Renato Mazzoncini, new UIC Chairman, visits UIC

On 12 January, Mr Renato Mazzoncini visited UIC for the first time as new UIC Chairman.

During that day, he met the Board of Directors in the company of UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux.

Together, they discussed the current activities of the organisation as well as the priorities for the next two years.

During the New Year’s reception that evening, Renato Mazzoncini also met all the UIC staff as well as a series of external guests, among them several ambassadors based in Paris and key UIC stakeholders.

During his address he said:

I am very honoured to take over the UIC Chairmanship to further promote UIC values during the next two years and I will do my very best.

I am sure that reinforcing and streamlining our work on a common and agreed agenda will give us the opportunity to enable international railway cooperation, represent and promote the interests of rail transport worldwide and foster synergies between different bodies at Global and Regional level.

The UIC results are the combined effort of the UIC members and of UIC staff.
We are a big family of around 200 members from 100 countries. In my mandate, I would like to reinforce the communication between the UIC Regional Assemblies.
UIC is the worldwide house of railways and UIC staff has to continue to develop both the tools we need to share best practices as well as our network of experts. UIC members have joined UIC for the know-how they can get and share and for the problems we can solve together.

He particularly insisted on investments, cooperation with public transport associations as well as digitalisation.

The full speech of Renato Mazzoncini is available here:

In his speech, UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said:

It is always a great pleasure to see so many of you join us here at UIC headquarters, to share ideas, information, experience, or just like tonight, to simply share a good and cordial moment together.

But tonight’s reception is somewhat special. Beyond my very best wishes for this New Year, for yourselves, your relatives, and your projects, it is also a moment for us:

  • To remember
  • To thank
  • To celebrate and
  • To hope

First to remember 2016:

  • With all its difficulties and challenges in a world becoming more and more complex and unstable.
  • With all its actions and results in the various fields of Standardisation, Research, Innovation, Project Development, Digital Openings, Global Positioning and UN Recognition.

To thank all our members and partners for their collaboration and support.
We are honoured that many have come tonight, despite many coinciding receptions.

Also, all those among the UIC staff who have worked hard, every day, all year round, to deliver projects, reports, standards, and to organise in total 120 workshops, conferences and international meetings.

To celebrate four years of constructive and peaceful Russian presidency, after another four years of similarly efficient and harmonious Japanese presidency.
Demonstrating, I think, the climate of confidence and stability now prevailing in our association, around:

  • its three values: Unity, Universality and Solidarity
  • the three pillars of our philosophy: to open, to share and to connect
  • and the three principles of our actions: Professionalism, Promotion and Productivity

This was obvious to all of us during the last General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, during which, among many topics on the agenda, a unanimous decision was taken for a smooth transition of governance.

Giving me now the opportunity tonight to congratulate, and thank for his presence, our new Chairman Renato Mazzoncini.

Finally, to hope that we will continue this year 2017, and the next one after, to be stronger than whatever would wish and try to divide us.

  • That we will bring more added value to the Railway Community around the world.
  • And allow me to hope that our members in need, in this very unstable world, suffering from conflict or crises, will have better times and can re-join our UIC family.
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First CYRAIL workshop held on 20 December 2016 at Paris UIC headquarters

Reminder: CYRAIL is a collaborative project selected by the European Commission as part of the call for proposals under the Shift2rail programme for Rail Research and Innovation (R&I), addressing the topic “Threat detection and profile protection definition for cybersecurity assessment”. The project, led by EVOLEO, started on October 2016 and will last 24 months. At UIC the project is managed by the security division.

This workshop was dedicated to Rail Cybersecurity and brought together representatives from Alstom and Thales (Shift2Rail), Huawei (IT and communications provider), EUROC representing rail end-users, Railenium representing research organisations and the partners of the CYRAIL consortium (Evoleo, Airbus, ATSEC, Euskoiker, and UIC).

The objective was to have an overview of ongoing work regarding rail cyber security and to discuss the scope of the operational scenario to be considered within CYRAIL.

