UIC is working on the design, development, standardisation, and promotion of railways on the African continent

UIC and the UIC African region, in cooperation with the African Union chaired by the Arab republic of Egypt, NEPAD and the African Union of Railways (AUR) chaired by Tunisian railways (SNCFT), are working together to provide expertise on the standardisation of the rail system and digital technology to support the revitalisation of rail in Africa at the benefice of Society and economy.

The African Union of Railways, as mentioned by His Excellency, Hon. Dr. Hisham Arafat, Egypt’s Minister of Transport, on the occasion of the first UIC African Rail Digital Summit currently being held in Cape Town, South Africa, needs to be strengthened to support the demand of sustainable mobility for the African continent.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, in association with the African Union, NEPAD and SNCFT, confirms the intention to bring UIC expertise to the areas of rail system definition, standardisation, digital developments and training to support the strategic vision and development of the African Union of Railways. He said:“UIC is ready to help Africa, a raising star for the development of railway to anticipate the future technological and organisational trends.”

He sees with great pleasure the evolution of UIC Africa, which for the past 10 years has grown, its contribution to its members and to the development of rail projects.
The input of UIC is to be at the service of the railway community with projects, standards, workshops and conferences, but also with the sharing of the common values of our Association, which are Unity, Universality and Solidarity.

For further information please contact Francis Bédel, UIC CDO:

4 Votes

Average rating: 2.75 / 5


4th UIC Regional Assembly for North America to be held on 25 March 2019 in Colorado Springs

UIC is pleased to invite its North American Members to NARA, the 4th UIC Regional Assembly for North America.

NARA will organise on 25 March a morning panel session focusing on the Vision for Innovation. From UIC, presentations will be given by:

  • Jean-Michel Evanghelou, UIC Head of Telecom & Signalling: Presentation of the main telecom challenges (Future Railway Mobile Communication System FRMCS)
  • Martin Brennan, European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC): Overview of UIC Research projects
  • Francis Bédel, UIC Chief Digital Officer: Digital developments of the UIC Digital Platform; presentation of DIGIM project, clear station, promotion of the first UIC global Intelligent Digital Rail conference which will take place on 3-5 June in Brussels in partnership with Infrabel (Belgian Infrastructure Manager)

North American speakers will also share their views on the subject, including:

  • Sean Shofield, Senior Advisor Innovation, VIA Rail: presentation of the Ottawa station POC
  • Maryam Allahyar, Director, Research & Development, FRA
  • Representative from Research Team at FRA: transportation of hazardous materials
  • Kari Gonzales, CFO, Transportation Technology Center

In the afternoon, NARA will give the opportunity to discuss the following statutory topics:

  • Addressing the challenges in creating a coherent community of cooperation amongst the major North American players
  • Gathering the community of seven current Members
  • Welcoming observers (among them APTA, Universities, etc.)
  • Highlighting Actions that will sustain the North American community in the coming years (Vision)
  • Presenting François Davenne, UIC Deputy Director General

North American members will have the opportunity at the end to present their key activities and priorities. A work plan will be decided for the coming year.

For further information please contact Marie Plaud-Lombard, UIC Coordinator for the UIC North American Region:

2 Votes

Average rating: 2 / 5


Future of digital rail debated at 7th International Railway Summit held from 20 – 22 February 2019 in Frankfurt

The 7th International Railway Summit, a unique three-day networking event organised by IRITS Events in association with UIC concluded in Frankfurt on 22 February after a busy timetable of debate, parallel one-to-one consultation meetings, technical visits, and many formal and informal networking opportunities.
Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof hotel in central Frankfurt welcomed some 200 delegates representing 93 companies and organisations from 24 countries across the globe.

The 7th International Railway Summit’s conference programme, comprising keynote speeches, presentations, technical reviews, and controversial debate, tackled the theme ‘How do we achieve an efficient railway system in the digital era?’ The programme was chaired by UIC’s Chief Digital Officer, Francis Bédel.

