On 21 March in Warsaw, Poland, TOR Group, together with the Railway Business Forum association and CEE Railway Market media, organised the 2018 edition of the 5th European Rolling Stock Forum. The event was supported by PKP Group, IK (Polish Railway Research Institute) and several rolling stock suppliers.
The Forum is the largest and most prestigious event in the CEE devoted to the matters of modern rolling stock, discussing issues such as: modern driver technologies used in rolling stock and future perspectives in this part of the railway sector (including such areas such as purchasing plans, financing, rolling stock pool etc.).
This year the event brought together around 200 experts and top-level managers representing companies and institutions active in the rolling stock market in Central and Eastern Europe and the total number of participants registered exceeded 800. UIC was invited and represented by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General and Mr Marc Antoni, Railway System Department Director. UNIFE was represented by Mr Philippe Citroen, Director General.
Poland’s Deputy Minister of Transport Mr Andrzej Bittel, who opened the conference said: Polish railways are changing in our eyes thanks to EU funds, but - which cannot be forgotten - also domestic ones. Rolling stock is being replaced and renewed. Poles want the railway to be safer, faster and more customer-friendly. For this, we need a good, modern fleet and investments in the back office of carriers. The minister recalled the PKP Intercity investment programme worth around eight billion PLN (2 BN EUR) and 90% of this amount will be spent on the purchase and modernisation of the rolling stock.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, a keynote speaker of the event, presented the role of the organisation in the area of railway standardisation on the continent. He emphasised that issues of energy consumption and service life cost of rolling stock are becoming increasingly important for contracting rolling stock and transport operators. However, to have a successful rail sector, railway infrastructure, stations and rolling stock must have high standards that meet the expectations of customers regarding availability, intramodality and comfort. Not only are the customers’ needs important, but also issues related to safety/security and reliability of transport. UIC proposes uniform technical solutions (IRS) in the rail sector and calls for a systemic approach to investment. UIC takes a holistic approach, keeping in view the effects of each measure considering the railway system as the whole, preparing the different workable solutions to reach the future innovative digital railway.
Its research and innovation activities, the running of multi-disciplined, cross-functional projects and the publication of technical guidelines, technical specifications and our IRSs, places UIC at the very core of the development of the railway system of tomorrow.
Philippe Citroen, Director General of UNIFE, presented his contribution to the implementation of the single European railway area. Both emphasised the importance of the public-private partnership initiative Shift2Rail, which is currently one of the most important topics during the talks on the new EU perspective in Brussels. He also declared the close cooperation with rail sector, namely with UIC.
Marc Antoni, Rail System Department Director of UIC, presented the railway standardisation process by UIC and recent developments of the IRS (International Railway Solutions) and cooperation with several standardisation organisations. He also was invited to the ‘round table” on the electromobility, renewable energy sources – trends in energetic affect the rolling stock market in Europe.