The session started with an overview of CYRAIL project given by the coordinator (Magno Santos from Evoleo) and Staffan Persson from ATSEC: a key feature of CYRAIL is to take advantage of developments in other industries (aeronautics, automotive and information Technologies) and bring them into the railway sector, taking similarities and specificities into account. One of the main achievements in CYRAIL will be the specifications for protection profiles including security problem definition, security objectives and requirements, security standard framework definition and evaluation of security assurance level.

Marc Antoni, Director of the UIC Rail system department, gave an overview of the main components of railway transport, the main risk situations and principles of signalling systems with a comparison between “historical” architecture, “today” and “tomorrow” architecture based on centralisation and IP network. Two main aspects need to be considered: on thev one hand the technical components of signalling systems and on the other hand the organisational and strategic aspects such as safety and security levels required.

Following this first session, presentations were given on ongoing related projects. François Hausman from Alstom, representing Shift2Rail, presented the X2RAIL-1 project and in particular work package 8 (WP8) on cyber security of rail systems: the WP will deliver guidelines for security assessment dedicated to Railway and Urban, specification for a secure railway network including threat detection, prevention and response mechanisms and then specify related demonstrators. A security by design standard will finally be drafted and demonstrated. This WP led by Alstom is very complementary to the work that will be developed in CYRAIL and close cooperation is foreseen through the CYRAIL advisory board.

The other ongoing project called ARGUS was then presented by Marc Antoni: ARGUS is a UIC project which started in 2015 involving several European Infrastructure managers. The project will deliver an IRS (International Railway Solution) on “managing the security of computerised and connected signalling system” by the end of the year.

Marc Antoni underlined the need to cooperate and to exchange best practices in order to better understand and manage cyber risks with a system point of view. Another key point is to consider security and safety together: Marc said “Security-is-Safety & Safety-is-Security’’.

Then, Frank Lett from Huawei gave a presentation on cyber security and the Internet of Things (IoT). There are many critical areas regarding IoT security such as authentication, data privacy, intrusion detection, data integrity, secure communication…. For now there is a lack of internationally agreed standard for cyber security. A key challenge for the industry is to improve the process of response in case of security vulnerability of a product.

The last session of the workshop was dedicated to discussions on the operational scenario that will be built within CYRAIL for further security assessment (WP3 of CYRAIL), threat analysis and attack detection (WP4), preparation of innovative mitigation and countermeasures solutions (WP5) and recommendations (WP6). Marc Antoni proposed a scenario involving different types of environments (commuter train with automatic driving and freight train with conventional spacing), different generation of systems, and different levels of integration.

During the discussion involving all the participants, it was decided to focus on communication systems within CYRAIL.

A second workshop will be organised during 2017 with rail operators and infrastructure managers to finalise the scenario.

For further information please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Senior Advisor Security Division:

Or visit

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New directors recently appointed at UIC Headquarters

New directors have recently been appointed at UIC Headquarters according to decisions announced at the General Assembly in St Petersburg last December:

Mrs Sandra Géhenot, previously UIC Senior Freight Advisor in charge in particular of Combined Transport issues, was appointed new Director of the UIC Freight Department from November 2016. She succeeded Mr Hans-Günther Kersten who returned to Deutsche Bahn AG.

Mrs Laurence Simon from SNCF was appointed new Director of Human Resources at UIC. She succeeds Mrs Mélanie Gonzalez from January 2017.

Mrs Marie Plaud, who was Deputy Director of Communications at UIC – and Coordinator for North America – has been appointed new UIC Director of the Communications Department from January 2017. She succeeds Paul Véron at the head of the UIC Communications team.

Mr Paul Véron, who was in charge of the UIC Communications Department for many years, will have a temporary mission as Director attached to the Director General, in charge of further developing and tightening relationships with members and partner organisations, and in parallel further act as the UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East Region.

Sandra Géhénot, BA Languages, MSC Business, worked as Key Account Manager for Railfreight Distribution (international freight division of British Rail) and EWS (now DB Cargo) for 10 years before joining UIC in 2000 as Senior Freight Advisor where she managed many projects with special focus on combined transport and rail operation. She was also in charge of corridor development through the ECCO project for European Rail Freight Corridors and the Global Team of Experts (GTE) for transcontinental developments. In this context she has collaborated regularly with many international partners such as UNECE, OTIF, CIT, UIRR, BIC…

She was appointed UIC Freight Director in November 2016.

Sandra is a Belgian national, born in Italy, brought up in a Franco-German family. A native speaker of French, she also speaks English, Italian and German.
She is married, with one daughter.

Marie Plaud, a graduate of the Institute of Political Sciences in Toulouse, with a Master’s Degree in Global Management from the University of Paris-Dauphine, started her career in the Communications field at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague with the task of developing the internal information system of the Court.

She joined UIC at the end of 2003 with the objective of setting up the “Media Rail Info” information system, following a request by the Communication Directors of UIC Members to intensify regular exchange of data and information with international media. She then participated in all of UIC’s communications activities and was gradually involved in defining and implementing the association’s communications actions. In particular, she managed the development of an information system aimed at members and institutional partners highlighting UIC projects and activities on a weekly basis – the “UIC eNews” newsletter.
More recently she was involved in the coordination of the “Train to Paris” international communications campaign organised on behalf of the railways as part of the COP 21 United Nations’ Climate Change Conference.

Marie Plaud was appointed Deputy Director of Communications of UIC in January 2015 and Director of Communications from January 2017.

An engineer by training, Laurence Simon, aged 50, has been Human Resources Director at UIC since September 2016.

With specialist expertise in rolling stock maintenance and management of SNCF’s rail fleet, Laurence Simon has held supervisory positions over the last 23 years in six maintenance centres in the Paris region as well as within the regional and rolling stock management teams. In particular, she contributed to the technical developments and entry into commercial service of the TGV Nord Europe, Eurostar, Thalys and Midi Méditerranée services.

Following her position as Director of Villeneuve Maintenance Centre, Laurence Simon joined the SNCF management team for ethical and compliance issues in 2013 to share as widely as possible the values and ethical principles of SNCF Group, which she has always been committed to putting in place throughout her career in the company, and in particular in her roles as manager.

In September 2016, Laurence joined the ranks of UIC to provide her experience in management and human resources – whilst also taking a keen interest in the technical matters which form the core business of UIC – with the aim of working with the members on opportunities for international exchange for their staff.

She is the mother of three children.

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Safety Workshop on Organisational and Human Factors to be held on 22 February 2017 in Paris

In 2015 the UIC Safety Platform established three multidisciplinary Task Forces composed of experts from different railway fields. The results of these Task Forces will be presented and discussed at this safety workshop. This event is open to all UIC members and invited guests.

Subjects of the workshop:

Safety culture and Safety management system:

The purpose of the work is to identify practical factors and good practice in implementing the safety management system which contributes to a healthy safety culture. The task force will propose recommendations:

  • What is a good safety culture? A detailed description of a model of strong safety culture comprising nine points, ranging from staff commitment and involvement in issues of safety to change management
  • How can safety management processes improve safety culture?
  • How to measure safety culture? Indicators to measure the progress achieved and the weaknesses to be remedied

Improving health and safety when working with contractors:

The task force will present a guide which will assist in improving the health and safety practice of leaders, managers, and health and safety practitioners working in procurement, project management, and supply chain management. It is intended to be:

  • A useful tool to assist companies in complying with relevant health and safety legislation
    • Applicable to contractual relationships within the rail industry
    • Flexible enough to be applied to internal as well as external contractors
  • Equally applicable to subcontractors (via main contractors)
  • Based on general principles rather than focusing on specific types of contracts
  • A signpost document for organisations including where to find good practices

Signals Passed At Danger “SPADs”

Railway companies are all keen on finding solutions to reduce the number of SPADs.
The issue is addressed from a “human factors” point of view.

Four specific topics will be presented:

  • Processes of SPAD investigation: common aspects and best practices
  • Role of the infrastructure managers
  • New methods of training and management implemented by the railway undertakings
  • What lessons can be learned from non-events (SPADs that didn’t occur)?

