At the beginning of May, UIC participated in CORE 2018, the Conference on Railway Excellence in Sydney under the theme "Rail: smart, automated, sustainable”.
CORE is the leading Australasian rail conference showcasing technical excellence and the latest developments in the industry. The aim of the conference is to provide a knowledge exchange platform between emerging technologies and existing infrastructure and projects, maximising the efficiency and benefits for the end customer and industry.
The Conference on Railway Excellence is hosted by the Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA), which is a joint Technical Society of Engineers Australia and IPENZ New Zealand, formed to further the interests of the railway industry at large and its individual participants. The RTSA is a non-profit organisation established in 1997 for the purpose of promoting the co-operation of academic, industrial, commercial and governmental organisations in relation to the practice and advancement of railway technology and management in Australasia.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, was invited by CORE to give a keynote speech on 2 May. In his address he described some of major rail projects that are being undertaken or planned around the world. He outlined UIC’s work in the five key areas of innovation, standardisation, transmission of knowledge, dissemination and strategy and vision.
He then went on to highlight the continuing importance of rail transport as rail traffic is expected to increase at world level. Even though there are number of factors today that could impede rail development, according to Mr Loubinoux rail will survive because:
Rail is the interoperable link between regions and countries. Rail covers long distances and has a high level of investment with a long-term return on investment. Rail needs a stable space and time matrix. To quote Louis Armand, former CEO of UIC, who said “Rail will survive the 20th century to become the mode of transport of the 21st century.”
Rail is indeed a survivor. Going back to the industrial revolution in the 19th century when rail survived thanks to the Stephenson’s steam engine, the metallic structures of Eiffel; it survived the oil crisis revolution thanks to electrification and then high-speed technology – and later on the information technology revolution.
And now in the 21st century we are in what the American economist Jeremy Rifkin is calling the Digital Revolution. We will of course survive because we are smart, automated and sustainable! We will also survive because we have some fundamental values: safety, safety, safety – as well as capacity, sustainability, high speed, heavy haul, research and development, we generate GDP and job creation wherever we grow.
Mr Loubinoux ended by outlining the five main challenges and opportunities for the rail sector, which consist of complementarity, corridors, the digital revolution, sustainable development and research.
To read the full speech please click here: