Tuesday 21 April 2020

UIC Covid-19 Task Force updates

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The UIC Covid-19 Task Force continues its important work of providing a space for members to exchange practices and measures when it comes to providing rail services during a global pandemic. We are truly Building “RAILsilience” Together.

4th Task Force Meeting
The fourth UIC Covid-19 Task Force meeting was held on 14 April 2020. There were around 65 attendees from all over the world. UIC Passenger Department Director and Covid19 Task Force Chair, Marc Guigon. started the meeting with a warm welcome to all task force members, and especially to those who recently joined, namely: Indonesia, Mongolia, Turkey and Argentina.

Next, UIC Colleague Laura Petersen presented the responses to the second task force questionnaire. With 28 contributions, some trends can be noticed: state support is provided and applicable to railways for app. 50%; most Members have not experienced increased security issues, although side issues exist such as hackers; and that about half of operators/infra managers have reduced their staff, with the other half relying heavily on work from home.

After, the floor was opened to UIC members to share their experience regarding this crisis. JR East focused on instructions on wearing face masks and on current other countermeasures such as air circulation systems. Beijing Jiaotong University presented the Covid-19 situation in China and how imported cases mean that prevention measures are still important. The Railways of Iran then shared a three-point presentation addressing (i) the operational measures taken by railways in Iran, (ii) how social distance requirement is in place and (iii) the ticket compensation scheme. Indian Railways focused on how they are contributing to the “RAILsilience” of their community by using rolling stock, stations and factories to contribute to the general fight against Covid-19.

Further, a potential third questionnaire focusing on recovery and economic impacts was discussed. China Rail presented the ways in which their company is recovering now that the peak of the Covid19 epidemic appears to be over and the government has reauthorised certain transportation that was previously prohibited. KORAIL’s presentation was in two parts: firstly, they discussed how they use masks and temperature screenings as measures against Covid-19. Secondly, they requested that members of the task force agree to share information about economic impacts with UIC, with the aim of being able to get a global picture of how this pandemic has affected the railway sector. RZD also suggested a study to be carried out about economic impacts, as well as social challenges faced by railways and the ways in which governments could help support rail in these difficult times.

UIC Colleague Vanessa Pérez then reminded all present of the various tools available to task force members:

Lastly, Marc Guigon presented the plan for the third questionnaire and third guidance document, focused on recovery (health and safety) issues as well as economic impacts.

Development of the third questionnaire
Following the fourth Task Force meeting, the UIC Covid-19 Task Force team was hard at work developing the third questionnaire. We are proud that the questionnaire has now been sent out to task force members to fill in. The work we do is based on your inputs, so please do remember to fill in this very important questionnaire.

Let’s figure out how to re-start rail following Covid-19 lockdowns, together!

The next meeting of the Task Force will be held on 28 April.

For further information on the Task Force please contact Ms. Vanessa Perez:


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