Keynote speakers included Elisabeth Werner, Director of Land Transport at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), Tobias Miethaner, Director General Digital Society, German Ministry of Transport & Digital Infrastructure, Bas Leermakers, Interim Secretary General, Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General, UIC. There were also spirited panel discussions, technical reviews and contributions from a variety of influential figures within the rail sector.

During the two-day conference programme delegates discussed the impact of digital on cross-border operations, smart cities, data analytics, 5G communications, infrastructure investment, and global visions for the future of transport.

Delegates were able to visit rail facilities in the city to learn about local practice, through guided tours of VGF’s tram and metro infrastructure, Deutsche Bahn’s digital innovation hub, Skydeck, and DB’s suburban train maintenance depot.

The 8th International Railway Summit will take place in New Delhi from 20 – 22 November 2019, the first time the event will be held in India. The 9th International Railway Summit will be held in Warsaw, Poland from 19 – 21 February 2020.

Organisations interested in learning more about the International Railway Summit and about how they can participate in the event can visit or contact the organisers, IRITS Events at:

10 Votes

Average rating: 4.1 / 5


The UIC Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions Experts Network successfully held “The role of Infrastructure Managers (IMs) in Traction Energy Transition” workshop on 11 February 2019 in Rotterdam

Following the previous Workshop on Energy Efficient Infrastructure (, this workshop focused on the projects developed by IMs to improve energy efficiency and decarbonisation of the traction energy and to accompany railway undertakings to reduce the use of diesel traction.

Thus, this workshop also focused on the energy storage innovations and their best combination with the railway network.

Finally, actors from the energy market were also invited to talk about their point of view in the frame of optimising the electricity network with railways for renewable energy.

Attended by more than 50 participants from across the Railway and Energy sectors, the workshop was opened and moderated by Gerald Olde Monnikhof from ProRail, who kindly hosted the event.

The workshop consisted of four themed sessions with opportunities for questions and answers, where participants discussed their experience using the relevant technology.

The first session, which featured presentations by ProRail, Infrabel, Bane NOR and Nexans with SNCF, focused on ways to improve the traction system.
The speakers outlined the technical advance and work to improve power transmission, thus reducing transmission losses and improving energy recovery from braking. The speakers showed the results of switching to a higher voltage in electrified railways and how, for example, it allowed better power management.
The possibility to extend the usage of super-conductive cables to greatly reduce transmission losses was also shown by Nexans.

The second session focused on energy storage, where Eaton, Super-B, SNCF and Infrabel talked about the state of the art in battery technologies and super-capacitors, their applications for substations, and resulting experiences.
Super-B introduced their latest lithium-ion battery for traction application and their container-sized storage solution.

The use of a hybrid supercapacitor and lithium batteries storage was mentioned by Eaton and SNCF as a way to allow high power throughput for optimised responsiveness of the storage system.
Infrabel showed the experience in reversible substations and how to integrate solar panels with it alongside the tracks.

For the third topic, SNCF, SBB and Advanced Energy Technologies talked about the challenges in replacing diesel traction, how to evaluate the worth of electrifying and the feasibility to convert to hydrogen traction.

The final topic of the afternoon was the point of view of Alliander (Dutch DSO) about the integration of renewables in collaboration with railways. An example was given on the installation of wind farms through the railway grid. The speakers highlighted the importance for railways to help grid managers towards an efficient smart grid.

The meeting was concluded by Gerald, who thanked the participants for their interesting discussions.

The topics were interesting enough for discussions to start during the presentations. The room was full, and the audience attentive.

Inviting the Dutch energy grid manager helped remind the audience how important it is, in this context, for collaborative work to be conducted with railways to achieve the smartest energy management.

This workshop was an excellent opportunity to have updated exchange about the possibilities to reduce the carbon footprint of railway infrastructure and integrate renewable energy as efficiently as possible.


Thank you for attending this workshop and exchanging interesting information.
Huge thanks to all the speakers (mentioned in the timeline) for their contribution and to:

  • Gerald Olde Monnikhof (first for hosting and managing logistics at ProRail)
  • Chloé Lima-Vanzeler
  • Bart Van der Spiegel

both for their great insight about the suggested topics and preparing the central thread of the workshop.


You will find the published documents at: (some are still pending approval)

For any further information, please contact UIC Energy Advisor Philippe Stefanos:

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5


UIC Research & Innovation Awards 2018 – Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Prof. Mark Robinson

Rail transport faces huge present and future challenges for which innovation and step changes are necessary. Based on its mission, UIC initiated the UIC Rail Research & Innovation Awards in 2012. On 7 December, the 5th Award ceremony was held as part of the UIC General Assembly.

The submissions for 2018 have been evaluated by the jury, consisting of the members of the IRRB (International Rail Research Board). From over 70 interesting submissions, six winners have been chosen – one for each of the thematic categories – in addition, two excellent researchers have been awarded in two honorary categories.

One of the two honorary categories is the “UIC Lifetime Achievement Award”, presented to the person who has dedicated his life to research for the sake of innovation of the railway system. The recipient of this prestigious award for 2018 is Prof. Mark Robinson of the UK Newcastle University and Director of the Newcastle Centre for Rail Research – NewRail.

As he was unable to attend the above-mentioned ceremony, the Award was presented to him by Dr Ir. Andrzej Żurkowski, Director of the Polish Railway Research Institute – IK - and Vice-Chairman of the IRRB during an IRRB Working Group meeting in Warsaw.

On receiving the UIC Award, Prof. Robinson added these words: “I am thrilled and honoured to receive this Life Time Achievement Award and am happy to accept it on behalf of myself and all colleagues past and present in NewRail - the Centre for Railway Research at Newcastle University. Without the support of my colleagues and the tremendous team work that has been part and parcel of our research work and projects at Newcastle this would not have been possible. This recognition comes with some responsibility and that is to ensure that I support the International Rail Research Board (IRRB) in keeping up with the remarkably fast technological development and help drive the railway sector into further innovation. I am very grateful to the UIC for this prestigious award”.

Professor Robinson established NewRail as the Centre for Railway Research at Newcastle University in 2004 after the transfer of all research staff and ongoing projects from ARRC at the University of Sheffield. Its aim is to deliver high quality and relevant university research, information, training and consultancy to meet the complex technological and managerial challenges of the rail industry, regulators, operators and customers. Working at both national and international levels it has established strong research and consultancy links with railway operators and manufacturers. At the University of Newcastle, he has tutored and accompanied many excellent researchers towards receiving their PhD in rail-related technology.

His main research interests include the development and application of lightweight materials for rail vehicles and crashworthy composite structures. In 2009 he received the Institute of Mechanical Engineers Safety Award and the Alfred Rosling Bennett/Charles S Lake Award for his work on aluminium weld unzipping. He is currently also the Group Lead for Future Mobility at Newcastle University.

He has been actively involved in the UIC International Rail Research Board – IRRB - since 2011 and is now a Vice Chairman. He has been involved in the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) since 2008. He has contributed extensively including the preparation of ERRAC proposals such as ERRAC Roadmaps, FOSTER RAIL and more recently SETRIS. He has many esteem indicators such as Evaluator and Member of the Hearings panel for DG Research of the European Commission. He is co-author of “Rail Vision 2050”, published by UNIFE, to provide a common vision for European Rail Research. As a Member of the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) Steering Committee he contributed to the ROADMAPS and in 2002 co-authored “A Joint Strategy for European Rail Research-2020 - Towards a Single European Rail System”, published by UNIFE. This initial document attempted to provide a common vision for European Rail Research.

In January 2015 he was elected President of the European Conference of Transport Research Institutes (ECTRI) – January 2015 to January 2017. In December 2016 he was re-elected President for his final term to January 2019. The European Conference of Transport Research Institute’s members are the major transport research institutes from 19 European countries, accounting for more than 4000 European scientific and research staff in the field of transport.

In 2014-2018 he was honoured by the China High End Foreign Experts Programme and in 2016 he was awarded 100 Talents from Fujian Province, both for transport research activities. Since 2014 he has been a Guest Professor at the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Xiamen University of Technology, China.

He has also been the Chairman of Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society since 2016 with a remit to preserve and maintain the only surviving railway roundhouse in the United Kingdom with an operational turntable. This is achieved by providing support to the group of dedicated volunteers who have transformed it into a unique railway museum and events venue.

In the past five years he has been involved with over 200 international partners in rail projects with a total project value in excess of 100 million euros. In many of these projects, he has been working in close cooperation with UIC, for example in SPECTRUM, HERMES, D-RAIL, MARATHON, SUSTRAIL, INNOTRACK, ERRAC ROADMAP, FOSTERRAIL, SETRIS and many others. He and his team have won many international awards for their outstanding work.

UIC would like to congratulate Prof. Robinson on his achievements leading up to this “Lifetime Achievement Award”!

For more information on the UIC Research & Innovation Awards, please contact Dennis Schut:

Or visit

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.33 / 5


5th UIC Security Week to be held from 18 – 20 June in Paris

Security Culture: Involvement of Staff and Customers

Marc Beaulieu (VIA Rail Canada), Chairman of the security platform and Piotr Kurcz (PKP), Vice-Chairman of the security platform, are pleased to confirm that the 5th Security Week will be held on 18-20 June 2019 at Paris UIC HQ.


The topics already selected by our steering committee are as follows:

  • Emerging threats (insider threats and drones)
  • Staff and public awareness
  • Interactive security tools

To help us better address your current security concerns, please share your suggestions before 15 March so we can develop an agenda that will meet your needs and requests!

Please circulate this invitation to colleagues who could be interested.

For further information please contact Virginie Papillault, Senior Advisor – Organisational and Human Factors:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

Promoting Representing

UIC has launched its official Instagram account

The Communications Department is pleased to announce the opening of the new UIC official Instagram account, under the name “UICrail”.

Using Instagram is part of UIC’s digital communications strategy to enhance its profile on the key social media platforms, as well as increase real-time interaction and engagement with the railway community and beyond.

Every week, “UICrail” will share vibrant and in-the-moment photos and visuals of UIC’s projects and upcoming events.

Do not hesitate to follow us in order to see our latest uploads and posts, and to stay connected with our activity. If you are already on Instagram, you can find the account on your telephone; otherwise feel free to download the application.

For further information regarding the UIC Instagram account, please contact the team at:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

Switzerland: SBB Swiss Federal Railways joins the openETCS Foundation e.V.

SBB Swiss Federal Railways have joined the openETCS Foundation e.V.. SBB was officially welcomed as the 18th member of the Foundation, on 18 February. Earlier, colleague railway operators and operator interest groups like Rail Delivery Group (UK), DB AG (Germany), NS (Netherlands), SNCF (France), industrial partners e.g. AEbt, Clearsy, Formal Mind and Railergy and a number of individual railway experts became members of the association.

The main objective of the openETCS Foundation e.V. is the application of open source licensing principles to critical software components in railway safety (ETCS) and railway automation applications in particular on the vehicle side, enabling cost sharing developments among partners, avoiding vender lock-in situations with particular suppliers by opening up a free software service market for updates, upgrades and future versions. A first commercial application of openETCS licensing has been implemented on DB’s ICE rolling stock operating on the VDE8 ETCS equipped high speed line (Munich – Berlin).

In addition, the openETCS approach enables the cost-efficient and reliable implementation of ETCS by state-of-the-art tooling systems via formal specification and verification of system requirements, automatic and ETCS-compatible code generation and validation, and model-based test case generation and test execution. For this purpose, a first major research and development project has been completed. It was funded within the framework of the European funding programme ITEA2 (Information Technology for the European Advancement).

The openETCS Foundation e.V. offers a platform where members can exchange experiences and jointly initiate and implement projects in the field of train control, train automation and general digitisation for railway applications based on open source and open innovation.

