Tuesday 18 June 2019

UIC participates in the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Conference held from 11 – 14 June 2019 in Narvik, Norway

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From 11 – 14 June, almost 500 delegates from all over the world attended the IHHA Conference in which took place for the first time in Narvik, Norway.

Narvik is the ice free port connected by the LKAB train running from Kiruna, northern Sweden. These trains form part of the heavy haul transport running in Europe carrying 8000 tonnes of iron ore.

The conference theme was Heavy Haul 4.0 – Achieving Breakthrough Performance Levels. The presentations and debates focused on technologies which are transforming heavy haul
maintenance and operations, revealing new possibilities and innovations inspired from the Industry 4.0 concept.

The first two days began with a technical workshop. UIC was asked to introduce the current challenges in signalling interoperability and standardisation in this domain. Teodor Gradinariu, introduced the main part, ATP and speed control systems, ERTMS an CBTC, making comparisons between both them, with advantages and weakness related to heavy haul lines.

IHHA had commissioned a work group to develop the Heavy Haul Railway Vision 2030 and Strategy as part of the fourth industrial revolution era. The work group completed a draft strategy and presented it at this workshop for discussion, and most importantly to gain further inputs from the workshop participants. Following this workshop, the Vision 2030 and Strategy document has been revised, and a Draft White Paper will be published for final comments before it is turned into an official strategic positioning document for the global heavy haul community, an IHHA development perspective.

The Vision 2030 and Strategy will be developed under each of the following themes: Customer Experience, Operations, Infrastructure, Rolling Stock, Information, Energy, and Human Skills.

UIC delegates participated in the event as follows:

Teodor Gradinariu who presented two papers

Network Operation Planning – as an important component of the asset management process ,in line with ISO 55001
Cyber Security - Solution for current and futures threats

Bernard Schmitt gave a presentation focusing on the journey from Customer Service to Customer experience.

On the last day, 15 June, the hosts organised a technical visit to the discharging and charging facilities of LKAB and KIRUNA IRON. The latest part of the day was dedicated to a train trip from Narvik to the Swedish border, the famous Ofotenban, built manually between 1895-1902.

Meeting every second year, the IHHA community will meet in 2021 in Beijing China.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, and Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director participated International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Board of Directors meeting on 10 June 2019.

For any additional information please contact Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Technical Advisor Rail System Department:


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