This meeting of the Regional Assembly Europe met, at the kind joint invitation of Comboios de Portugal (CP) and Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP), in Lisbon on 30 May 2018 for its 26th official meeting.
Under the Presidency of Francisco Cardoso dos Reis (Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP)), Region Europe reviewed all the major actions undertaken since the beginning of 2018 and set out a range of next steps in order to maintain the momentum.
A new impulse for the region
In his first meeting as President, Francisco Cardoso dos Reis welcomed the attendees and highlighted the fact that UIC is THE global railway technical platform at the service of its members and their business needs and that this needs to be maintained.
In particular Mr Cardoso dos Reis noted a few lines of improvement for the overall performance of UIC: an increased focus on safety and (cyber)security – in line with UIC Chairman Renato Mazzoncini’s orientations, a further enhanced communication flow between the association and its members and a continuously coordinated cooperation with CER and EIM to ensure a unified railway voice at European level.
The President also called on members to continue to invest in developments that UIC is leading by committing to the provision of experts at the highest possible level.
Quality in and around projects
The members had the opportunity to have an overview of the quality-assured process that is leading to the emergence of new technical projects being developed and led by UIC. These are required to comply with the rules set out within the Quality Management System (QMS) that meet the Quali’op quality certificate that UIC has now received. A rapid view of the next lines of improvement related to quality was also presented with the schedule of development needed in 2018.
Innovating the system of tomorrow
Research and innovation are key issues for the development of the future European railway system. The members of the European region provide guidance and set out their business wishes for work that needs to be conducted at a strategic, regional level.
Mr Bo Olsson, Chairman of the Research and Innovation Coordination Group (RICG), presented the actions being developed by RICG in the first half of 2018, emphasising the enthusiasm within which the 12 Capabilities have been received outside UIC. He presented to the audience the railway operating community plans for the next Shift2Rail initiative, which were fully supported by the Regional Assembly.
The meeting also took note of the new ERRAC leadership team, which includes UIC now taking responsibility for the secretariat. The Assembly expressed its support for a continued development of the influence of the railway sector within the research and innovation world.
Standardisation and their importance to a sustainable railway system
The meeting was presented with the restructuring that has been done within UIC HQ in order to have a more coordinated focus on the standardisation work that is undertaken.
With the creation of rationalised processes and revised production and publication schedules, members were reassured that the standardisation assets are and will continue to be under constant monitoring and review.
The Standardisation Unit is managing the migration of the residual leaflets into IRS and this is the principle task at this time. Once published, these assets will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. The responsibility for the content of the IRSs will be the continued work of the technical experts within the Forums and Platforms and it is for this reason that there will be a close working liaison between these bodies and the Standardisation Unit and its Programme Coordinators. It is vital that this work is meeting the business needs of the ROC and the Standardisation Unit will be cross-functionally ready to support the experts and technical departments of UIC in achieving this objective.