These were indeed the main drivers for SBB to join the openETCS Foundation e.V.. In the next step SBB and its partners of the innovation program “smartrail 4.0” want to cooperate more closely within the openETCS community in order to combine the already existing know-how, and thus to develop an open on-board CCS reference architecture (openCCS). The goal is to validate the viability and relevance of this openCCS onboard reference architecture approach by using e.g. demonstrators.

For further information please contact:


2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

Czech Republic: Electric trains travel to the centre of Kadaň

Within two years, the inhabitants of Kadaň will acquire a direct train connection with the most important centres of the Ústí nad Labem Region thanks to the electrified line section from Kadaň-Prunéřov to Kadaň. Electrification was launched at the end of last year by a handover of the construction site. Total costs of the construction amount to CZK 440 million.

Electrification of the line section five kilometres long is related to the concept of transferring to a unified (alternate current) power feeding system. After its completion, it will introduce direct trains up to the station Děčín hlavní nádraží (Děčín Main Station) which will thus service an extensive territory in the Ústí nad Labem region.

Thanks to this construction, the city of Kadaň will acquire another railway stop.
The new stop will serve the local part of Bystřice from which it will obtain its name. Works will also include modifications of tracks at Kadaň Station. Three side-boarding platforms with a standard height of 550 millimetres with barrier-free access will be built here; the Kadaň-Bystřice railway stop will have the same parameters.

Increased railway operation safety will be obtained through new Category 3 safety and signalling equipment. Line speed will remain at 75 kph with a moderate increase in the future.

Operation will be controlled by a traffic controller at Kadaň-Prunéřov Station. The first important closure related to track reconstruction is planned for the period from July to September 2019. The construction as such will be completed in January 2021.

(Source: SZDC)

2 Votes

Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members

Kazakhstan: KTZ NC JSC and Kazapo will join forces to improve Transportation activities

The General Meeting of the Kazakhstan Association of carriers and operators of wagons (containers) (Kazapo) in Almaty discussed the issues of improving the efficiency of the transportation process in the context of the measures proposed by KTZ NC JSC for doing business and solving existing problems.

The First Deputy Chairman of the Board of KTZ NC JSC Kanat Almagambetov informed the members of the Association about the main directions of the new strategy of the Company to improve production processes and strengthen its financial stability.
According to K. Almagambetov, the changes will affect the regulatory environment, tariff policy, and the organisational structure will be simplified. KTZ NC JSC will only profile companies associated with the main activity. KTZ in the new organisational structure is the national cargo carrier, which performs the functions of dispatching. Regarding the structure of the Company JSC “mzhs” (infrastructure) will be created, all revenues and expenses of which will be completely autonomous, without flows to/from other subsidiaries.

Under the new conditions, the role of the car fleet operator - JSC “Kaztemirtrans”, whose aim is to provide customer focus, availability and increased profitability, and is set to work with maximum efficiency to attract new customers, is significantly enhanced. All processes will be automated and simplified. Contracts can already be concluded online. Answers to all business applications will be provided within 24 hours.

At the General Meeting the problems of operator business were discussed. Concerning the need to develop common positions of Kazakhstan in the development of normative legal acts approved by CSET and OSJD, the Director General of kazapo cooperation S. Atambaeva. L. Smirnova, Deputy Chairman of the Board of TRANSCOM LLP, spoke about the development and application of contracts regulating the main aspects of the relationship between the national carrier and the operator of cars. Chairman of the Supervisory Board of LLP “Tengiztransgas” Yu. Schneidmüller considers important legislative regulation of the process of current uncoupling repair (TOR) of cars in the event of a malfunction in the route.

The meeting noted the successful cooperation of JSC NC KTZ and Kazapo to develop effective approaches to improve the transportation process.

“We must jointly find a compromise to solve common problems,” Almagambetov said in this regard and stressed that “KTZ is a national company that works for consumers of transport services and all participants of transportation activities.”

(Source: KTZ)

1 vote

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UIC calendar

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 26 February 2019

  Contact the UIC e-News team