The UIC Energy Expert Network provides strategy, guidance and leadership across the work of UIC and the rail sector in general for UIC members with respect to projects and issues related to energy efficiency and renewable energy in the railway sector. It also provides a forum to share good practice. It consults or advises on energy-efficiency related UIC projects led by other platforms and working groups and provides expert positions on current issues at the request of UIC (e.g. pending legislation, media inquiries).
The UIC Energy Expert Network deals with all aspects of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. Through the various projects it runs and its advisory role, the UIC Energy Expert Network also responds to the need for increased energy efficient rolling stock and railway equipment. It reviews and assesses the various technological solutions and international regulations to achieve the goals of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction in order to ensure rail transport keeps its “label” of most environmentally-friendly transport mode.
Meetings and workshops to promote good practice and achieve energy efficiency and reduce emissions
In 2017 the Network met three times in March, June and October. As part of the opt-in projects it conducts, the Network held two of the so-called “Energy Efficiency workshops”. The first was held in March 2017 on the “Connected Driver Advisory System (C-DAS)” and the second in October on the “Energy Efficiency of Future Trains”. Both events were well attended and gave rise to interesting exchanges between audience and speakers.
The next workshop on Energy Efficient timetabling will be held in Brussels on 20 February 2018. This workshop that targets all railway timetabling experts, will be an opportunity to exchange on the subject and possibly also look for good practices in other transport modes.
The Energy Efficiency Network also coordinates the following projects:
- SFERA (Smart communication for Efficient Railway Activities) launched in early 2017. This project is aimed at standardising DAS (Driving Advisory Systems) languages for broader implementation, reduced costs and facilitating exchange of data for traffic management systems. The final outcome of the project will be the set of data that should be exchanged to optimise the functioning of the Driver Advisory Systems on-board the trains. This data will be included in an International Railway Solution (IRS).
- Revision of UIC Leaflet 930 “Exchange of data for cross-border railway energy settlement”: The project is currently conducted as an informal Working Group to convert the current UIC Leaflet 930 to a new IRS Standard compatible with the new TSIs and the CENELEC norm. The goal of this project is not only to achieve compliance with European regulations and norms and to help Railway Undertakings and Infrastructure Managers to improve the energy efficiency of train operations, but also the accurate exchange of energy consumption information will improve energy billing processes thus clarifying the return on investment for energy-saving measures.
- The ESRS database is meant to monitor progress achieved by contributing railways with regards to energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
- The data that are compiled in the database are powerful benchmarking tools at the service of the UIC members allowing them to assess their energy efficiency and carbon footprint. These databases are an essential component of the UIC-IEA handbook published on a yearly basis in close collaboration with IEA since 2012. The 2017 edition will be released this week.
- Tools: Ecopassenger is an online comparator of energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the different transport modes, that can be embedded into websites or used by railway undertakings to advertise on the environmental performance of rail against other modes of transport.
Harald Jony has been called to new duties at Rail Cargo. Therefore, the Network recently elected its new co-chair persons Chloé Lima-Vanzeler (SNCF) and Bart Van der Spiegel (Infrabel) at its meeting of 5 November in Rome. Both of them will effectively be co-chairing the Network as from January 2018.
Forthcoming Edition of Energy Efficiency Days – call for hosts
UIC intends to hold the next Energy Efficiency days in the second half of 2018. This event, consisting of plenary sessions, conferences, workshops, will showcase the latest achievements of the railway undertakings and infrastructure managers to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint while at the same time ensure a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly service to the community. The event is to be held in autumn 2018 and discussions are ongoing with possible hosts. As with previous editions, this event will offer attractive sponsorship packages.