The three Task Forces will present results through concrete examples from different railway companies.

Simultaneous interpreting into English/French/German will be provided. There is no participation fee.

For the draft agenda and the online registration, please click on this link:

For further information please contact Meryem Belhaj, Senior Advisor International Training & Human Factors:

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4th UIC World Congress on Rail Training 2017

We would like to remind you that registration for the 4th World Congress on Rail Training is now open, and that you can benefit from an early-bird fee if you register before 15 February!

The WCRT will be held at the DB Akademie, Potsdam/Berlin, Germany, from 5 – 7 April 2017, and is organised by UIC and its partners, DB Training, Learning & Consulting, FS and SNCF.

Organised at the initiative of the UIC Expertise Development Platform, WCRT draws its expertise from the regional Rail Training Centre Networks. Its main purpose is to enhance workforce development through sharing best practice in rail training across the entire industry.

The key congress aims are to:

  • Promote excellence in railway training through best practice models
  • Highlight research findings in this area which bring innovation and have practical application to the industry
  • Identify new challenges for training and training technologies
  • Provide a unique opportunity to share knowledge and experience amongst training professionals and managers

If you are an HR and training director, a training executive, or a training and workforce development expert, then this congress is for you!
Please note that the three official languages of the congress are English, German and French.

Speakers from over 20 countries have been selected to present and share their experience and good practices on diverse topical issues such as, inter alia, transfer of knowledge, management of Talents, learning innovation and technologies, ways of cooperation on national and international levels, safety culture.

To register as well as obtain practical information (venue, potential sponsorships/partners opportunities, detailed programme, abstracts), please visit the dedicated website

Looking forward to seeing you in Potsdam!

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of the Expertise Development Unit:

Or Marion Hochet, Expertise Development Advisor:

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News from UIC members

United States: Amtrak announces streamlined corporate structure

To increase organizational effectiveness, improve service to its 31 million customers and position itself for an even more competitive future, on January 4 Amtrak announced several management and organizational changes.

Effective immediately, Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman reduced by half the senior management team into six direct reports:

  • Operations – Scot Naparstek, Chief Operating Officer
  • Marketing and Business Development – Jason Molfetas, Executive Vice President
  • Finance – Jerry Sokol, Chief Financial Officer
  • Law – Eldie Acheson, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • Administration – DJ Stadtler, Chief Administrative Officer
  • Planning, Technology and Public Affairs – Stephen Gardner, Executive Vice President

“Since joining the Amtrak team in September, I’ve been impressed by the dedication and passion of our employees and leadership team,” said Moorman. “This new structure aligns with our focus on improving the way we do business, modernizing and enhancing the customer experience, and investing in the future.”

To strengthen focus on safety and service delivery, train operations will be managed regionally through three general managers and supported by Mechanical, Engineering, Network Support, Police and Security organizations.

The Marketing and Business Development group will be expanded beyond its traditional role to include product development, planning, and contract management functions of the current business lines.

A new Administration group will serve to efficiently manage key administrative and support functions including Human Resources, Labor Relations, Procurement and Enterprise Project Management.

Certain corporate planning, IT and station and facility functions, as well as the Government Affairs and Corporate Communications division, will be transferred to the new Planning, Technology, and Public Affairs group.

The changes will also allow Amtrak more organizational flexibility to fully comply with the new account structure created in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), and will provide greater transparency to Amtrak’s customers and stakeholders. Congress included Amtrak reauthorization for the first time ever in the 2015 surface transportation bill, affirming the importance of Amtrak’s network of service that connects more than 500 rural and urban communities in 46 states.

(Source: Amtrak)

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News from UIC members

Kazakhstan: Container train passes through Dostyk station from China to the UK

The first container train travelling from Yiwu city in Zhejiang province to the UK has passed through Dostyk station.

The attractiveness of this route for the partners of JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) was due to the quality of logistics services provided in the local station.

In 2016, 1100 container trains passed through Dostyk station, which conducted the full range of operations for reception and departure of trains crossing the state border.

