published on 10 May 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 497.

UIC organised its first Workshop on Digital Technology and Railway Security held in Washington in conjunction with the meeting of the UIC North American Region (NARA)

  • North America
  • Security
  • Digital

UIC organised a successful Workshop on “Digital Technology and Railway Security” at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington on 4 and 5 May 2016 in conjunction with its first Meeting of the Regional Assembly for North America (NARA). During the same week, UIC was also involved in the sustainable report at the World Bank after the Climate Conference COP21 through its participation in the “Climate Action Summit” organised by the World Bank.

Among the participants at this Digital and Security Workshop, representatives came from the five railways and railway authorities from the United States of America as well as Canada grouped together within the UIC Regional Assembly for North America: the Federal Railroad Administration FRA / US DoT, the Association of American Railroads AAR, the California High Speed Rail Authority CHSRA, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation Amtrak as well as VIA Rail Canada.
Participants also came from Europe, with delegates from Portugal, Italy, Germany and France.
Delegates from North America also came from the UIC circle of partners or its currently-built “eco-system” related to issues linking Transport, Innovation and Digital Technology, such as the World Bank, the OECD / International Transport Forum (ITF), the American Public Transport Association APTA, the conceptual high-speed transportation system Hyperloop, Ericsson, Kéolis as well as representatives from the start-ups, consulting or Research world, with the participation of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI).

UIC, which organised the Workshop with the support of the UIC Digital Platform recently put in place at the end of 2015 and with the content input of the UIC Security Division, was represented by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General.

During this one-and-a-half-day Workshop, the first one organised in the framework of Digital developments made by UIC and partners through the Digital Platform, is the first one of a series of others to be organised in 2016 and 2017, focused on passenger and freight services (Paris, October 2016) or on maintenance (Beijing, spring 2017).

UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, said:

A previous chairman of UIC Louis Armand wrote “the railway will be the mode of transport of the 21st century if it survives to the 20th”. Now in the beginning of the 21st century, UIC has to prepare and accompany its members into the challenges of the future. Within these challenges the challenge of the digital world is perhaps one of the crucial challenges we have to face. We are living a new revolution after the agricultural one and the industrial one. With the upsurge of “digital” nothing is like before: the notions on time, of space or distance are totally changed. The events are known immediately around the world, even sometime before their end. Every one could become actor of its own environment by receiving, sharing, disseminating a lot on information. The social networks are playing day by day a major role. In this era of information, the interconnection of persons and objects through the Internet weaves a close connection between the real world and the digital world, causing structural changes in the relationship with our environment. The digital world brings with it new challenges in the company’s relationship with its customers, its staff and its ecosystem.

It is within this changing environment that UIC decided to organise this workshop. With it we position ourselves as a vector, tracking and disseminating awareness of this the digital mutation for the railway industry.

He followed by saying: “Beyond that, we aspire to grow into more; we want to become an essential actor taking part in the transformation of the railway. To that end, we recently created within UIC the digital platform in order to accompany our members into this revolution. One of our missions is to develop a digital ecosystem interacting with young innovative start-ups that have or would be interested in developing solutions for the railway industry. Our goal is really to become a gateway between our members, the new ecosystem and the railway industry.”

Discussions, moderated by a specialist of IoT and digital matters, Mr Gilbert Réveillon, were structured around the presentation of several aspects linking Digital and Railway Security.
Four keynotes speeches were given on 4 and 5 May by Mr. Robert C. Lauby, P.E., Associate Administrator of Railroad Safety & Chief Safety Officer, Federal Railroad Administration, representing Mrs. Sarah Feinberg, Administrator of the U.S Federal Railway Administration, FRA / US DoT, to Mr. Brian Jenkins, Mineta Transportation Institute, to Mr. Juan Gaviria, Practice Manager in the Transport and ICT global practice, World Bank and to Mr. José Viegas, Secretary General, International Transport Forum / OECD.

The Workshop was the opportunity to discuss Threats and Constraints as well as to discuss Advantages and Opportunities brought by Digital Technology related to the Railways, and in particular to the dimension of Security, one of the first fundamental values of the railways since its creation.

Participants benefited from very interesting inputs, discussed widely with the audience, and given by high-level speakers.

Concerning Threats and Constraints, the floor was given to Mr. Gerd Neubeck, Deutsche Bahn (Germany), Chairman of the Security Platform, Mr. Claudio Diotallevi, Railway Director, Ericsson, Mr. Randy Clarke, Assistant Vice President – Public Safety, Operations and Technical Services, American Association of Public Transport APTA and Mr. Ron Baklarz, Chief Information Security Officer, National Railroad Passenger Corporation Amtrak.

Regarding Advantages and Opportunities, very fruitful contributions were made by Mr. Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, Senior Advisor to the Board, Infraestructuras de Portugal, Mr. Thomas L. Farmer, Assistant Vice President, Security, Association of American Railroads AAR, Mr. Anand Chaubey, Director - Information Technology Business Transformation, VIA Rail Canada and Mr. Matt Caywood, President, Transitscreen.

Finally, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, who presented the first version of the UIC Digital Progress Paper, to be enriched regularly with relevant inputs, summarised these discussions by saying that

in these interfaces to be managed linking Digital and Railway Security, there was from now, the necessity to discuss further, in close connection with partners of the UIC currently-building ecosystem, issues such as digital protection of data, persons, places, processes, products

[…] By continuing to act quickly and with a pragmatic approach, in order to fulfil the mission to re-shape the railway business and to transform our system into an eco-system called the third revolution, all the actors concerned together, in a spirit of Share-Open-Connect: Share experience, visions, actions; Open our understanding, our minds, Connect members, partners and new actors such as start-ups.

UIC warmly thanks the World Bank Group for its kind hospitality and excellent support for the organisation of the meeting.

All the presentations and UIC Digital Progress Paper are available at:

For further information please contact:

Francis Bedel, UIC Digital Platform:

Jacques Colliard, UIC Security Division: