UIC and the Spanish Railway Foundation (FFE - Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles) held the 7th Training on High-Speed Systems – Level 2 at the Fernán Núñez Palace in Madrid. Five intense days of lectures, technical visits and training on the High-Speed Planner 4.0 developed by the R&D Team of the Railway Foundation were held with great interest and positive results.
Mr José Carlos Domingo Curiel, Director General of the Spanish Railway Foundation and Mr Marc Guigon, Director of the UIC Passenger Department welcomed the participants and introduced the training.
ADIF and RENFE representatives delivered lectures on building a high-speed network from scratch, the environmental sustainability of high-speed lines and an introduction to the Spanish railway sector. They were also responsible for the very interesting trip on board the AVE train to Albacete Los Llanos station entering the driver’s cab and visiting its control centre, as well as the technical visit to Atocha Station’s Operational Centre.
Speakers from Alstom, China Rail, EU Agency for Railways, EuskoTren, FFE, SENER, SNCF, UIC and university professors alternated during the week to give lessons on their areas of expertise relating to high-speed.
The High-Speed Planner 4.0 deserves more attention. It is an automated software, developed by the R&D Team of FFE, composed of four modules: infrastructure, cities & stations, demand and trains which allowed trainees to simulate the implementation of a high-speed line from A to B seen from different points of view, in particular from a railway infrastructure manager, from a railway undertaking, from a governmental institution and from an integrated railway. The four different points of view resulted in four different implementation plans which had to be negotiated among the players to choose the most suitable one.
The questionnaire feedback was very encouraging as it reflected the commitment of everybody, speakers, organisers, trainees to make the training a success.
Some training courses ago the attendees requested a Level III course to deal with a unique specific subject during the whole week. This Level III training course will be a residential course (one or two weeks) held by a university, on its campus, on a specific high-speed subject where the university is a well-known worldwide leader. At UIC, we are investigating this format and we will soon develop a specific proposal.
We are now looking forward to the next training seminar in order to make it better. It will be the 16th THSS Level I to be held in Paris, from 20 – 24 April 2020.