A container train dispatched from China to the UK will cover a distance of 12,000 kilometres and will pass through the territories of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, and France. The journey is expected to take around 18 days.
The train is composed of 44 containers with consumer goods.

The UK became the 18th European country with which China has established direct rail links. China is expanding its rail transport in European countries in the framework of the “New Silk Road” programme.

(Source: KTZ)

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News from UIC members

Finland: Mainly positive feedback on robot buses used in a pilot study on automated public transport

Self-driving robot buses were tested on the streets of Hernesaari in Helsinki, Otaniemi in Espoo and Hervanta in Tampere at the end of the summer and during autumn 2016. In this SOHJOA project, self-driving buses were operated for the first time in a real traffic environment.

The operation of automated vehicles was tested in Finnish conditions as part of the NordicWay project, funded by the Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi. The aim of the pilot study on automated public transport was to use robot buses in a real traffic environment and to examine how the robot buses could complement the current transport system. The trial gave companies an opportunity to test and develop their own solutions as well as the robot bus, as part of the open innovation platform used in the SOHJOA project.

“In our transport authority role, we want to support the creation of the new services and companies that were examined in the SOHJOA trial”, said Ilkka Kotilainen, Project Manager at the Finnish Transport Agency.

Automated road transport improves traffic safety by reducing the number of accidents, in which people’s inattention nowadays play a significant role. Fewer vehicles reduce emissions, and society benefits from more effective transport as automated vehicles are used by more people.

In Finland, robot bus operations can be promoted in all weather conditions

The robot bus trial was conducted in three cities without encountering any significant problems, and the feedback from the people participating in the bus trial was mainly positive. The negative feedback was mainly with regard to the speed of the bus, since many found that the bus moved too slowly.

The greatest problems in the robot bus trial were related to the weather conditions and to other external factors. In particular, wrongly parked cars and cars overtaking too closely caused problems for the robot bus operations.

Experience gained so far shows that in order to achieve year-round operation of robot buses among other traffic, some questions have to be resolved. Most of the problems can be solved using the remote-control of the robot bus and by arranging traffic to suit the robot bus. When thinking about the future, it is also important that other road users learn to better observe robot buses among other traffic.

“There is no single solution; instead both the artificial intelligence and the surrounding infrastructure have to be further developed. We have to gradually bring that intelligence into the other road vehicles as well”, said Harri Santamala, Project Manager of the SOHJOA project.

Based on the SOHJOA project’s first year of trials, Finland has a good chance of promoting the operation of robot buses and other automated transport during all four seasons. The experience gained from the trial will be used in the coming trials conducted in the SOHJOA project.

(Source: FTA)

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News from UIC members

Switzerland: Successful launch of commercial services through the new Gotthard Base Tunnel

On 11 December 2016, SBB started running passenger services through the new Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT). The first weeks of operation through the world’s longest railway tunnel have been relatively smooth. As a rule, passenger trains will travel through the Gotthard Base Tunnel at speeds of up to 200km/hour, compared to 100km/hour for freight trains.

The 57-kilometre tunnel, connecting Erstfeld to Biasca, will provide more capacity, faster links and more reliability when it comes to rail freight transport. Since the timetable change on 11 December 2016, up to four freight trains per hour can run in both directions. Freight services will have their train path capacity raised from 180 to 210 trains per day. Passenger journey times along the north-south Gotthard corridor have been cut by around 30 minutes. Around 48 passenger trains will travel through the new tunnel every day.

The tunnel underwent a series of tests before entering service. From 1 June to 11 December 2016, 4500 freight trains and 500 passenger trains travelled through the structure as part of an operation trial period. This enabled current operating conditions in the Gotthard Base Tunnel to be simulated as realistically as possible.

The new Gotthard corridor will be deployed to its full capacity at the end of 2020 when the the Ceneri Base Tunnel and the four-metre corridor become operational. Freight capacity will be increased on the Gotthard corridor to 260 trains per day, while passenger journey times between the German-speaking part of Switzerland and Milan will be cut by up to an hour.

(Source: SBB)

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Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 17 January 2017

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