UIC was invited to participate in the 8th edition of the Eurasia Rail Fair & Conference held from 10 – 12 April 2019 in Izmir, Turkey.
The exhibition not only determined the rail domain in the Eurasia Region but also created opportunities for developing existing relationships and attracting new partnerships.
A comprehensive conference programme was held alongside each Eurasia Rail event, keeping both visitors and exhibitors informed about the latest rail developments, innovations and technologies, as well as the biggest challenges facing the industry and their potential solutions. In addition to the local and international exhibitors, the Turkish Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure, Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and its subsidiaries also attended.
During the opening ceremony, Mr Selim Dursun, Deputy Minister of Transport & Infrastructure and TCDD Director General Mr Ali Ihsan Uygun presented the achievements on modernising the rail transport infrastructure – the major projects have been implemented to develop safe, comfortable, and an environmentally-friendly railway system, as well as the investment plans into the railway equipment.
Next to the opening event, the Eurasia Rail Conference focused on recent challenges along the Eurasian Corridors: rail transport growth perspectives, digital solutions to help predictive maintenance and safety & security aspects. Among the top-level decision makers, department directors, research & academia representatives and technology experts from the rolling stock industry, the UIC Fundamental Values Department Director and Middle East Region Coordinator represented Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC General Director, at the conference. Mr Wisniewski mentioned UIC’s recent studies on Eurasian freight corridors, considering the global trends in the market, for 2027, a total rail potential in comparison to 2017 of around 15% growth.
Strong improvements in terminals, customs, procedures and frequencies have stimulated growth in recent years. However important elements still need to be improved such as reliability, balance of transport volumes and competitive pricing. The cooperation with the UIC Asian and Middle-East Regions matched in several joint assembly-meetings over the last years. The strategies of these Regions focused on the common approach in the development of the railway system including international freight corridors. The traffic on southern routes would even reach 400,000 TEU in 2027 if other expected international traffic is accounted for as upside. The preconditions for upside scenario are ensuring price competitiveness with sea transport, addressing issues of security and transborder shipments, customs and bureaucracy, the economic growth in the Region.
UIC takes a holistic approach, keeping in mind 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 International Railway Solutions, places UIC at the very core of the development of the railway system of tomorrow.
On 10 April, at the TCDD stand Mr Uygun met Mr Wisniewski, who thanked him for the kind welcome and extended Mr Loubinoux’s best regards and congratulations to Mr Uygun for his appointment to the TCDD CEO post. Mr Uygun expressed his thanks and promised to undertake the efforts to be present at the next UIC General Assembly in Budapest and RAME meeting in Aqaba. Mr Wisniewski also briefed him and the TCDD team on the UIC Middle-East Region work programme during this meeting.
Next day, on 11 April, Jerzy Wisniewski took part in the conference panel titled “Security in Railway Systems” which was moderated by the Head of Rail Systems Engineering Department at İstanbul Technical University Prof. Dr Mehmet Turan Söylemez, with the participation of General Manager of Savronik Elektronik IT Group Mr Oğuz Kalaycıoğlu, Deputy General Manager Mr Ömer Korkut, and General Coordinator of Security & Protection at Bahçeşehir University, Chairman of the Board at CSG Mr Osman Öztürk shared their views on the security of rail systems.
Mr Wisniewski presented the UIC approach on the security issue in the areas such as predictive maintenance projected by estimation of maintenance needs based on the collected data. So far, the rail industry works on efficient data processing which come from sensors on track and signalling systems. IoT and digital solutions will help to distract the relevant data and compare them to model optimal preventive maintenance schemes. In recent decades a new threat known as “malicious cyber activity” has emerged as a security concern but with recent developments, it is apparent that it influences safety directly. Digital disruption is accelerating, any object can now be connected online with the ability to communication and capture data. Research is the opportunity to analyse the risks and the vulnerabilities and to develop solutions to protect the future rail system.
Recently UIC has been involved in two European research projects: SECRET aims at developing solutions to better protect rail against electromagnetic attacks and CYRail – a generic future rail scenario has been designed, performing a cyber security assessment of the railway systems, identification of most critical railway services, zones and communications, setting up a taxonomy of threats targeting rail management and control systems, analysis of the threats assessment and selection innovative rail management systems for attack detection techniques. The results of these projects have been published, but details are available for UIC members – for example to use the UIC Security Hub – an interactive portal already in operation, available by visiting the UIC website www.uic.org.